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Field Studies

Field Studies

Field Study Centre

The Field Study Center at Killowen provides valuable first hand experience of how we change and influence our environment. Day and residential programmes are tailored to meet the specific requirements of an ever changing curriculum and its students.

What is Field Studies at Killowen Outdoor Education Centre?

Walking though a park, across an orchard, or simply going to school creates questions such as: 

What is that? Why is it there? What made those tracks? Why are those trees being cut down? Field Studies is a formal name for answering and showing ways and means of finding answers to questions such as these and many more. 

The program content is developed following consultation between the teacher, or group leader, and the Center's Field Studies Instructor where curriculum specifications, age, ability and group number are taken into account.  Maximum use is made of the time and study sites are commonly within 20 minutes of the Centre.

Why come to Killowen?

Did you know we have 7 different coastal habitats in Carlingford Lough: 

Rocky, shingle, sand, mudflats, salt marsh, river mouth and harbour.There is also easy access to: parkland, commercial plantations, native oak-forest, mountain heath, quarries, sand-pits, fresh-water ponds, streams, rivers and diverse agricultural land use. 

Catering for pupils from Key Stage 2 upwards, the Center has a well-equipped laboratory with a range of specialised recording equipment, an audio-visual teaching area, a small reference library and an outdoor clothing store. 

These resources combine with the Killowen staff to produce an outdoor classroom that is a safe and effective learning environment.

What can you expect?

Throughout the year, teachers and group leaders bring students to Killowen for field study visits. The Center's Field Studies Instructor is Vincent McAlinden who comes from a biology teaching background and has a wide ranging local environmental knowledge.

Other full time staff are also sometimes involved in programs lending their particular expertise

Field Study activities reflect the nature of the visiting groups and most tend to be subject specific with set targets.  Usually the teacher or group leader identifies portions of individual subject specifications to be focused on, and the Field Studies Instructor develops suitable programs to fulfil these learning objectives

Visiting groups are expected to bring staff to ensure a ratio approximately of 1:10 The following are examples of Field Studies programmes developed by the Centre.


"The range of living things"

Minibeast hunting, collection, sorting and racing.


"Rocks and processes of landscape development"

Study of 12000 year old sand deposits and a visit to a local quarry containing basalt and granite dykes.


"Reproduction in plants" 

Why woodrushes are so competitive and what are those slimy bubbles on seaweeds?

GCE Biology

"Population distribution influenced by ecological factors" 

Can the profile of common limpets be correlated to exposure on our rocky shores.

What do the pupils get out of it?

Whilst naturally science, biology and geography are the main focus, pupils might find themselves solving mathematical puzzles to reveal the age of a tree or discover a new talent for drawing the intricate arrangement of seaweed fronds. 

Apart from the fulfilment of teaching objectives, many students seem to revel in the chance to express themselves away from the classroom.   Teamwork and ingenuity are unearthed and skills honed on the farm or in the search for fishing bait become valued.




The Southern Education and Library Board (the ‘Board’) was established as part of Local Government reorganisation in 1973 and is the largest of the five area Boards. The Board's principle functions are the provision of education and youth services to the District Council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Cookstown, Craigavon, Dungannon & South Tyrone and Newry & Mourne. It spans 1,450 square miles with a total population of approximately 390,300 including 75,767 pupils.


3 Charlemont Place, The Mall, Armagh, BT61 9AX.
Telephone number: 028 3751 2200 | Email: info@eani.org.uk