School Visits: Wildlife Heroes

JUNE 2024

Hi Everyone

We are sorry, but we are FULLY BOOKED for the summer term 2024. THANK YOU to everyone who has visited us this school year, we've loved welcoming your classes to our lovely outdoor space.

We are now taking bookings for AUTUMN 24, SPRING 25 AND SUMMER 25 (yes, there are some very organised teachers out there!) Please read the information on this page to find out more about the cost, timings, teacher and pupil comments, example sessions, play, nature connectedness and our funders! To book, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Thank you all for your support.

The Education Team

Outdoor School Visits

School visits can either be for a half day (generally 9.45-11.45 or 12.30-2.30, charge £30) or for a full day (9.45-14.15, charge £50). All visits are for up to 30 children. The session charges are heavily subsidised thanks to our funders the Postcode Local Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund. All sessions include a minimum of 20 minutes of supported play time in our lovely woodland.

*If these charges are a barrier to you bringing your class, please do get in touch and we will see what we can do.

Visiting school groups will have access to the outdoor toilet (which is next to the fire circle where we'll be based) during the morning and afternoon. For full day visits, the children will have one opportunity to visit indoor flushing toilets and wash their hands properly before lunch. Hand gel will be available throughout the day. 

Many of the sessions we run are linked to the National Curriculum, but we are happy to plan anything for your class! We try to use the various areas of Scotswood Garden to make the sessions exciting and active for children. Please see the examples below for ideas of the types of sessions we can run. We are always happy to plan bespoke sessions too.

We aim for every child to do something good to help nature. This might be planting pollinator friendly plants, taking home plants from our own plant nursery, Canny Plants, making bird feeders to name a few ideas. We have a whole page on our website for pupils, teachers and families with ideas of follow up activities to do after visiting. See here School Visits - Nature Rescue tasks resources - Scotswood Garden

Please note that all sessions are fully planned in advance. That plan is shared with you about a week before your visit. You will also receive our general garden risk assessment and any other relevant risk assessments (such as for fire, pond dipping, hapa zome) if applicable. For further information and to book sessions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teachers’ comments:

“The pupils have loved the outdoor learning and practical activities. Everything was pitched perfectly for the needs of the pupils."

"It was clear to see the enjoyment from my staff and children. A huge thank you to Rosie!"

"I strongly believe all children should have the chance of doing this outdoor learning - it's so important for them."

"It exceeded my expectations."

"The visit met all expectations and linked well with what the children have been learning in school."

 

Comments from children:

“This is better than the classroom and you learn about stuff."

"I would like to live here."

"The best thing in Year 5!"

"I enjoyed finding pollen using the sticky bees."

"I love feeling free in the forest."

How do you feel at Scotswood Garden? Answers: Happy - joyful - calm - ecstatic - sleepy - excited - relaxed

      

Examples of sessions

Meadows and Pollinators

Our garden boasts both a spring and summer meadow, which means we have flowers from early spring all the way until autumn. We also have beehives on site and our own beekeeper. This means we can give children great insight into the lives of bees and they can see first hand how pollinators like honey bees operate. Great for the life cycle of plants, pollination, parts of a plant, food chains, food security, art, nature connectedness.

For Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1Paper pots resized

  • Be a bee: A chance to explore the garden through the eyes of a honey bee. Visit our bee hives and learn some fascinating facts about bees. Collect pollen. Plant a pollinator friendly plant to take back to school.    
  • Plant party: Walk around the garden and learn the names of plants, including trees. Find out about the structure of plants and what plants need to grow. Plant a seed to take back to school or do some flower-related art! **This is one of our most popular sessions**

For Key Stage 2

  • Fantastic Flowers: Look at the different parts of a plant and their functions. Learn about the role of flowers in pollination and the importance of bees. Make a potion using plants from the garden. Find out why scents and colours are important to flowers. Plant some scented herbs to take back to school.
  • Plant detectives: Be a plant hunter, finding seasonal plants and flowers in the garden. Learn about the life cycle of plants, including pollination, fertilisation and seed dispersal. 

Water and Aquatic Life

Pond dipping is such a lovely activity to do with children. We can link it to art, identification, classification, life cycles, food chains, pollution or just make it a lovely exercise in exploration. We also have all three species of native newt at Scotswood Garden, as well as an array of other creatures. "It's like finding treasure." said one child. We have a separate risk assessment for pond dipping and our staff are experienced at leading pond dipping sessions. DSCN1384 web

For Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

  • Pond dipping: What can you find in our pond? Meet some of the creatures who live in our pond. Make a creature you've seen in our pond using natural resources.
  • Pond lives: Learn in simple terms about the life cycle of one of the stars of our pond and then have a go at transforming one of your friends into it too! This session also includes pond dipping and recording finds.

 

 

For Key Stage 2

  • How clean is our pond?: Pond dipping. Consult binary codes to identify creatures. Use observations and measurements to work out how clean our pond is. Talk about the causes of pollution to water courses. Maybe also find out more about one of the creatures in our pond.
  • Newt Lives: Pond dipping. Come and meet our resident amphibians. Find out how they live and learn about their life cycle through our newt treasure hunt. What’s on the menu? Survey the garden for food sources. Play food chain tag!

Trees and Woodland        

We're so fortunate to site our sessions in our forest school area. There's a range of trees and shrubs which means a range of habitats. It's great for identifying and classifying trees, insects and plants, learning about habitats (including den making), learning about biomes, forest school, fires and of course for play too!

For Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

Stickman2 resized

  • Minibeast Superheroes: Meet the amazing minibeasts in our woodland and find out some fascinating facts about them. Go on a minibeast hunt of your very own. Maybe make your own minibeast out of clay.
  • Trees mean homes: Track down some of the different trees in the garden. Learn about parts of a tree and maybe about evergreen and deciduous trees.  Think about which animals live in the woods. Maybe find out more about a particular animal? Make your own habitat for a woodland creature.
  • Stick Man: Make your very own stick man using natural resources from the woods. Take your stick man on a journey around our lovely garden and explore the habitats, trees and plants. Make a "family tree" in the woods.  

For Key Stage 2nest in hands

Tree trails: Get to know some of the trees in our woodland. How many different species are there? Explore the garden, collect leaves and identify the different species by using the keys provided. Record your findings. Maybe link into Geography and think about the layers in a temperate woodland biome too. 

 

 

  • Habitat heaven: Learn about the life cycle of the hedgehog (or another creature) and about the wonderful habitat which Scotswood Garden provides. Survey the wider garden for food sources and think about the interdependency between living things. Construct food chains. 

 

 

 

A note about Play

We always incorporate a minimum of 20 minutes of play time into all our school sessions. Although we aim to make all our sessions fun and engaging throughout for children, we also want to give children the opportunity to play and make their own choices in our lovely garden space.

Play is good for children. It’s vital that children have the space, time and opportunity to do things on their own terms, particularly in a world where things can seem increasingly directed and organised. Regular play benefits children in a multitude of ways. Emotionally it can help them to work through things that are worrying them. Socially it can enable them communicate and negotiate with others. Play also gives children the opportunity to develop intellectually in terms of establishing additional ways of thinking and understanding.

We started doing this in September 2019 and we found it was a positive addition to our sessions. School staff valued the opportunity to observe the children during free play, and children just loved having some time to choose for themselves in our lovely garden space. It's worth noting that this play time is always supported by a range of resources which children can choose between.

Nature Connectedness

We try to ensure that the children experience a nature connected moment during their visit to us. For some, that might be listening the to the birds; for others watching the damselflies on the pond; maybe it's touching the bark on the trees; or simply smelling the flowers. Nature connectedness is about enjoying nature through our senses. Studies have shown that this is not only very important for our wellbeing, but also for nature protection too. Those who connect with nature are much more likely to want to care for it too. If you're interested in finding out more, please have a look at the University of Derby's brilliant work in this area Nature Connectedness Research Group - Research centres and groups - University of Derby

Public Transport

Have you considered travelling to Scotswood Garden by PUBLIC TRANSPORT? Buses 30/31 and 38 all stop right outside (the stop is called Muscott Grove). It works out a lot cheaper than a coach; is even more of an adventure for the children and is much better for the environment! If you’re early, we have our indoor hub area where you can wait. If you’re a little bit late, we can also work with that. It won’t work for every school, but if you are on one of these bus routes, it could be an option. 

Our Funders

This project is only possible thanks to our amazing funders: The Postcode Neighbourhood Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Their grants enable us to offer the sessions at a hugely subsidised price. Thank you!

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 For further information and to book sessions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.