School Visits: Wildlife Superheroes

July 2022

Hi Everyone

As we near the end of term, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us this school year. It means so much to meet new and familiar faces and to see the children benefitting from being in our lovely outdoor space. 

As we look towards the autumn term 2022, we have some lovely sessions on offer. We are always happy to cover National Curriculum objectives using our outdoor space in fun and engaging ways (you don't have to do NC objectives if you don't want to!) All our sessions also include some supported playtime and a short nature connected moment too. Here are a few examples of what we can offer, although we are always happy to make the sessions bespoke:

  • Hedgehog hibernation - looking at habitats, life cycles and with the challenge to make a hibernation nest.
  • Pond dipping - we can still pond dip at the beginning of the autumn term. A great way to identify common pond creatures and also great for finding out about life cycles, we have fun sessions on caddis fly larvae and on newts which both link in to the pond.
  • Stone Age - a new session which we ran for Year 3 last year. It includes a bit of hunting, cave building and cave painting
  • Stick man - make a stick man or stick lady and take him or her on a journey around our garden, we can focus on trees, on habitats, colours in nature, on anything you like really.  
  • Seasonal special for year 1 - looking at the signs of autumn, can also link in with parts of a tree
  • Natural paints including berry painting - suitable for all ages
  • Classification - classifying leaves according to different characteristics, great for older children. 
  • Wreath making and Christmas crafts - sorry to mention this in July...
  • We're always happy to plan sessions around fires, any outdoor art and purely play based sessions (which are well supported with resources).

Our charges are £50 for a full day and £30 for a half day. If you are interested in booking a session, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There's more information below.

Have a lovely summer break everyone! 

With best wishes

Rosie

Education Officer

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Outdoor School Visits

We are now fully open for school visits to our lovely site here at Scotswood Garden.

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 funder the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. All sessions will include at least 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 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.

 

Teachers’ comments from 2020/2021:

“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

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 make a picture of a plant on fabric.   

 

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. Plan and plant a miniature garden to take back to school. Maybe play a game of bee tag!

 

Water and Aquatic Life

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 from 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. Use binary codes to identify creatures. Talk about causes of pollution to water courses. Work out how clean our pond is. Talk about the causes of pollution to water courses. Work out how clean our pond is. 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         

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.

 

General Information

At the end of every session, each child will receive a leaflet to take home about what they can do to help wildlife and the environment. Teachers can also opt to undertake a Wildlife Rescue Task back at school or in the local community. This could be something like designing a poster about saving water, making a bug hotel, planting some bee friendly plants, or surveying trees in a local park. We supply all resources necessary for the Wildlife Rescue Tasks free of charge. We do require schools to feed back to us on their Wildlife Rescue Task. On receipt of this feedback, we will send out certificate to every child in the class.

All sessions are planned in conjunction with the class teacher to ensure they link in with the children's learning wherever possible. 

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

This project is only possible thanks to our amazing funders: The Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Thank you!