School Visits: Wildlife Superheroes

January 2021 - update

Hi Everyone

Due to the new government restrictions, we are now closed for school visits. However, I will be continuing to work some hours every week, so if you would like some advice about outdoor learning (such as activities to set for your class, or things you could do with your children), then please don't hesitate to get in touch with me via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Our leaflet for school children is available to read and download at Scotswood wildlife - Scotswood Garden. It has three lovely activities to help nature which you can print out. There is also a page on ways to help the environment.

We have also compiled a list of useful websites and online resources for home learning (with an science/outdoor learning slant). We've emailed it to teachers we know, but if you would like a copy, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We will let you know once school visits resume.

Sending you my very best wishes,

 

Rosie

Education Officer

 

Outdoor School Visits - CANCELLED FROM 5TH JANUARY 2021

Thanks to our amazing funders, we are still open for school visits. Due to the risks associated with Covid 19, we have had to change the way we run things for now. Please read the details below for more information.

Unfortunately we will only be offering shorter, smaller visits to our lovely site here at Scotswood Garden. School visits will be for a maximum of two hours and ideally for up to 15 children at a time. We understand that this may not work for all schools, but we know that some schools are going to use the split class sessions as time for targeted intervention work back in school.

Visiting school groups will have exclusive access to the outdoor toilet (that maybe makes it sound more glamorous than it is), to avoid the need for children to come inside the main building. We have also reviewed our risk assessments and procedures in order to prevent the spread of Covid 19. We will, of course, share our risk assessments with visiting schools and ensure that we follow the practices of each individual school during our sessions.

Two sessions of 15 children will be charged at the heavily discounted rate of £30*. This is thanks to all our funders the Postcode Local Trust, Northumbrian Water's Branch Out fund, UK Youth and the National Lottery Community Fund.

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

 

Spring term highlights

The spring term covers a huge range of weathers and experiences at Scotswood Garden. For the first couple of months the sessions below are a good choice. Please note that we are always happy to plan a bespoke session for your class.

Winter seasonal special for Year 1 - learning about evergreen and deciduous trees, looking for signs of winter around the garden, making a fire and toasting a marshmallow.

Stickman - come and spend some time with us and learn more about this lovely picture book. Make your own stickman and take him on a journey around our lovely garden. If there's time, you could even make a family tree for him to live in. 

Tree trails - Get to know some of the trees in our woodland. How many different species are there? Explore the garden, 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. 

Please scroll down below the teacher and child comments to see more examples of the sessions we offer. We are always happy to modify the content to link in with what children are learning about in school. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information and to discuss your requirements. 

 

Teachers’ comments from 2019/2020:

 “A fantastic day with lots of lovely activities.”

“The day exceeded my expectations and matched our objectives for Science.”

“The session was perfect, Rosie was fantastic. Thank you for a brilliant day.”

“A very interesting and fun visit. The children learned lots and enjoyed themselves while doing it.  Thank you!”

“They absolutely loved it! Remembered so much from last year, so it was great to build on knowledge and develop further with completely different content.”

 

Comments from children:

“It was my first visit to somewhere like this and it was fun.”

"I liked looking at creatures I've never seen before, like the water scorpion."

“It was good to learn about bees. I’m not afraid of them any more.”

“I think nature is cool.”

      

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 sunflower 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 15 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. Staff enjoyed observing 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.

Our charges are £30 for two sessions for 15 children (i.e. to cover 30 children in total). Sessions can be up to two hours long, any time between 9.45 and 2.15. 

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 Postcode Local Trust, Northumbrian Water, the UK Youth fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. Thank you!


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