School Visits: Wildlife Superheroes
Outdoor Workshops for Schools
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has visited us in the autumn term this year, we have enjoyed lots of hedgehog hibernation sessions and berry painting; and our wreath making workshops for KS2 children have been a big hit too.
The good news is that we are extending our discounted rate of £30 per session until February half term 2020. Although the weather may be cold, you might want to consider bringing your class for a half day, particularly for sessions in our trees and woodland category (please see below). We'll also be offering a half day winter seasonal special session for Year 1 children. After February half term, all sessions will be charged at our usual rate of £50 again. This rate is still heavily subsidised by our funders, the Postcode Local Trust and Northumbrian Water.
On a separate note, if you are thinking of coming in the summer term, please book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.
Examples of workshops on offer:
Meadows and Pollinators
For Foundation Stage and KS1
- 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.
- 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 smells 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
For Foundation Stage and KS1
- 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 detectives: See how many species you can find in our pond. Record different species in a tally and find out about one creature in more detail. Construct a simple food chain.
- 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 KS1
- 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.
- 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.
- Tree trails: Get to know some of the trees in our woodland. How many different species are there? How could you classify them. Think about native and non native trees.
- Habitat heaven: Find different birds in our lovely garden in our bird treasure hunt. Learn about the wonderful habitat our woods provide. Survey the wider garden for habitats. Think about the interdependency between different species. Construct food chains.
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.
Teachers’ comments from the Summer term 2019:
“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.”
A note about play:
From September 2019, we are incorporating 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 hope this will be a positive addition to our sessions. We will be monitoring how the play element works, and we welcome feedback from staff and children.
Each class can attend up to three sessions in total at the garden (each with a follow up Wildlife Rescue Task and certificate).
Each session costs £50 (except in the autumn term where all sessions are discounted to £30). Sessions at the garden can be half days (9.45-11.45) or full days (9.45-2.15) and are available from September 2019 until the end of July 2020.
All sessions and Wildlife Rescue Tasks will be planned in conjunction with the class teacher to ensure they link in with the children's learning wherever possible. We are also able to offer free resources and support to each class to complete their Wildlife Rescue Tasks.
This project is only possible thanks to The Postcode Local Trust and Northumbrian Water.