Five gardens to visit with a school group

Date Posted: 17/04/2018

As April is Garden Month, we focus on five glorious British gardens that offer educational visits and look at why a trip could be beneficial.

A visit to a garden can be great for school groups; tying in with Geography and Science, a visit can inspire youngsters to get involved in the world around them, whilst learning about conservation, garden life and life cycles of plants.

Besides the educational benefits, pupils will enjoy exploring the different sights and scents of the blooms and plants they discover.

1. Spetchley Park Gardens, Worcestershire

Home to the Berkeley family for over 400 years, Spetchley Park Gardens is considered one of Worcestershire’s best kept secrets. The gardens encompass plentiful walks through thirty acres of herbaceous borders, sweeping lawns and woodland glades, which pupils will enjoy exploring.

Educational visits are focused within the gardens themselves and in the learning centre for indoor activities. The learning team works with every school to tailor each visit to their individual needs using several trails and activities designed to engage students with the Gardens.

Spetchley Gardens

Pictured: Spetchley Gardens.

2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, South West London

A visit to Kew provides the ideal outdoor classroom, teaching children about plants, horticultural history and architecture. From the garden grounds to the extensive plant collections, all Key Stages are well catered for. 

Kew's hands-on programme offers assisted visits with included education sessions which can be tied to a variety of subjects, from Maths to Art to English. Schools can also opt for a self-led visit to allow them the time they need to explore what they want.

3. RHS, various locations

RHS gardens, dotted throughout Britain, provide schools all over the UK the opportunity to learn about plant life. The official RHS Gardens include Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, Hyde Hall in Essex, Rosemoor in Devon, Wisley in Surrey and Bridgewater in Greater Manchester. 

However, there are many partner gardens all across the British map. Educational visits to RHS Gardens are free and the gardens have educational centres, where learning sessions can take place.

4. Chelsea Physic Garden, London

The garden was founded in 1673 and occupies four acres of land by the river Thames. It was originally used by Apothecaries to grow medicinal plants which reached all over the world.

The Chelsea Physics Garden offers bespoke educational visits, tailored to the needs of each group. Suitable for all Key Stages, a visit can tie in with a variety of subjects. Typical school visits include a tour of the garden, which can have a specific focus, followed by plant and artefact handling. Children will also get the chance to take home seeds to plant.

5. Great Dixter House & Gardens, Sussex

Great Dixter House & Gardens was the home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd, and pupils can explore the location by walking in his footsteps. New school workshops as said to be coming soon to the gardens, so teachers should keep their eyes peeled. 

In the meantime, educational visits are available, which include full days of planned activities, suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2. Experiences include exploring the gardens and woodland, planting seeds, sketching in the garden, and looking at shapes and patterns.

Want to learn more about the value of school trips? Read our recent article here.

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