Really wild school trips

Date Posted: 08/01/2015

Somerset Wildlife Trust offers a range of Curriculum-linked learning sessions for Early Years up to Key Stage 2.

With 72 nature reserves, Somerset Wildlife Trust lays claim to some of the UK’s most untamed lands. And the trust wants to keep them that way. That’s why it has developed a long series of educational activities, aimed at teaching the next generations about the natural world, as well as conservation and preservation. 

Sessions are linked to the National Curriculum and targeted towards specific Key Stages from Early Years up to Key Stage 2. They’re also all designed to be hands-on and fun.

Early Years sessions

During these sessions, children are encouraged to explore using their senses and then inspired to think about how other animals use their own senses.

Teachers can choose from a range of themes for these experiences, including a bird adventure trail, teddy bears’ picnic, or a pirate adventure.

Key Stage 1 and 2

Living things and Their Habitats (KS1 & KS2)

Questions what do plants need to grow? Where do woodlice live? What does a hazel leaf look like? Through interactive games and hands on activities children explore a variety of habitats, learn all about plants and trees in a nature reserve and use guides and keys to identify a range of different invertebrates in different habitats.

Nature Explorers (KS1 & KS2)

Children sharpen their senses and become a nature explorer for the day. They utilise their senses to discover the hidden world of a nature reserve through touch, smell, sight and sound.

Games and activities bring the nature reserve to life for the children and help them gain an understanding of the way wildlife depends on all the senses for survival.

Marvellous Meadows (KS1 & KS2)

Children get the opportunity to visit the wild flower meadows of Chancellors Farm, high up on the Mendip Hills. The children learn to identify some common flowers and trees, discover the old orchard and explore the history of the farm and how it is looked after as a nature reserve today.

Orchard Investigation (KS1 & KS2)

This session focuses on the question ‘where does our food come from?’ Orchards are part of the Somerset landscape and provide not only apples but a unique habitat for a range of amazing wildlife.

Children take part in an orchard investigation and learn all about what makes these special places such great homes for wildlife.

Geography Skills (KS2)

In the Geography Skills session children will use maps, compasses and GPS units to navigate around a nature reserve, follow a trail and work as a team to find some hidden geocaches.

Mining on the Mendips (KS2)

Children travel back in time to discover the hidden past of the Mendip Hills. They can explore the remains of Roman, Medieval and Victorian lead mining, interpret the evidence left in the landscape and investigate the lives of the people that worked there.

Through games, activities and exploration children will learn about the past life and highlight the importance of the local area within key periods of History.

Rockyshore (KS2)

Somerset's coast is alive with a whole host of exciting and inspiring wildlife. Children spend a day on the coast and learn to identify some common wildlife using id charts, discovering why the coast is so important and explore the rockpools and strandline of the seashore.

Somerset Wildlife Trust also offers primary schools a range of themed sessions including…

The four seasons 

Children get to visit a reserve four times during the year and understand the seasonal changes the effect the wildlife.

Spring into Action

Children can find out the gruesome truth about some of the creatures living on the trust’s reserves.

They can discover things like which invertebrate, when threatened by a bird, drops a leg, leaves it twitching as a distraction then makes a quick exit.

Children get to play interactive games, and carry out hands on activities including a survey of the invertebrates with simple keys or eco-orienteering around the site to discover more about trees and animals in Spring.

Sizzling Summer Adventure

Children discover more gruesome truths as they explore the ditches and waterways to find out which creatures can breathe through their bottoms and what amazing changes take place during their lifecycles.

They then play a games to learn about adaptations and find out how the different invertebrates are adapted to their habitats.

Action Packed Autumn

These sessions ask ‘Can you make a wizard's potion or capture autumnal colours on an artist’s pallet.’ ‘How does Autumn feel and smell?’ ‘Is it full of leaf fireworks?’

Children take part in a wild adventure walk and learn how animals use their senses to explore and discover what the autumnal countryside has to offer.

Winter warmer

Children sharpen their survival skills, build a den and find out how the trust’s furry and feathered friends survive the winter. The animals don’t get hot chocolate but the children do.

For more information visit www.somersetwildlife.org/education-learning.html.
 

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