RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Yorkshire is one of four RHS gardens. All offer educational workshops for schools which are led by educational officers and are designed to stimulate and capture students’ curiosity about nature and gardening and get them involved in practical horticulture, Art and Science.
From learning how plants grow and discovering how to live sustainably, to creating their own woodland-inspired sculptures, students from Foundation Stage right through to Key Stage 4 can benefit from a visit to Harlow Carr.
Here STO finds out what workshops are on offer for Key Stages 1 and 2…
Key Stage 1
Making Sense of the World
This workshop will see students take a sensory journey around the garden. They will be tasked with helping ‘Onion’ the puppet disguise his odour by making fragrant perfumes and will then collect natural materials from the garden to make a party crown.
In Incredible Edibles students will consider where the fruit and vegetables they eat come from. They will be challenged to guess where some of them have originated from and learn how explorers used to bring them back to the UK from across the globe.
In Harlow Carr’s teaching garden, pupils will be able to chop, pick and taste some of the seasonal offerings available and learn about the edible plant parts. Other activities in Incredible Edibles include a vegetable treasure hunt and singing about vegetables.
In Harlow Carr’s woodland, students will become woodland explorers and learn about the trees around them, from what they look like and what sounds they make to whether they are deciduous or evergreen.
Pupils will then create their own deciduous tree using the natural materials available.
From a giant’s tea pot and spade to a bee and flower, sculptures are dotted all around Harlow Carr. This activity looks at the work of environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy before students create their own sculptures in teams using the natural materials that are found around the gardens.
Harlow Carr’s dedicated educational building, the Bramall Learning Centre.
Key Stage 2
Woodland Explorers is adaptable for both Key Stage 1 and 2. The Key Stage 2 version of the workshop will see students measure and identify the age of some of the trees in Harlow Carr’s woodland and consider some of the major events that were happening at the time they would have been planted.
Then, using sampling techniques and keys, students will observe and record the plants and animals that live under some of the largest plants on the planet.
Hands-on practical exploration in the workshop Environmental Detectives gives students the opportunity to learn about life and habitats. By examining three different locations at Harlow Carr using a tool kit, students will consider answers to questions such as what is living in each of the habitats and what would the environmental impact be on the area if humans were to build there?
This workshop is available from April to September only.
In this workshop students will explore the surroundings around the site’s dedicated learning centre, the Bramall Learning Centre, to find examples of renewable energy, energy saving technology and recycled materials. Students will also consider the importance of caring for the planet and discuss how their school could become more sustainable.
This activity will see students collect natural materials from the outdoors to make their own Sculpitats, a cross between a sculpture and a habitat. Pupils can take inspiration from the creativity that can be found dotted around the woods at Harlow Carr.
Key Stage 3 & 4
Key Stage 3 and 4 specific visits are also available at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Ranging from ecological practical activities and Maths problem solving trails to Art workshops and sustainability workshops the activities on offer are able to link to a number of curriculum focuses for multiple subjects.
Harlow Carr will also be updating and adding aditional workshops to their schools programme in February 2017.