Stratford Butterfly Farm provides schools with many educational opportunities including a newly added exhibition about the rainforest’s ancient Maya civilisation.
A school visit to Stratford Butterfly Farm offers pupils discussions and hands-on experiences in subjects such as Science, History and Geography. Visits can be linked to both Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculums.
The butterfly farm allows pupils to discover more about the tropical rainforest, including the plants and animals that live in it, and the Maya, who first inhabited the rainforest around 2000BC.
School Travel Organiser takes a look at what there is for schools to do and see during a trip to Stratford Butterfly Farm.
The Maya exhibition
New to the farm this year is the Maya exhibition, which gives pupils the chance to learn about the central American rainforest’s ancient civilisation, the Maya.
The Maya still inhabit parts of the rainforest today, and there are around 30 different Mayan languages spoken among them. Schools will learn about this as they walk around the exhibition.
During their trip schools will get to look at the ancient Maya statues and artefacts that have been replicated and put on display for visitors to spot around the butterfly farm.
In the Discovery Zone children will be able to see some of the crops that the ancient Maya farmed and are still farming today. These include sweetcorn, sweet potato, pineapple, chilli, avocado, and cacao saplings, which are the source of chocolate.
Pupils will even get the chance to plant their own seeds and experience the simulated warmth and humidity of a real rainforest.
This new exhibition supports History and Geography curriculums.
Pictured: Mayan statue
Tours of Stratford Butterfly Farm
Schools will also be offered a tour of the butterfly farm, which will commence in the Education Zone. Here pupils will get an introduction to the inhabitants of the farm, the Belize rainforest environment and its links to the Maya.
Groups will then continue their tour into the Rainforest Flight Area where pupils can come face to face with hundreds of free flying tropical butterflies. Schools will also get to see the farm’s iguanas, birds and fish.
The landscaped greenhouse allows pupils to get a feel for what a real rainforest is like and gives them the chance to see waterfalls and tropical plants and florals.
Students will be invited to learn about the anatomy, feeding and lifecycle of the butterflies, which ties in with Science curriculums.
They will also be able to witness butterflies in all stages of the lifecycle, including a range of caterpillars in the Discovery Zone and butterflies hatching from their chrysalis.
Food webs, predator defence, and metamorphosis will also be among topics discussed at the farm in hands-on, interactive sessions.
Pictured: Blue Morpho butterfly
The tour of Stratford Butterfly Farm will finish with a visit to the Minibeast Metropolis where pupils will see the leafcutter ant colony, which was introduced to the farm earlier this year. Schools can watch as they transport leaves back to their nests along overhead ropes.
Children will then be given the chance to handle a range of different creatures from the giant African land snail to various stick insects.
More information about school visits to Stratford Butterfly Farm
School groups with 10 or more pupils will receive a guided tour of the farm.
The tours will last around one hour and will be led by a member of staff who will engage pupils and discuss the various topics and sections of the butterfly farm.
Tours can be tailored to fit the criteria of schools studying specific topics.
For more information please visit www.butterflyfarm.co.uk or call 01789 299214.