STO finds out what’s on offer for schools at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Within the four glasshouses and 15 acres of grounds at Birmingham Botanical Gardens Key Stage 1 to 4 pupils are are encouraged to ask questions like How do bananas and pineapples grow? Why is white chocolate white, but milk chocolate brown? Why do cactus plants look so strange? and What is a Tenrec? in order to learn about Science, Geography, Art and Music.
Schools visiting the attraction can choose between a self-guided visit, for which a range of teachers resources are available, or they can book to take part in a tailored cross-curricular workshop – of which there is a list almost as long as the alphabet.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 1 teaching sessions include Rainforest Fun, in which pupils take a look at rainforest seeds and tribal artefacts to learn about the rainforest environment. Children also learn about the uses of plants in food and even clothing.
The above session can be adapted to include live animal handling with corn snakes, a sand boa, a giant African land snail, a chameleon, a gargoyle gecko, a bearded dragon and poisonous dart frogs.
Another example of a Key Stage 1 session is Butterfly Lifecycle. In this workshop children get to dress up like caterpillars and butterflies while they learn about lifecycles.
Key Stage 2
On the agenda for Key Stage 2 pupils, meanwhile, is the Growth session, in which children learn the names of plant parts and find out more about their functions. Other topics covered include pollination and the purpose of flowers.
A recent addition to the selection is the Japanese Challenge workshop, during which pupils will learn all about the tradition and history behind the Japanese garden culture. Pupils will develop their teamwork and communication skills as they recreate and translate Japanese characters. Then, they’ll get to hunt for challenge answers whilst exploring the Japanese Garden and National Bonsai Collection.
Key Stage 3 and 4
Finally, the Key Stage 3 and 4 menu includes sessions like Cryptic Orienteering and Glasshouse Tours, in which students learn about adaptations.
What teachers say
Teachers visiting Birmingham Botanical Gardens have said the following things…
“The educational workshop and teacher was outstanding. The content was pitched perfectly and her knowledge of all the elements discussed was impressive. She related very well to the children and they responded accordingly.” Miss S. Nagra, Stoneydelph Primary.
“Thank you for a wonderful day out that I am sure the children will remember for many years!” Miss S. Powell, Leominster Primary.
For more information about Birmingham Botanical Gardens visit www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk