Each programme has been designed with a theme and a structure in order to engage pupils and encourage the development of a sense of excitement and curiosity about the natural world. Our programmes of study apply aspects of the National Curriculum for Science by providing practical activities and opportunities for observations at first hand, allowing pupils to work scientifically to develop their scientific knowledge and understanding.
The curriculum links for Science are shown under each programme. In addition to these, the programmes include aspects of Geography, English, and Mathematics, and contribute to pupils’ personal, social, health and economic development (PSHE).
For full details of the activities please email People & Wildlife Bookings Officer
From the largest living organisms to the smallest of algae, plants are the ultimate in solar powered manufacturing. They carry out all their own life processes, whilst providing animals with oxygen, food and shelter.
In this programme interactive games illustrate plant processes and functions and pupils discover some of the many uses we make of plants and find out what they need to grow and stay healthy. Walking around the lake, pupils will begin to notice how the habitat might change throughout the year and explore the life cycle of flowering plants, considering how their seeds are dispersed. In the meadow, we use quadrats to identify and compare the variety of plants in different areas, and begin to classify flowering and non-flowering plants. We record the date of the hedge by identifying the tree species growing along it. In the wildlife garden pupils learn how to find out the age of a tree and learn the functions of the parts of a plant. Pupils can meet a tree in the woodland and investigate the effects of sustainable woodland management practice on plant and wildlife diversity.
Science: Working scientifically; Plants; Living things and their habitats; Evolution and inheritance
Hunt for a Habitat
Become estate agents for the day to investigate desirable homes for wildlife. Pupils study and explore the main habitats of freshwater, woodland, garden and meadow.
During pond dipping a wide variety of aquatic species will be discovered and the use of classification systems and keys will aid their identification. Carrying out simple investigations shows the quality of the water, and how this might affect the life cycles of the creatures that live here. Walking around the lake, pupils will begin to notice how the habitat might change throughout the year and explore the life cycle of flowering plants. In the woodland pupils will come face to face with animal skull bones, using their observational skills to determine carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Investigating the micro-habitat of the woodland floor pupils will identify, using keys those animals without skeletons; and consider how this might affect their movement. Sensory games help to imagine the challenges of surviving in the wild and reinforce the idea that all creatures are part of the woodland food chain. In the garden pupils will discover the different types of plants growing in the vegetable beds, and consider invertebrates, or minibeasts role as composters and recyclers. We can use sweep nets in the meadow in suitable seasons, to meet the small inhabitants of the grassland, and compare them to those living in the woodland habitat. We also consider habitat change and learn how we can better develop our own wildlife garden habitats.
Science: Working scientifically; Plants; Animals, including humans; Living things and their habitats; Evolution and inheritance
Mathematics in the Environment
Pupils will explore the different habitats at Woods Mill looking for mathematical links within the natural world. Hands on activities and games will encourage pupils to develop their practical mathematical skills. We will investigate natural and manufactured shapes around the lake and in the woods and explore patterns and symmetry on both a large and small scale, possibly creating a labyrinth in the meadow. Using ‘Logit’ we will gather data on the light and temperature levels in the woodland, and examine the canopy cover and its effect on the habitat below. We will also collect and record pond creatures on a graph and discover facts about trees using different measuring techniques.
Activities are designed to apply to the Primary Mathematics Curriculum: measurement; geometry, looking at the properties of shapes, position and direction; statistics; and for the older pupils, ratio and proportion.
Water is the main constituent of all life, and we are all reliant on a clean, safe supply to stay alive. We share the wet zone with a vast array of plants and animals all dependent on water for at least part of their life cycle.
In this programme children use different investigative methods working scientifically to explore our freshwater habitats. Pond dipping enables discovery of a wealth of underwater species which can be compared to those found in the stream (stream dipping most suitable for years 5 and 6). Pupils will use a range of scientific equipment to make careful observations, gathering and recording data to test the quality of the water. An indoor session using the interactive microscopes and interactive whiteboard allows a closer study of these creatures to reveal how they are adapted to their habitat, and pupils can broaden their understanding of using classification systems and keys. The results from these studies can be taken back to school for further investigation and analysis.
On a walk around the lake pupils will use their fieldwork skills to observe the wider water habitats, and consider the water cycle and how we can wisely manage our water resources for the future.
Science: Working scientifically; Animals, including humans; Living things and their habitats; Evolution and inheritance