A Five-Star Day Of Forest Fun At Greenwood

Children on bike at Greenwood Park

A FIVE-STAR DAY OF FOREST FUN & OUTDOOR DISCOVERY AT GREENWOOD       Nestled amongst a forest clearing at the foothills of Snowdonia’s National Park, lies GreenWood; an eco-friendly inviting land which promises the ultimate trip full of outdoor adventure, learning and discovery. Studies have shown that children learn best through real world experiences and so, the activities at GreenWood have been designed to offer an unrivalled sensory stimulus, educational environment and calming classroom to be enjoyed by all in the great outdoors – and in the company of the local wildlife. With so much to discover about the world and each other, children from the ages of 3-13 years old can bond as they build dens in the Wild Wood, get close to nature as they take on the Barefoot Trail, become the modern-day Robin Hoodand shoot longbow, navigate enchanted river boats through the forest and explore the magic of people power behind all the park’s main attractions and rides! Each group visit is developed by our team to enhance the benefits in learning outside the classroom and can be individually catered to meet your schools educational and curriculum needs. Your carefully curated and quality assured programme will encourage and reward self-confidence, problem solving, resilience, self-reliance, adaptability and team-work; all deemed essential life skills in today’s world. GreenWood is a great and affordable treat for your group to enjoy. Plus, you can take advantage of the multiple benefits available to group bookings (minimum of 15), with free coach parking, complimentary driver admission and a £5 food voucher and one adult will go free per 10 paying children.  To find out more information or to make your group booking, please call reservations on 01248 671493 or email info@greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk Find out more

More than 100 young artists shine at Stockport Grammar Art Competition

100 young artists at Stockport Grammar Art Competition

This year Stockport Grammar School’s Year Five Art Competition welcomed 113 entries from young artists from 16 local primary schools.  Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin and based around the theme of ‘self-portrait’, the young entrants showed off their creativity and imagination with a wide range of final pieces that included 2D and 3D artwork. Artists and their families visited Stockport Grammar School for an exhibition evening which showcased their work. Lukas Schwarzmayr of Gorsey Bank Primary School won the competition with an eye catching self-portrait with fantastic shaded detail created in a collage style. Runners-up Maria Majid of Lady Barn House School created a colourful 3D project and Lucas Bird of Vernon Primary School impressed with his half photo, half drawing piece which showed great skill in both the drawing and shading aspects.  Stockport Grammar School’s Head of Art, Richard Davies said: “All the pieces were fantastic and the amazing artwork produced showed the talent, imagination and time the artists had put in. “We were impressed by the quality of the work, both in terms of the technical skill that was evident in the use of a range of media, and also with the level of creativity which could be seen in the variety of outcomes. “Clearly the boys and girls had enjoyed responding to the theme of ‘The Portrait’ and having seen their work displayed alongside their peers, they will be encouraged to keep drawing and painting long into the future.” The entrants were selected to represent their school at the competition and every artist went home with a ‘goody bag’ which included a range of wonderful art equipment.  

Oldham primary school pupils reach final of UK robotics competition

Oldham primary school pupils reach final of UK robotics competition

Thirteen Key Stage 2 pupils from Lyndhurst Primary School, Oldham – one of the 15 schools within Focus Trust – have been crowned winners of the regional finals of an international robotics competition, VEX IQ Challenge.   Lyndhurst was the only primary school to attend Greater Manchester’s regional finals with the team’s resilience and technical performance seeing them come out on top against teams of much older children to secure a place in the national finals, which took place in Telford last week.    Presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, which works to increase student interest and involvement in STEM subjects by facilitating the introduction of hands-on, sustainable and affordable robotics engineering into the curriculum, the challenge tasks pupils with designing and building a robot to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering contest.   One of only six primary schools across the country to make it through to the national finals, the team from Lyndhurst travelled down to Telford’s International Centre to compete in the two-day event and, following a tough fought competition, ranked 45th – placing them higher than around a quarter of the teams competing.   Head of Science and Technology at Lyndhurst, Collette Donnelly, who led the children through the competition, commented: “The whole school are so delighted with how well the children have done in the VEX IQ Challenge – each and every one of them are assets to our school and should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.   “It was heart-warming to hear the team speak with such confidence and passion when the judges asked them about their progress and hopes for the future, especially since the vast majority of competitors were much older than our children.”   The team were praised by the competitions organisers for their ‘excellent communication skills’ and ability to successfully liaise with other teams during the collaborative rounds and the experience allowed them to gather ideas for improvement as they look ahead to take on the challenge again next year.   

Netball camps hosted by Kingswood

Kingswood camp

Schools and groups have the chance to take part in fun-filled residential netball tournaments which promise high-adrenaline excitement and adventure. The two-night camps at Kingswood Grosvenor Hall, in Ashford, Kent, are suitable for U12 to U16 age groups and will be hosted by HC Tournaments. The site has recently had a £1 million investment in its sports and accommodation facilities, including a brand new flood-lit sports court which players will be able to put to the test. As well as brushing up on skills and technique and taking part in round-robin matches with teams of a similar age, adventure-seeking students will also be able to enjoy the many exciting activities on offer. These include zipwires and archery, evening entertainment and even marshmallows by the campfire. With three dates to choose from, players and leaders can stay in cosy indoor accommodation or choose to glamp in safari-style lodges during the summer months. Medals and trophies will also be awarded making it an unforgettable experience for all involved.  And parents needn’t worry as their children will not only be putting their netball skills into practice but also learning important life skills such as trust, self-confidence and independence while having fun making new friends in the lively and friendly atmosphere. Jo Coker, partner at HC Tournaments, said: “These tournaments promise a great weekend of netball where our qualified and inspirational staff will encourage interest and talent in a fun and safe environment. “The fantastic facilities at Kingswood Grosvenor Hall, offer a unique learning experience not only on the new flood-lit court, but off-court too. With a range of exciting activities to take part in, the thrill of netball and adventure will blend together for a fun-packed couple of days the players won’t forget.” The 2019 netball tournaments take place Friday 15th to Sunday 17th March, Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September and Friday 4th to Sunday 6th October and are priced at £135 per person. For more information visit kingswood.co.uk  

New Schools Programme at Bekonscot Model Village and Railway

Bekonscot Model Village and Railway

Bekonscot is the world’s oldest and original model village. The 1.5 acre site features an extensive gauge 1 model railway which links seven different miniature towns and villages, all of which represent life in rural England as it would have been in the 1930s. The model village and railway offer a variety of opportunities for learning across the curriculum. They provide an unforgettable experience for children and a unique insight into life, transport and industry from nearly 100 years ago. Famously linked with Enid Blyton, Bekonscot served as inspiration for her story writing and more recently it has often featured as a favoured backdrop for television. For our 2019 season Bekonscot is excited to be launching its full programme of curriculum linked workshops and resources which are offered free of charge as part of the entrance fee. As well as the educational activities and unlimited access to the model village, Bekonscot can also offer groups a ride on our light railway and pre-booked goody bags (small additional charge). Facilities for Schools: Comprehensive pre-visit information pack Lunch storage facilities Play area Accessible toilets Covered and open picnic areas Tearoom and ice cream parlour Souvenir shop Curriculum linked workshops and resource sacks With the exception of the raised walkway, the entire village is accessible for wheelchair users and with plenty of rest spots around the site, it makes for an ideal destination for groups of all ages and abilities. Bekonscot Model Village is conveniently located in the town of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. We are a short walk from the station or a 5 minute drive from J2 of the M40. Free coach and minibus parking is available. School group prices for the 2019 season: £7.00 per pupil Adults free at a ratio of 1:5 with additional adults charged at £7.00 each Train ride £1 per pupil, adults free All workshops and Resource Sacks are offered free of charge as part of the admission fee, but must be booked in advance by contacting education@bekonscot.co.uk or visit our websitewww.bekonscot.co.uk/book-a-school-trip  

Godstone Farm! Discover – Explore – Play! 

Piglets from Godstone Farm!

Godstone Farm is home to over 500 animals, plus cosy play areas and an extensive challenging outdoor play area.  We look forward to sharing 40 years experience of true farmyard fun with your group.  Our schools program has been designed to complement Reception and Key Stage 1 subjects from the classroom. With entrance to the farm for the whole day and an agenda of tailored morning activities we can offer a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor enjoyment.  A dedicated picnic barn is offered to all school visits and 1 adult goes FREE per 5 children. When the kids need to let off steam, our indoor play barn is the perfect place, where children can explore, climbing up obstacles and whizzing down slides.   Set against the stunning back drop of the Surrey countryside is our huge outdoor play area providing a challenge for all ages. Sandpits, climbing frames, swings and slides, all with a twist, provide daring and fun activities for adventurous students. Make sure you leave time for Den Building, navigating the Woodland Maze, riding on the tractor and going back in time with our resident dinosaurs.   With all these years behind us delivering fantastic learning experiences, we are sure everyone, including children, teachers and helpers will thoroughly enjoy the visit. Our structured school visits include:  Entrance to the farm for the whole day A morning of activities with one of our farm team Afternoon free time to explore the farm One free adult per 5 children Free parking with ample spaces for coaches Picnic barn for lunch Activities to choose from include: Tractor ride, meet the animals, pig feeding, horse & pony talk, Farm animal talks, Food (April-July, recommended for Year 2 plus), dinosaur discovery, duck feeding & talk, and minibeasts! We are super easy to get to being located just off J6 of the M25, making a visit from Surrey, London or Kent hassle free.  Being in the rolling Surrey hills we have so much more to offer than just the structured program of activities, we are in beautiful countryside, with stunning views and nature & wildlife all around.  Find out more    

School Trips With LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

School Trips With LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

‘Engaging’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘fantastic’: just three of the words teachers have used to describe their school trip experiences at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort’s ethos is all about allowing pupils of all ages to engage and explore through creative and imaginative play. The Resort’s offer of theme park rides and attractions combined with interactive educational workshops makes it a strong contender for school teachers seeking somewhere engaging to take a school trip.  The resort is an exciting venue for learning outside the classroom and most suitable for Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4 pupils – although there are experiences available for pre-school and younger school pupils (particularly in the DUPLO® Valley area where children can enjoy Brickville, where the landscape is designed for exploring and playing). Schools can use a National Curriculum Map to navigate their way around the resort, making sure they tie in all of their learning objectives whilst they enjoy over 55 rides and attractions. Other top attractions for visiting school groups at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort include Miniland, where model scenes feature nearly 40 million LEGO® Bricks, and the LEGO® 4D Movie Theatre – a 4D film with wind, snow, fire and lighting effects. A LEGO® Brick Submarine underwater adventure ride is also bound to attract the attention of pupils, so don’t miss experiencing the Atlantis Submarine Voyage. Educational offerings  Pupils visiting the park can also partake in one of 12 curriculum focused workshops where hands-on learning is key.  All of the workshops are led by the LEGO® Education Academy Certified Education Team. This means that all workshops are finely tuned to complement the National Curriculum – with a LEGO® twist. Pupils can learn about STEM, English, Art, Geography and History to name but a few. The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort also provides a number of resources on its website to help teachers prepare for their school trip. Teachers can download permission slips to send home to parents and access a Risk Assessment form. There is also information regarding Teacher to Student Ratios and Ride Height & Age Restrictions to assist in pre-planning for the day.   2019: What’s in store for pupils?  English, Geography History, Business Studies and the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) will be covered in the 12 National Curriculum workshops available to school groups next year.  New will be the LEGO® EcoPower workshop, available to Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils. This workshop ties in to Science and Geography. At 45 minutes long, pupils will explore the benefits and negatives of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Pupils will then get to build a LEGO® Wind Turbine which when activated will actually create electricity! Other examples of workshops that are suitable for Primary school pupils include:  The Dragon’s Tale: A Design & Technology workshop for Key Stage 1 that sees pupils design and construct a LEGO® Brick castle for Ollie the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort Dragon! Computer Design and Control: Students will build and programme their very own interactive Robot using the state of the art LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 Sets and Software. LEGO® Robotics: Pupils complete a series of challenges with the LEGO Education MINDSTORMS® robots. LEGO® Forces:This Science workshop investigates how forces such as Gravity and Friction can affect the movement of a Balloon Powered LEGO® model car.  LEGO® Gears and Pulleys: This session focuses on how gears and pulleys work together to move objects including fairground themed LEGO® models. LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort:  Jamie Lawrence – Schools Executive 01753 626236 activelearning@legoland.co.uk www.LEGOLAND.co.uk/Schools  

Learn By Doing At Kidzania London

Children at Kidzania London

Bring the school curriculum to life with a school trip to KidZania London in 2019 KidZania London – the indoor city run by kids at Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush – is excited to announce its action packed 2019 programme, boasting a series of special events for schools who visit KidZania, helping to bring the school curriculum to life.  Activities include: Careers Fair (Wednesday 23rd – Friday 25th January) A three-day event where industry professionals run a series of talks to provide valuable insight into a whole host of careers. The fair will develop the experience of learning by allowing school children to discover ‘a day in the life of’ individuals from a range of brands, including leading partners such as British Airways, Ryman National Enterprise Challenge, The Alan Turing Institute and Fire Education Department. The fair includes: Free workshops around the city Meet and greets with real-life professionals Goodies and information to take away World Book Day (Wednesday 6th March – Sunday 10th March) A three-day celebration of literature, reading and writing, World Book Day will feature discussions, workshops and challenges that include cover design, story-writing, and character building workshops. Promoting a love of reading and various literature-based activities and challenges based around Key Stage 1 and 2 of the English curriculum, the World Book Day programme covers various topics including distinguishing between fact and fiction. Science Week (Wednesday 13th – Sunday 17th March) Dedicated to bringing Science to life, Science Week features a variety of activities designed with Key Stage 1-3 Science National Curriculum in mind. Children can become experts in veterinary care at the Pet Wellbeing Centre, where they will learn to identify and address animal welfare needs, as well as good pet nutrition in Lily’s Kitchen and even perform surgery on a patient in PDSA’s Pet Hospital. Surgeons at the KidZania Hospital will learn how to save a life in the operating theatre. Using specialist medical equipment and tools, the team of young doctors will play an important role in helping patients work towards a quick and healthy recovery. Whilst learning the function of different body parts, organs, survival needs and good health, students will become an expert of the human body. Maths Celebration: It All Adds Up! (May 2019) Preparing children to manage finances in later life, Math Month focuses on teaching children how to earn, spend and save their KidZo currency, plus special Geometry Degrees are available at the KidZania National University. Children who visit the city are given 50 KidZos upon entry and can work various jobs to earn and spend as they pleas, teaching them money management. STEM Fair (June 2019) In collaboration with leading Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths organisations and businesses, STEM week offers a four day programme of activities designed to support key skills needed for Key Stage 1-3 learning.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens – an urban oasis! Be inspired by nature!

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Why is white chocolate white, but milk chocolate brown? How do pineapples grow? Why is biofuel so important? From which plant can both houses and clothing be made? Why do cactus plants look so strange? What is a tenrec? Find out the answer to these questions and many more, as you explore our 4 spectacular glasshouses and 15 acres of flourishing gardens. Here at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, we offer an educational visit like no other. You can explore our unique Glasshouses and experience an authentic rainforest adventure! Then, walk straight from experiencing hot and humid tropical conditions into a desert climate and observe the changes to plants due to the seasons. Then, wander down to the Alpine Yard and Rock Garden to marvel at the beautiful flora found on the Tundra. The Gardens contain over 7,000 different plants from all around the world. Experience the humidity and smells of the Tropical House, look (but don’t touch!) with wonder at the carnivorous plants in the Subtropical House, admire the fruits and flowers of the Mediterranean House, and marvel at the bizarre and fascinating ways that cacti have developed to protect themselves in the harsh environment of the world’s deserts (Arid House). Don’t forget to allow plenty of time, in addition, to wander around the stunning grounds seeing the giant Koi Carp and Victorian Cascade in the Rock Garden, be amazed by the National Bonsai Collection in our Japanese Garden, stop and smell the many herbs in our Herb Garden, be fascinated by our exotic bird collection from all over the world, play on our amazing new Treetops Adventure playground and, you never know, bump into our free-roaming peacocks! Allow us to share the knowledge and experience we have gained over nearly 200 years in our expertly-taught, cross-curricular teaching sessions that will be tailor-made to your age group and topic. Or opt for a self-guided visit where group leaders can lead their own activities. Find out more here