Spider

Garden Design Workshop

This creative and challenging start to our day encourages children to think outside the box in coming up with a design solution for their 'client'. We start by having a circle discussion about what gardens mean to us, why they are important to humans and what sort of things can be found in gardens. Up to three fictitious 'clients' are described and breaking into small groups the team choose their client and starts working on their list of priorities and features for their garden. The teams create a concept board using age appropriate technology and then a short spell outside measuring and estimating using games and challenges introduces them to thinking about size.

Older children will also be introduced to compass directions and relative positions of the sun and how that creates shady and sunny areas. Back in the classroom, the children bring all these elements together to draw up their garden designs on graph paper. Older children are introduced to the concept of drawing to scale and drawing in plan view while younger children are encouraged to draw features at relative sizes to each other on their page. The session culminates in the groups presenting their designs back to the class and age appropriate discussion is encouraged about the thought process behind the designs. If your school is considering designing a sensory garden and so you want to obtain childrens ideas we can tailor the design module so that their own school is the client.

Learning outcomes

RESEARCH themed garden ideas, based on children's prior knowledge and initial discussions

DESIGN gardens to meet the brief, based on their research 

EVALUATE their designs based on their brief and peer feedback

Curriculum content

D&T   KS1
  • Design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
D&T   KS2
  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches and computer-aided design
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
Maths    KS1
  • Recognise and name common 2D shapes
  • Measure and begin to record lengths and heights
Maths    KS2
  • Draw 2D shapes using given dimensions and angles
  • Find the area of rectilinear shapes by counting squares  
English  KS1
  • Answering and asking questions
  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
English  KS2
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • Provide reasoned justifications for their views

PSHE & Citizenship

Considering peoples needs that may be different to their own and learning about the array of benefits that green outdoor spaces and gardening have on human life

Carry out activities in teams with individuals having specific roles


 

Practical Workshops

Our practical sessions are detailed below, they are designed to generate enthusiasm, focus attention, provide rich experience and encourage creative response. Children will be introduced to the topic and content through direct experience, and positive dialogues and interactions between learners will be facilitated throughout. Most importantly, children will have fun while they're learning, and be left with a deeper appreciation of nature and the benefits of gardening. Activities will have slight variations depending on the time of year and are flexible enough to be tailored to the particular needs of your school. For example, if you have a forlorn looking vegetable bed let us know in advance and we will, as far as possible, base our practical on getting it spruced up and planted while making sure we leave behind instructions for its ongoing care. On most occasions, as part of children’s creative response to their experience, a take home item will be made to encourage gardening outside of the school gates.

All our workshops are risk assessed and linked to the national curriculum


 

Incredible Edibles

Is anyone hungry?  It's time to get to grips with growing food!

Our session begins with high energy games that assess children’s prior knowledge of the benefits of diet, exercise and hygiene, and where our food comes from.  We then get more focused, looking in detail and smelling/tasting particular herbs and vegetables that can be grown in school or at home, exploring the benefits of growing them ourselves. Making use of the space you have available in the school grounds or by using pots, the children will plant up a selection of edible plants. Depending on age we will get the children to plant something relevant to take home e.g. cress in an egg shell. The workshop finishes with an inspiring story. 

Learning outcomes

IDENTIFY a variety of edible plants in a garden

DESCRIBE some health benefits of growing edible plants.

EXPLAIN how good health is linked to gardening

Curriculum content

Science  KS1
  • Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene
Science  KS2
  • Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat
  • Recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function
D&T        KS1
  • Understand where food comes from
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
D&T        KS2
  • Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown and processed
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English    KS1 & 2
  • same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Understand the health benefits of growing your own food and also the benefits of gardening in the wider environment

KS1 Using Tools Safely:   Learning names and uses of common garden tools and setting up important health and safety rules

Eco-Schools Topics

School Grounds - creating a vegetable growing area

Healthy Living - environmentally sustainable diet, physical activity, taking notice of the world around you


 

It's Nectar

After an introductory discussion about wildlife in the garden, quizzes and interactive games will teach children about the benefits of bees and pollinating insects and why we need to plant nectar rich gardens.  Children will enjoy close up inspections of flowers and seeds discovering how a flower is made up and where seeds come from. They will learn about the different seed dispersal methods through hands on team games.

Making use of the space you have available in the school grounds or by using pots, the children will plant up a selection of nectar rich plants or engage in some ‘earth art’.  Depending on age the children will make something relevant to take home perhaps making a grass seed head or planting something in a small pot.  

Learning outcomes

STATE the benefits of having wildlife in the garden and the basic parts of a flower

DESCRIBE how wildlife helps pollination and the different means of seed dispersal

EXPLAIN why plants produce flowers  

Curriculum content

Science   KS1
  • Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants

Science   KS2
  • Explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal
  • Describe the life processes of reproduction in some plants
  • Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem, leaves and flowers
D&T         KS1 & 2
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English    KS1 & 2
  • same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Understanding the benefits of encouraging wildlife into our gardens through planting and the wider benefits to humans of gardening

KS1 Using Tools Safely: Learning names and uses of common garden tools and setting up important health and safety rules


 

Water Water

Splash! In this session we get our hands wet and dirty to explore the variety of plant and animal life in water gardens.  

Starting with a led discussion about the benefits of water in the garden and the role of pond plants, children will enjoy fun activities on pond wildlife.  Using game cards and sensory feely games we will explore and compare the lifecycles of animals then go on to study the different types of aquatic plants – describing the features and parts of the plant - leading to a group discussion identifying how each plant has adapted to a specific pond location, i.e. those that are submerged, marginal and free floating.  We then head outside to put our learning into practice – constructing a mini pond from a kit and planting it up, this will remain at the school for ongoing interest and learning.  The workshop will finish with an inspiring story or quiz all about water.

Learning outcomes

IDENTIFY different water garden plants and animals using a key

DESCRIBE the lifecycles of some water garden animals

EXPLAIN how water plants are adapted to their environment and how human lifecycles are similar and different to those of water garden animals 

Curriculum content

Science  KS1
  • Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets)
  • Notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults
Science  KS2
  • Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • Describe the life processes of reproduction in some animals
  • Identify how PLANTS are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution
D&T KS1 & 2
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English KS1 & 2
  • Same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Understanding the environmental benefits of encouraging wildlife into our gardens through diverse habitats and the wider health benefits to humans of gardening


 

It's a Bug's Life

In this session we explore the variety of insects that inhabit our gardens, we learn about the good work they carry out, from pollination to biological control, and why they need shelter. The class will all get involved in constructing an insect hotel within the school grounds.          

Depending on the weather we start outside with ‘Insect Charades’, or other fun activity, where children in groups act out an insect for the rest of the class to guess. We then ask the children to see if they can find any insects that we can all examine and share our understanding of how it benefits the garden and the type of shelter it needs. During periods of bad weather this exercise can be carried out indoors with slides. 

Staying outside as a class we set about constructing a large insect hotel - shelter for spiders, butterflies and moths, beetles and ladybirds - using natural, recycled materials. Children will have fun foraging for suitable items in the school grounds.  Instructions will be given out for making their own small ‘hotel’ at home. (If preferred, as an alternative, children can make their small ‘hotels’ during this activity).

The session is drawn to a fulfilling close when the children are asked to visualise themselves being the insect that’s going to live in their ‘hotel’ – having just awakened from hibernation or emerged from a pupae – and describe how their insect feels on finding their very own secret hotel.

Learning outcomes

STATE what is meant by the word “habitat”

DESCRIBE similarities and differences in the characteristics of minibeasts

EXPLAIN how minibeasts are suited to life in their habitat

Curriculum content

Science  KS1
  • Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats
  • Find out about and describe the basic needs of animals for survival (water, food and air)
  • Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
Science  KS2
  • Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics
  • Identify how ANIMALS are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution
D&T KS1 & 2
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English KS1 & 2
  • same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Understand the environmental benefits of creating diverse habitats to encourage wildlife into our gardens and the wider health benefits to humans of gardening

Carry out sustainable recycling activities


 

Miniature Garden

With this activity we encourage children’s imagination and creativity to flow into the creation of their own mini garden. We learn about the plants we are growing and how to look after them.

Depending on the weather most of this session will be held outside. We start with a fun dynamic game to awaken the children’s enthusiasm to different things that can be found in a garden.  A short spell in the classroom will follow to show examples of miniature gardens and give an insight into what they will be able to construct. We will look at the plants, discovering what they are and the conditions they like.

We then head outside again to roll up sleeves and get started on our gardens. Children will be given the option of creating a slightly larger garden in groups (that will remain in the school grounds) or smaller gardens individually to take home. All gardens will be constructed in containers appropriately sized. The containers, growing medium, plants and a selection of items will be provided but children will also be encouraged to look around them for other suitable materials. 

Instructions on how to care for the plants will be provided.

Learning outcomes

IDENTIFY a variety of plants and how to look after them

DESCRIBE the different elements of a garden

DEMONSTRATE how to model ideas using recycled materials

Curriculum content

Science  KS1 & 2
  • Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants
  • Find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy
D&T   KS1
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates and mock-ups
D&T   KS1 & 2
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English  KS1 & 2
  • same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Carry out sustainable recycling activities


 

Plant Kingdom

garden plotters plant kingdom workshop

What's the difference between a cactus and a daisy? This workshop will explain it all!

We start off with some fun energising games that explore the different habitats around the world. In teams children will get hands on with plants investigating their various parts and how they have adapted differently to survive. Taking this knowledge into the school grounds children will be able to explore conditions there and see what plants are thriving and perhaps those that aren’t!  We’ll then roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty with a planting session in the school garden, understanding why and how to position plants in appropriate locations.

The workshop will finish with a creative session in the classroom drawing and describing the features of some special habitat gardens of our own!

Learning outcomes

IDENTIFY different key plants from around the world

DESCRIBE how water moves around plants

EXPLAIN how different plants are adapted to life in different habitats 

Curriculum content

Science KS1
  • Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees
Science  KS2
  • Discover the way in which water is transported within plants
  • Identify how PLANTS are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution
D&T KS1 & 2
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English KS1 & 2
  • same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Learning about the array of benefits that green outdoor spaces and gardening have on human life.

Carry out activities in teams with individuals having specific roles

KS1 Using Tools Safely: Learning names and uses of common garden tools and setting up important health and safety rules


 

Going Underground

Did you know that 1 cup of soil can hold more bacteria than there are people on the Earth? That’s over 6 billion!.... and it’s just one fascinating fact about the complex ecosystem we call soil. 

If you thought soil was simply dirt, think again!

Our Going Underground workshop will open children’s eyes to the magic of soil and the living creatures within. They will learn through fun interactive games why we need soil and where it comes from. Everyone will carry out a soil testing experiment either using soil from their own gardens or from the school grounds.

Energetic quiz games will focus children’s attention on the differences between a poor soil and a healthy soil and they will learn how to improve soil structure for the health of plants and micro-organisms.  We will explore the wonder of decomposition, specifically looking at the decomposers that form part of the essential life cycle - turning dead tissue into nutrients for new plant growth.

Our workshop draws to a close with an inspiring story about the soil food web or the carbon cycle that will strengthen their learning experience and new found appreciation for the living ‘dirt’ they stand on.

All games and quizzes will be age appropriate.

Learning outcomes

IDENTIFY: the living soil - the decomposers that form the soil ecosystem

DESCRIBE: how soil is made and the different soil textures

EXPLAIN: how we can change a “bad” soil  into a “good” soil and why healthy soil is so important 

Curriculum content

Science KS1
  • Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive
Science KS2
  • Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter
D&T KS1 & 2
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks
English KS1 & 2
  • same as Garden Design workshop

PSHE & Citizenship

Learning about the array of benefits that green outdoor spaces and gardening have on human life

Carry out activities in teams with individuals having specific roles

KS1 Using Tools Safely: Learning names and uses of common garden tools and setting up important health and safety rules


 

Prices and Conditions

All our workshop days are competitively priced at £525 plus VAT with the exception of Water Water which has an additional materials cost of £45 (inc.VAT) for each Velda pond that we leave behind in the school. 

The workshop cost is based on a school day (9am to 3.15/3.30pm) for up to 30 children with the following assumptions:

  • where appropriate we will carry out an initial visit to the school to prepare for any practicals as necessary
  • we will provide all specialist equipment e.g. plants, compost, tools, measuring tapes
  • children should already have access to pens, pencils, colouring pens, rulers and glue
  • it is advisable that children wear old clothes or have aprons for planting as they are liable to get muddy
  • we do not provide gardening gloves, so children should bring if needed
  • we will provide one or two workshop leaders and we expect there to be some of the classes usual teaching staff on hand to assist
  • we would like to have the use of a white board connected to a computer for both us and the children to use as part of the day (please advise if not available) and a flipchart is also helpful for making some notes as we go along but this is not essential
  • we will leave behind instructions on how to take care of the plants we have planted and access to instructions for some of the other practicals we may have undertaken.

We are fully insured and all our tutors are DBS checked.