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School workshops at Hardwick and Wharton Park


Our learning programme is designed to encourage children to engage with the natural world, develop their understanding of seasonal change and explore how to protect our wild spaces. Our key focus is igniting curiosity, imagination and bringing learning to life through hands on practical activities that weave into the curriculum.

Summer term

Key Stage Two

Map Skills and Orienteering (Hardwick and Wharton Park) 1.5 hours or full day

Exactly what it says on the tin! This workshop is an energetic introduction to orienteering. Pupils play games and take part in activities which build their mapping skills and introduce the core foundation of orienteering. They then go on our simple orienteering course to develop their map reading confidence.

City Escape (Wharton Park) 1.5 hours or full day

A sinister plot has been uncovered... and we need your help! Can your class crack the mystery of the city's climate change conundrum? Are they ready to spread the word and help protect the world around us? A great workshop that focus' on local climate issues and gives children the opportunity to engage in the debate, overcome challenges and work together.

Water Warriors (Hardwick Park) 1.5 hours or full day

In this workshop, pupils will explore the necessity for healthy and sustainable water systems whilst identifying different water features within Hardwick Park and learning about the nearby river Skerne. They will discover some of the problems facing our waterways from pollution and flooding to erosion and the effect this has on wildlife and their habitats. Practical hands-on activities will encourage the children not only to think of the consequences of environmental issues but also to make informed suggestions about ways to manage environmental impact and conserve and protect the landscape around us by becoming the ultimate water warriors.

Eco - Explorers (Hardwick Park) 1.5 hours

During this workshop children will learn about Hardwick Park's eco-system and habitats. They will discover, identify and classify woodland and pond mini beasts. They will learn about the vital role mini beasts play and how some human actions are having an impact on eco-systems through climate change.

Key Stage One

Waiting for Wings! (Wharton Park) 1.5 hours

Inspired by Lois Elhart's story children will learn about the life cycle of a butterfly and discover about the importance of camouflage and protection from predators.  They will explore the park for signs of insect life, and will have a go at identifying what they find. Children will become plant detectives and uncover what trees and plants make good food, they will learn about a butterfly's role as a pollinator, how to make a butterfly feeder and create butterfly land art.

Who pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall? (Wharton Park) 1.5 hours

Did he fall or was he pushed?  Become detectives and get creative, problem solving together to work out this mystery. Join us as we have fun exploring this traditional rhyme.  During the session the children will find an injured Humpty Dumpty and through some simple activities look for clues to work out the fairy tale culprit. 

Minibeast Explorers (Hardwick Park) 1.5 hours or full day

Pupils learn about some of the mini beasts that make their homes in Hardwick Park. They will be introduced to the idea of habitats and eco-systems, take part in a woodland mini-beast hunt, and try pond dipping activities. Full day participants will be given an opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience by learning about the important role those mini beasts play in our eco-systems and how climate change is having an impact on this. To complete the trip children will also be encouraged to build and develop a ladybird circus through imaginative loose parts play.

The BFG Adventure (Hardwick Park) full day

Children will begin their adventure in Hardwick Park through the eyes of Roald Dahl's classic character the BFG, exploring and identifying the trees, plants and historic features of the park using Gobblefunk. They will use natural materials to build and make before going onto capturing dreams at our very own dream tree. Children will then be taken on a giant hunt through the woods, create dens for Bloodbottler to laze away his days and using scavenged and loose part materials they will create an imaginative feast fit for Fleshlumpeater.

Early Years Foundation stage

Bog Baby (Hardwick Park) 1.5 hours

Inspired by the story Bog Baby, the children will explore the park as they hunt for bog babies, they will participate in pond dipping, creating and making using natural materials and shelter construction. Key themes that will come out during the practical elements will include looking after the world around us and letting go of the things we love.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Hardwick Park) 1.5 hours

Children listen to the story before taking part in a themed outdoor trail that encourages the children to practise their counting skills. They will make hanging butterfly decorations and will learn about the life cycle of a butterfly through the use of woodland materials and end the session with a minibeast hunt.

Superworm (Wharton Park) 1.5 hours

Inspired by the story 'Superworm' this workshop provides an opportunity for children to engage with the natural world through a range of different learning experiences.  First the children will wiggle and worm their way through a series of challenges set by Superworm himself.  They will undertake a mini-beast hunt in the park learning how to identify some of the creatures from the story. Children will discover how special and important bees and worms are to us and the natural world and will make their own seed bomb to take home. To finish the workshop children will collect and use natural treasures and materials to create a banquet for Superworm and his friends.

Costs are based on groups of up to 30 children. Half day workshop  £105. Full day workshop  £180.

For more information contact us.

Children's quotes

  • "That was a great challenge, sometimes challenge is hard, but when you work through it and come out the other side, it feels good. Challenges can be fun!" Faith, St Joseph's RC Primary School
  • "I loved the orienteering task, especially when we had to decode the words." James, Aycliffe Village Primary School
  • "That was the best day ever!" Pupils from St Anne's CE Primary School
Contact us
Parks and countryside education officer
03000 262 845
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