Autumn Programme: Terms 1 & 2

21st September to 18th December 2015

In the autumn our programme focuses on exploring the Garden as the seasons and plants change, learning about the diversity of plant life, celebrating Biology Week 2015, and preparing for Christmas in a green and sustainable way.

 

Mini Explorers - Nursery & Foundation

We would like to welcome young explorers to the Garden, to discover what a Botanic Garden is.  Find Peter Rabbit hiding in the veg beds and see which vegetables are growing.  Spot all the different colours in the Lower Garden to be able to sing a rainbow, and search for mini-beasts near the Bog Garden.  We will sing different songs and rhymes, and include a range of activities to encourage exploration.  So come dressed for the weather and let's go!

Session length: 1 hour 15 mins
Download pre- and post-visit information here
Download a map of the Garden here
 
Available from 21st September until 23rd October

 

Curriculum links Early Years Foundation Stage:

Communication and language - listening and attention
Personal, social and emotional development - self-confidence
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design - being imaginative
 
 

Autumnal Art - Foundation & Key Stage 1

Nature’s colour palette is spectacular in autumn!  Come along to find out how busy our plants are, producing seeds, making colourful leaves and getting ready for winter.  Take a tour around the Botanic Garden, look for signs of autumn and be inspired to create a colourful autumn print to take back to school.  Have a go at our scavenger trail to collect leaves, seeds and seedpods, which you can take away to create an autumn display back in the classroom.

Session length: 1 hour 45 minutes
Download pre- and post-visit information here
Download a map of the Garden here
 
Available from 21st September until 23rd October

 

Curriculum links Early Years Foundation Stage:

Communication and language - listening and attention, understanding
Personal, social and emotional development - self-confidence
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design - exploring and using media and materials
 

Curriculum links Key Stage 1:

Art: use a range of materials, develop techniques
Science Year 1: plants - basic structure of plants
Science Year 1: seasonal changes - changes across the seasons
 

 

Plant Lifecycles - Key Stage 2

Follow the lifecycle of a plant from seed germination through growth and photosynthesis, to flowering, pollination and seed production.  What do plants need to grow, and just how do they do it?  Why do flowers need to be pollinated?  Why do seeds need to be dispersed?  These questions and many more will be answered during our exploration of the Botanic Garden, as we follow the journey from seed to plant to seed again.

Session length: 1 hour 45 minutes
Download pre- and post-visit information here
Download a map of the Garden here
 
Available from 21st September until 23rd October

 

Curriculum links Key Stage 2:

Science Year 3: plants - functions of different parts of flowering plants, requirements of plants for life and growth, life cycle of flowering plants
Science Year 5: all living things - process of reproduction in plants

 

 

 

 

5 Senses - Foundation & Key Stage 1

This hands-on tour around the Botanic Garden enables pupils to use all five senses to engage with their surroundings.  Pupils will smell herbs, taste tropical fruits, listen for natural sounds, find colourful plants and feel a whole variety of textures.  Pupils will visit the steamy rainforest and arid desert as well as having the chance to explore the beautiful Garden outdoors.  We will discuss which parts of our body are linked to our senses, and have a truly immersive experience.

Session length: 1 hour 30 minutes
Download pre- and post-visit information here
Download a map of the Garden here
 
Available all term.  This session includes tasting, so please let us know if any of your students have allergies.

 

Curriculum links Early Years Foundation Stage:

Communication and language - listening and attention, understanding, speaking
Personal, social and emotional development - self-confidence
Understanding the world
 

Curriculum links Key Stage 1:

Science Year 1: plants - basic structure of plants
Science Year 1: animals - parts of the human body associated with each sense
Science Year 2: plants - plants need water and light to grow and stay healthy

 

 

Biology Week:  A Plant’s Life - Key Stage 2

 

 

 

Come to the Botanic Garden to celebrate Biology Week 2015, and find out about A Plant’s Life.  How can plants grow in so many different environments?  What kind of adaptations do they have?  This session will explore how plants in the rainforest reach up to the sun and put up with wet and steamy conditions, how plants in the desert survive with little rainfall and how insectivorous plants “catch” their own food.  Pupils will also have a chance to explore the Garden outside and look for temperate adaptations, and find the oldest tree (which was planted in 1645).

Session length: 1 hour 45 minutes
Download pre- and post-visit information here
Download a map of the Garden here
 
Available from 12th until 16th October

 

Curriculum links Key Stage 2:

Science Year 3: plants - parts of plants, requirements of plants for life and growth
Science Year 4: living things and their habitats - plants in the environment
Science Year 6: evolution and inheritance - plants adapted to their environment
Geography: human and physical geography - climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts

 

 

 

Green Christmas - Key Stages 1 & 2

Explore the Garden to find plants that are traditionally used at Christmas, including British native plants and exotic spices from the tropics.  Look out for leaves, seeds and seedpods, which you will turn into beautiful natural decorations.  Make some to hang on our Botanic Garden Christmas tree, and some to take back to school.  Discuss other ways to be "green" at Christmas including reducing waste, helping wildlife and having a “green” tree at school.

Session length: 1 hour 45 minutes
Download pre- and post-visit information here
Download a map of the Garden here
 
Available from 24th November until 18th December

 

Curriculum links Key Stage 1:

Science Year 1: plants – identify deciduous and evergreen plants, structure of plants
Science Year 1: seasonal changes
Science Year 2: living things in their habitats – identify plants in their habitats
Art and design Key Stage 1: use a range of materials
 

Curriculum links Key Stage 2:

Science Year 3: plants – identify different parts of plants

Art and design Key Stage 2: develop use of materials

 

Our Sessions

  • Each session lasts between 1 hour 15 mins and 1 hour 45 mins, has a maximum capacity of 35 children. 
  • Our sessions fill up quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.
  • The suggested donation for each session is £65.  Please bring your cheque with you on the day of your visit, made payable to: "The University of Oxford Botanic Garden".  By supporting the Botanic Garden with this donation you are helping us meet some of the costs that go towards running our educational activities and ensuring that we can continue to develop new and exciting sessions for schools.
  • The sessions offered in our programme are specially designed for your pupils, and link with National Curriculum topics.  If you wish to have time after your session to stay for a picnic lunch or explore the Garden or Glasshouses, please request this when you book.  Sessions do not include a general tour of the Garden.
  • Teachers are welcome to book a pre-session visit to the Garden free of charge.

 

 

Waste-Free Lunch Challenge 

This is available throughout the year when booking an education visit.  The Waste-Free Lunch Challenge is offered to all groups wanting to stay for a picnic lunch.  The aim of the activity is to have lunch whilst creating as little rubbish as possible.  Children are encouraged to recycle, compost and reuse as many items in their packed lunches as possible.

Suitable for: All Key Stages
Session length: Add an extra 45 minutes to your visit
Download more information here

 

 

How to book…    

Places are limited for all of our school programmes and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.  

Find out more about visiting the Garden with a school group.

Read our notes to help you prepare your risk assessment.

If you would like to make a booking, or if you require further information, please contact:

Kate Castleden and Emma Williams, Education Officers

education@obg.ox.ac.uk 

T  01865 286690

 
 

Primary Teacher CPD training

We offer a range of primary teacher CPD opportunities.  Please see here for more details.

 

A downloadable and printer-friendly version of the programme is available here.