Schools at Westwood
All our activities are designed to meet National Curriculum requirements and each subject area is given next to the activity with the appropriate key stage that the activity is aimed at. Activities are very flexible and can be tailored to your needs. One or more activities can be undertaken during your visit but time constraints will limit the amount of activities. Worksheets are available to download and print off if you wish to use them but please do remember to bring clipboards and pencils with you on the day. If a worksheet is available for the activity it will be stated at the end of the description.
Please also note that we are always open to suggestions about new activities to meet your curriculum requirements.
This activity is played just like ordinary bingo, but with objects from nature instead of numbers. As the children walk through the Reserve they look for items displayed on their bingo card, marking each item they spot on their card. The child to fill their card first wins. Science KS1
Squirrel Nut Hide
Children play the role of squirrels hiding their winter nut supply. Later in the day they are asked to return and collect their nuts. The number of nuts successfully retrieved is then discussed with reference to how and why squirrels cache food. Science KS1
Playing the role of a hibernating woodland creature, children are given a set amount of time to collect enough food to survive the winter. They then make their own hibernacula. This activity is a fun way to explore why animals hibernate and what they need in order to survive. Science KS1 and KS2
Woodland Bug Hunt
This is a longer event consisting of three related activities. Science KS1 and KS2
Meeting a Tree
Children learn about trees and the creatures that live in them. The group is divided into pairs and take turns to put on a blindfold and be led by their partner to a tree. They feel the tree, exploring the bark, branches, leaves and roots until they think they know their tree. After being led away they take the blindfold off and have to find their tree again. This activity explores the ways in which we use our senses to recognise the world around us.
Children search for minibeasts in the leaf litter and tree canopy. This activity compares the adaptations of the creatures that live in trees and explores the food chains involved.
Using things found in the natural habitat around them, children create pictures or sculptures relating to bugs. This activity encourages the children to look more closely at the minibeasts found on the Reserve and can be coupled with a discussion of insects and their body parts. (also relevant to Art and Design)
Children make a pair of eyes on paper or cardboard. They find a face in a tree and using their eyes tell a story about what that tree may have seen. This activity also offers a chance to explore the history of the site. It may be easier if children prepare their eyes in advance of your visit. English KS1 and KS2
I am a tree!
Children work in pairs to explore a specific tree and use their numeracy skills to estimate its age and height and guess which percentage of the surrounding woodland is made up of that type of tree. Maths KS2
Children then ‘build a tree’, acting out the roots, heartwood, sapwood, leaves and bark. This exercise can be used to show children how water and minerals are transported within a tree and how it gets energy from the sun. Science KS2
Children are given a list of different objects to find in the Reserve, based on their material properties (for example sticky, hard, shiny). Science KS1
Animal Estate Agents
This activity focuses on the positive and negative impacts we have on wild animals, as the children consider the habitat requirements of a variety of animal species. A concluding discussion can cover topics such as relationships between animals, food webs and competition for resources. Science KS1 and KS2
Build a Bird Nest
Children build a nest using natural materials they find on the Reserve, for example twigs, mud and straw. However, they are permitted only to use a pair of tweezers or tongs, representing a bird’s beak, to complete the task. Science/Art and Design KS1 and KS2
Children use sweep nets and pooters to find meadow minibeasts, examining their habitats and their adaptations to the environment. They also explore the plants growing in the meadow. The variety of colours discovered can then be discussed so that children can learn more about how plants and animals adapt to their environment via colour, for example attracting insects, warning signals and camouflage. Science KS1 and KS2
Children sit quietly in their own space for 10 minutes and record the different sounds they hear. They then count the number of natural and unnatural sounds heard. This activity can also explore why certain animals have good or poor hearing. Science KS1
A short trail is marked through the woodland, along which pieces of coloured wool are hidden to represent caterpillars. Children play the role of blue tits, finding the caterpillars so they can feed their young. To extend this exercise, coloured moths can be hidden along the route and children work in teams to find the most moths. This activity introduces the basic principles of food chains and camouflage. Science KS1
Pond dipping is a fun activity that appeals to all ages and can be adapted for all key stages and a variety of curriculum areas. By searching for creatures in the pond children can learn about how they adapt to their environment, the complex life cycles of a pond, or the numbers of different species that exist there and how this relates to the food chain. They can also learn the basics of wildlife surveys by examining a particular species and recording their findings.
(Available spring and summer terms only)
Fruits and Seeds
Children think about how plants spread their seeds and go for a walk through the Reserve to find fruits and seeds. They learn about how these different seeds are dispersed then pick their favourite to explore in more detail. Science KS1
Ten man-made items are hidden along a short trail through the woodland. Children must spot the items and mark them on a map, discussing which were easiest to find and why. They then discuss which items they think were once alive and which ones are artificial, and which they believe would decompose the quickest. This activity introduces children to the use of camouflage as an adaptation to local environment, whilst encouraging them to look more closely at the world around them and think twice before littering. Science/Geography KS1 and KS2
Children are given a colour palette and asked to find something from the natural environment that matches particular colours. This activity introduces children to the importance of colours in nature. Science/Art and Design KS1
Children are given a list of items to find in the Reserve and discuss which ones were easy to find and which were difficult or impossible to find. This activity introduces children to how the environment changes with the seasons. Science KS1 and KS2
Children work in small groups to produce a scale map. They accurately map the position of trees along a transect line using graph paper, a tape measure and a ruler. Geography KS2
Children follow directions left by smugglers several hundred years ago, to find a hidden treasure. This activity teaches compass use, and geographical terms and symbols. Geography/Maths KS1 and KS2
Working in small groups, children use a map of the Reserve to locate marker posts. At each post they find an answer which must be matched to a question on their activity sheet. Geography KS2
Children follow a trail through the Reserve solving mathematical clues along the way. Each puzzle must be solved in order to move on to the next one. Geography/Maths KS1
Working in small groups, children use a map to locate missing lines from a poem. They must then decide upon the correct order of the lines in order to complete the poem. There are two trails available to suit varying abilities. English KS1 and KS2.
Who Am I?
Children work in pairs, taking it in turns to wear a headband depicting a woodland creature. They then ask their partner questions in order to guess which creature they are. To make the game more challenging, cards detailing habitats or life cycles can be used. This activity teaches children in more detail about the creatures found in their local environment. Science KS1 and KS2
Points of a compass are marked on cards and placed at the appropriate locations to form a large square area. Different wind directions are shouted (for example, ‘South-Easterly’) and the children must pretend to be blown in the correct direction (in this case, North-West) Geography KS2
Bird and Bat Boxes
Working in small groups, children build their own bird or bat boxes using pre-prepared materials. Different designs can be used to demonstrate the nesting requirements of specific species. The completed boxes can then be taken by the children to place at school or home and any nesting birds or bats can be observed. Design and Technology/Science KS2
Children act out different levels of the food web to demonstrate how pollutants can pass through and bio-accumulate in higher predators. Science KS2 and KS3
Food Chain Race
Children work in teams and are given the jumbled elements of a food chain. The first team to put their food chain in the correct order wins. Science KS2