Royal Victoria Country Park

School activities

The activities we offer are outlined below, please remember, we can alter any of the activities to suit your needs and if you feel that none of them are suitable please contact us to discuss alternative activities.

Royal Victoria Country Park originally formed part of the Netley Abbey Estate and was farmed for 300 years by Cistercian monks until the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII. It then changed hands several times until it was purchased by the Government in 1856 to build a military hospital. The foundation stone was laid by Queen Victoria who visited the site many times during her life-time. The hospital was the largest purpose built military hospital of its day with 138 busy wards. The main building was finally demolished in 1966 and purchased by Hampshire County Council in May 1980 and transformed into the present country park.

Discover more about the park and its history during this day of activities.

This is a self led day with a number of trails and activity sheets to choose from, Secret Service Missions ( W.X.Y and Z) and Florence Nightingale which are all indoor worksheets in the heritage visitor centre and History and Secret Service trails which take children out and about around the park.

Secret Service Missions

A selection of history games with a secret service theme. Children can work individually or in groups to act as spies and break the secret codes to complete their missions.
Time 1 hour, Key Stage 2 (History and English)

Aim and outcome of activity

To work in groups to use problem solving skills. Children will be able to apply their problem solving skills to new situations and work effectively in groups.

Florence

An activity sheet designed to introduce children to Florence Nightingale’s important work and her connections with the hospital.
Time 1 hour, Key Stage 1, 2 (History, English)

Aim and outcome of activity

To build up children’s knowledge of Florence Nightingale’s role with the site. Children will be able to understand the Florence Nightingale era

Secret Service Trail

This activity tests children’s map reading and orienteering skills. It involves children using a basic map to orientate themselves and locate various points around the park, then decode the hidden clues to solve the mysterious crime.
Time 1 hour, Key Stage 2 (History and English)

Aim and outcome of Activity

To apply children’s map reading and orienteering skills to a real life situation. Children will use their group work skills to navigate their way around the site.

History Trail

Children in small groups follow a simple map to find out more about the park and its fascinating history.
Time 1 hour, Key Stage 2 (History and Geography)

Aim and outcome of activity

To work in groups to use problem solving skills. Children will be able to apply their problem solving skills to new situations and work effectively in groups.

 

Royal Victoria Country Park lies adjacent to Southampton Water and is one of the few country parks within Hampshire with coastal areas and sea views! The foreshore extends from the Main Entrance to Netley Sailing Club and falls within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is a nationally important wildlife site and includes the Lee on Solent to Itchen Estuary. The area is also of international wildlife importance– it is a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The beach has a low gradient and is mainly composed of shingle. The intertidal zone consists of mudflats containing many species of marine invertebrate providing a rich source of food for overwintering and migrating birds such as Oystercatcher and Brent Geese.

Discover more about the park’s rich seashore with this fun day of seashore activities. The day will consist of a 2 hour Ranger led seashore safari session with seashore art and scavenger hunt sheets provided for the rest of the day.

Seashore Safari

Children work in small groups and are given plastic trays and ID sheets to study the shore from the high tide zone to the low tide zone. Most living creatures take shelter at low tide underneath rocks and boulders, but with adult help, children can move these to reveal the animals hiding underneath. This activity provides hands on study of marine life and can show the adaptations of various animals and their food chains.

Time 1 hourKey Stage 1+2 (Plant Unit in Science)

Aim and outcome of activity

To build up knowledge of the seashore and its wildlife. Children will know what plant life and wildlife lives by the Seashore and understand basic food chains and interactions.

Seashore Art

Groups can make ‘art attack’ style art on the foreshore using natural materials.
Time 1 hour, Key Stage 1+2 Art

Aim and outcome of activity

To work as a team to create an ‘Art Attack’ using a variety of natural materials found on the Seashore. Ability to work as a team and understanding of natural and non natural materials.

Seashore Scavenger

Children use sheets to find different objects on the shore including natural and non natural items. Introduces children to sustainability and recycling.
Time: 1 hourKey Stage 1+2 (Science, English)

Aim and outcome of activity

To build up knowledge of the seashore and its wildlife. Children will understand the meaning of sustainability and what their role is in it.

 

A fun packed day looking at different habitats and the adaptations of the different creatures that live in the habitats.

This day includes a two hour ranger led session of pond dipping at Acorns Pond and the instructions and equipment needed to do a self led session of woolly worms and mini beast safari.

Pond dipping

A ranger led session for up to 15 pupils at a time taking an in depth look at the variety and adaptations of pond life. The children will be given demonstrations and instructions on pond dipping and help with identifying the different creatures found and the adaptations that they have for life in the water.
Time 2 hours, Key Stage 1+2 (Habitats Unit in Science)

Aim and outcome of activity

To explore the diversity of life and how it has adapted to its environment. Children will recognise that different organisms will have different adaptations depending on where they live.

Woolly Worms

A short trail or area is marked out and coloured wool is hung on the bushes. The children are asked questions about camouflage and why they think insects are camouflaged. They are then asked to be parent birds and feed their chicks. After they have found all the worms, they talk about which colours were easiest and which were hardest to find. This activity introduces basic food chains and camouflage as an adaptation to the environment.
Time 1 hour, Key Stage 1 (Habitats Unit in Science)

Aim and outcome of activity

To teach children the meaning of camouflage and why it is important. Children will understand why camouflage is important for insects

Minibeast Safari

This activity involves an introductory session to explore which minibeasts live within the woodland such as woodlice and beetles. Children will also learn about their adaptations and life cycles. Children will do a bug hunt using magnifying pots and simple keys to help identify the creatures and then discuss food chains and compare the different adaptations i.e. camouflage.

Time 1 hour, Key Stage 1 + 2 (Habitats Unit in Science, Maths)

Aim and outcome of activity

To teach children about minibeasts and their environment. Children will appreciate the variety of life in a small area and the characteristics of different minibeasts and how they interact.

 

Orienteering Trails

There are two orienteering courses in the park. The shorter course is 1.5km and the longer one is 2.8km both are self led. Packs for schools contain instructions, details of both courses and a colour map and meet and great from Staff (£5 per pack).
Type of Activity: Self Led, Outdoor
Time 1-2 hours, Key Stage 2 (geography)

Aim and outcome of activity

To apply children’s map reading and orienteering skills to a real life situation. Children will use their group work skills to navigate their way around the site.

Meet the ranger

Children can come along and have a 2 hour chat with a ranger to find out what they do and why they do it (£3.50 per child).
Time 1-2 hours, Key Stage 1+2 (PSHE + Citizenship)

Aim and outcome of activity

To find out the role of countryside rangers within open spaces and to realise the part they play within the community. Children will be able to use their communication skills to obtain information about jobs within community.

 
 

Contact

Royal Victoria Country Park
Park Centre, Netley Abbey
Southampton SO31 5GA

Telephone enquiries to
Michele Meek
Education Officer
tel 023 8045 5157