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School visits to Capstone farm country park

Education programmes at Capstone Farm Country Park

Photo of children finding minibeasts at Capstone Farm Country ParkThe park provides a variety of hands-on educational opportunities for groups of all ages and abilities. Rangers are available to co-ordinate and lead activities and visits are tailored to meet the specific needs of each class. All lessons have been designed with National Curriculum Standards in mind.

The ranger-led programme aims to offer teachers the widest possible choice of lesson topics, as well as the flexibility to design their own programme to suit their specific needs and those of their students. The park offers a range of different topics that can be studied separately or in combination. Most run for between 45 minutes and one and a half hours. All materials and equipment can be provided. Some of the most popular topics are listed below:

  • Mini-beasts (April - August). A look at some of Capstone’s smaller inhabitants. In this lesson, students learn about the variety of mini-beasts that live around the park and how their diversity relates to the habitat concept.
  • Pond studies (April – September). During this lesson, students discover some of the creatures that live in Capstone’s freshwater habitats and how they have become adapted to cope with their watery lifestyles.
  • Food chains – work on food chains can be tied in with pond dipping, or explored on a larger scale with any other group of organisms. This subject ties in well with several of our other units.
  • Trees – a hands-on investigation of all things woody. In this lesson, students learn about the variety of trees in Capstone’s woodlands and their importance.
  • Habitats – homes at Capstone. In this lesson, students observe and compare the variety of habitats at Capstone, the organisms within them and the interactions that occur between them.
  • Recycling and decomposers (August – November). This session delves into the fascinating world of decomposers and looks at the important role they play in their environments. Students try their hand at making soil, learn what it feels like to be an earthworm and take part in a fungi hunt.
  • Natural arts and crafts – most topics can be combined with a related arts and crafts session. The children use natural materials as well as a range of art resources to create something for them to take home or back to school.
  • Maps and mapping – a simple look. In this lesson, students collect data and produce an accurate map representation for a short section of footpath.
  • Walks – guided walks may have a specific theme or simply give a broad overview of many aspects of the natural environment.
  • Sensory awareness – this unit helps students to explore the use of the five senses within the natural environment.
  • Human impacts – our impact on the natural world can be investigated through the exploration of a variety of environmental issues. There are also opportunities for learning about woodland management, leisure, tourism and local history.
  • Orienteering – following an introductory talk by one of the rangers, the children navigate their way around the orienteering course, taking in many of the points of interest in the park.
  • Forest Schools – through play, the students learn about the natural environment, teamwork and problem solving. They make items from natural materials such as whistles, picture frames and mallets. Forest Schools involves a school visiting the park on a regular basis. However, some woodland craft activities can be incorporated into one-off visits to the park.

Any school groups taking a ranger-led activity may use the education room free of charge. This can accommodate up to 50 people. Other facilities include a café and toilets, an adventure playground and picnic areas.

For further information or to book a school visit provisionally, please contact Capstone Farm Country Park on 01634 338191 or email rangerservice@medway.gov.uk