Group day visit - Horton Kirby Environmental Centre

Activity type:
  • Activity day

Inspirational outdoor learning and activities at Horton Kirby Environmental Centre.

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Day visit to Horton Kirby Environmental Centre

If you are looking for an engaging, truly hands-on day exploring nature or reliving the history of this unique venue then why not spend a day with us? Unlike other environmental centres, Horton Kirby is managed by fully-qualified teachers who will ensure a fun but safe and educational day - we will get your children learning in an inspiring and authentic environment.

Our day visits offer learning experiences with a real focus on ‘doing’ and very little sitting and listening. They include River Study Days, Nature Days, World War II Time Travellers, Victorian Time Travellers, Settlements and Rocks Day - see below for further details.

Our highly experienced team can also tailor the learning experiences to your specific needs.

To book your visit or discuss your ideas contact us:

01322 863 302

HorKirCntr01@theeducationpeople.org

Find out more about our days:

"There is no better way to learn about rivers than being knee deep in one!"
Year 5, Bapchild and Tonge CoE Primary School, Sittingbourne, September 2018

Key Stage: 2
Programme of Study: 

Geography

  • Describe and explain key aspects of physical geography, including rivers and the
    water cycle.

Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical
    features in the local area.

Content
The day begins with a lively introduction to the field study skills that the children will be applying at the river. Equipped with their own discovery bags, the children complete a five minute walk to the river, looking at physical features on the way. After gauging the flow of the river with a quick game of pooh sticks, the children will study photos of the immediate environment in order to ascertain how the physical and human features have changed over time. The children will then enter the river at two sites; each time measuring the flow and depth, and using their observations to explain why these measurements change throughout the year.

At midday the children walk back to the Centre for lunch.

In the afternoon the children complete a series of 'hands on' activities related to the River Darent. In pairs, the children create their own land on which they develop a river. This river they alter through human interference. A second activity involves the children using microscopes to investigate the permeability of rocks, in order to help explain how this property of the rocks in Horton Kirby affects the flow and depth of the river.

Finally, the children will experience an engaging presentation which shows the entire journey of the River Darent; showing how human and
physical features have changed over time.

One of the key aims for the Geography National Curriculum is that: ‘A high quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.’ We know that is exactly what this day offers!

"Excellent learning opportunities with hands-on activities. The children had smiles on their faces all day! Many of the children said it was their best school trip ever!"
Year 5, Roseacre Junior School, Maidstone, September 2018

We can tailor our activities to suit your particular learning objectives. So, whether your children need to learn more about animals (naming, life cycles, food chains, evolution, etc.), plants (naming, identifying parts, life cycles, etc.) or the habitats in which they live, we can ensure that the activities that they will do will not only address this learning, but will be extremely engaging and exciting for all the children.

We have years of experience of teaching all different aspects of British wildlife to children from Reception all the way through to Year 6. All you need to do is tell us which aspects of learning you want the children to do, and then we will do the rest.

We also have amazing facilities indoors; microscopes, our own night-time camera images of animals in our wildlife area, taxidermy of mammals and birds, fossils, etc.

Beyond our centre, and only a five minute safe walk away, we also have access to some terrific habitats. Throughout most of the year we are able to take the children into the River Darent; a great location for children to catch and study fish, molluscs and insects.
The nearby meadows give the children an opportunity to use proper sweep nets to find a range of interesting invertebrates, as well as identify a host of more unusual plants.

Finally, we can also use a large woodland area; great for children to find and identify a wide range of native British trees.

"Our annual ‘Rocks Days’ are always incredibly enjoyable, fun and educational. Mr Berry’s passion for all things geological really inspires the children. The days act as a great hook to get the children enthusiastic about their science learning. Plus, Mr Berry is hilarious."
Year 3, Woodlands Primary School, Tonbridge, September 2018

Key Stage: 2
Science Programme of Study:

Rocks

  • Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their
    appearance and simple physical properties.
  • Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are
    trapped within rock.

Working Scientifically

  • Asking relevant questions
  • Using different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions
  • Making systematic and careful observations
  • Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
  • Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
  • Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Content
This is an incredible outreach opportunity for schools. Over 1,800 children have already been lucky enough to participate in this day.

The day is jam-packed with learning and fun from start to finish. Our fully qualified teacher with years of experience of teaching primary children will definitely engage your children through incredible resources and a plethora of images and incredible stories and facts.
Throughout the day the children will learn in pairs owing to the wealth of resources that our teacher will bring to your school.

At the beginning of the day the children are sent on an imaginary journey into the Earth; discovering what it is like as they travel further into our amazing planet. After constructing a model of the layers beneath their feet, they will explore a range of rocks; testing for hardness and performing close observations with our microscopes. Following on from this, the children will be able to explore a large quantity of minerals.

The next part of the day will allow the children to discover more information about fossils. They will be able to handle a large range of real fossils, as well as make their own ones which they can take home at the end of the day.

To take children’s understanding of the rocks around Britain even further, they will be challenged to create a variety of scientific models to illustrate the processes that create rocks; sedimentary layering, heating and pressure, and exploding volcanoes!

In addition to all the hands-on learning, the children will be told about some of the great geologists, and will be directed to where different rocks can be found in our country.

"A really fun. exciting day.  We really got to know Horton Kirby."
Year 3, Barrington Primary School, Bexleyheath, October 2018

Key Stage: 1 and 2

Programme of Study:

Geography


Key Stage 1

  • Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality
  • They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

Place Knowledge

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.

Human and Physical Geography

  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
  1. Key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and  weather
  2. Key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop

Geographical Skills

  • Use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right] to describe the location of features and routes on a map
  • Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

Key Stage 2 Geographical Skills

  • Use the eight points of a compass, four and six figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

Content
The day starts with an interactive introduction to Horton Kirby and map reading. The children study a simple map of Horton Kirby and identify the physical features in and around the village. Using their own maps, the children are asked to describe journeys around the village. The children are then informed that they will be looking at how to develop the village in the future. The children will then be issued with badges to show the role that they will be performing; town planner, older people, young people, young family, or a person with physical disabilities.

Equipped with their badges and maps, the children are led around the village looking for challenge pots that have been hidden earlier on. When the children discover a challenges pot, their accompanying adult is provided with a challenge sheet to use with the children. Each of these challenges will ensure that the children are aware of both the human and physical features of a settlement and how these affect the lives of those that live there. During this activity, a break will be taken in order that the children can play some directional games (e.g. capture the flag) on the local playing field.

At midday the children return to the Centre for lunch.

In the afternoon the children have another opportunity to develop their use of maps and directional language. Each group will be provided with a map of our wildlife area on which ten golden pine cones have been drawn. Using these maps, the children try to locate the cones.
Finally, the children take it in turns to guide their adult around the wildlife area, trying to locate as many cones as they can in five minutes.

Having completed their outdoor activities, the children will be taken indoors to begin to construct their own maps. This session begins with the children helping to construct a large map of Horton Kirby on the floor; using road names and basic map symbols. In pairs, the children will be challenged to create their own 3D map of Horton Kirby using building blocks. The children will then be asked to use particular building blocks to create the Horton Kirby of the future; choosing the services, schools and recreational features they think the different people who live in Horton Kirby would like. The children are then provided with a drawing of footsteps, which they use to guide their friend around the map; talking about what that child would pass and how this would be beneficial to their lives.

"Fantastic and engaging day enjoyed by all! Thank you!"
Year 6, High Firs Primary School, Swanley, October 2018

Key Stage: 1 and 2

Programme of Study:

History

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Key Stage 1

  • Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time
  • They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms
  • They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events
  • They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented
  • They should be taught about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
  • They should be taught about significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Key Stage 2

  • Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study
  • They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms
  • They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance
  • They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources
  • They should be taught about a local history study
  • They should be taught about an aspect or theme in British history that extends their chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

Content
The year is 1940 and the newest batch of evacuees arrives in Horton Kirby. Looking around the village, many of the children realise that life in the country during World War II might not be all that they had imagined. Within moments of their arrival the air raid siren sounds, blaring its noise across the land where women and prisoners of war toile in the fields. Presently, the German Dornier bombers emerge in formation across the blue autumnal sky, desperately trying to avoid the barrage balloons and the shells fired by the Bofor guns lined up behind the same houses where the evacuees will bed down for the first time, clutching their teddy bears and anxiously awaiting their first day in their new schools.

The next day comes too soon for many of the evacuees. With a sense of great interpretation they walk beneath the yew tree that has stood
over the local village school for eighty years. Taking their seats behind the worn wooden desks, they await the arrival of the head teacher, who by all accounts is not to be messed around. On the chalkboard the lessons of the days are clearly outlined; reading, writing, and adding coins, measuring length, nature, plane recognition and first aid. Suddenly a cry goes out. Outlined in the sky is the silhouette of a land mine, gently drifting to earth attached to its parachute. For the second time in such a short period, the siren sounds and the children walk in an orderly fashion to the concrete air raid shelter that has been hastily erected as a result of the dramatic increase in German activity. ‘If it’s not V1’s, incendiary bombs, five hundred pound bombs, it is the land mines,” curses Mr Tanner, who after being head master for the day will then be out on the streets performing his duties as the captain of the local Home Guard. Huddled fifty bodies to a shelter, the children bravely attempt to continue with their studies, hoping that soon the all clear will sound and they can go looking for some wartime souvenirs; maybe even some incendiary bombs to explode in the nearby woods!

All of the above happened in Horton Kirby. Being equipped with the original school and air raid shelter, maps drawn by local residents who were children in Horton Kirby during the war and a plethora of artefacts from the period, we are in a position to offer children a unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of children who were living in the village during the 1940’s. Wearing a badge of one of these children, each of your children will be led around the village, looking for where bombs fell, planes were shot down, fields caught on fire, games were played, and buildings were damaged by stray barrage balloons. They will also experience a 1940’s lesson and play 1940’s games on our playground. And of course, no trip would be complete without the sound of the siren and time spent in our air raid shelter before fighting a ‘fire’ with a stirrup pump and lying on the bunk beds in our Anderson shelter.

“It was informative, fun and the children had a great time. Mr Bonner was absolutely amazing!”
Year 5, St Mary's School, September 2018

Key Stage: 1 and 2

Programme of Study:

History

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Key Stage 1

  • Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time
  • They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms
  • They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events
  • They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented
  • They should be taught about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally
  • They should be taught about significant historical events, people and places in their
    own locality.

Key Stage 2

  • Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study
  • They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms
  • They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance
  • They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources
  • They should be taught about a local history study
  • They should be taught about an aspect or theme in British history that extends their chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

The year is 1900 and children arrive at the local school house, the sound of the bell still echoing in its tower on the roof of the ‘long room’ that will soon be crammed with at least eighty bodies, already hot and sweaty from the time spent either labouring on the land or crawling amongst the humid and dangerous conditions that are to be found in the local paper mill. Standing solemnly next to their wooden desks, each child awaits their fate, whether that be an entry into the book for a prize at the end of term and eventually their name on the scholarship board that looms ominously over the class, or, more likely, an early caning, or even complete humiliation through the wearing of the dunce’s hat in the corner of the room. A hand inspection is soon followed by the scratching of chalkboards and the drone of times tables and verses from the headmaster’s favourite poems. Lunch time provides some respite; a chance to spin tops on the playground, bowl at the chalked stumps, or even have a quick game of pooh sticks at the river where the local corn mill’s wheel turns and the baker awaits his next bag of flour. Across the fields the smoke of the steam train weaves it’s way over the trees and drifts adjacent to the new viaduct whose massive legs are planted next to the pub where the workers of the paper mill will later enjoy a quick drink before returning to their overcrowded homes. The train soon arrives at the Home For Little Boys. The destitute children from London descend the steps and are led to their quarters, where they will soon learn to be boot makers or even coopers.

Your children, as time travellers, will be supported throughout the day in their quest to uncover what life was really like for children during that era. We will make full use of our authentic Victorian classroom to deliver a lesson that will be received with some degree of bewilderment and interpretation. Our collection of artefacts, including the original school log, will be considered by the children as evidence of the period. After an opportunity to nose around our entire building looking for clues as to how the rooms and grounds were used, the children have a chance to play a variety of Victorian games on the playground.

Finally, the children will use a Victorian map and photos of Horton Kirby to investigate the village, standing in the places where we can tell stories, gross, sand funny, of what happened at points through this era. Clues about characters (including a famous actor) can be found
through our detective work in the local graveyard surrounding the church.


Join us in dressing up as Victorians and have a unique experience of history from a time of huge significance to Britain and the lives that we live today.