Why not use this wonderful local resource to extend your children’s knowledge and put their classroom learning into a real context
The Reserve’s educational programme is managed by the Education Organiser who liaises with schools and junior community groups in the preparation of visits. Your visits will be led by our knowledgeable team of volunteers, who are committed to giving the children first hand experiences to enrich classroom learning,
All visits are offered free of charge and any interested parties may contact the Organiser for information and arrange a pre-visit tour if required.
Who do we cater for?
The Reserve’s educational programme is open to all age groups with local Primary Schools being particularly frequent visitors. We can take one class per day (about 30 children) but if you have a large year group you may need to book 2 sessions. However, the Reserve welcomes visits from older students at high schools, colleges and Universities and is keen to engage further with these age groups.
Visits to the Reserve can support teaching at various key stages of the National Curriculum but also can complement students’ learning on GCSE A/AS level and BTEC courses, particularly in Biology, Environmental Science and Geography. The Reserve has also provided a useful study area for undergraduate and postgraduate research projects If you are interested we are happy to discuss future projects.
The Reserve also encourages visits from Scout and Guide groups providing activities appropriate for achieving badge awards. We also cater for Brownies and Beavers etc on evenings during the Summer months’.
When can we come?
The Reserve opens exclusively for schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays but other days may be possible for small groups by special arrangement. Please bear in mind, however, the Reserve is open to the public on Wednesdays and habitat maintenance volunteers are active on Mondays and Fridays.
What will it cost?
The Reserve enjoys support from Natural England and can, therefore, offer all education visits free of charge. Unfortunately this does not cover transportation costs to and from the Reserve.
Visiting parties will be required to complete a Natural England Evaluation Form on completion of the visit as part of the arrangement.
What activities can you provide?
The Reserve has many diverse habitats as detailed at Habitats and Species all of which can be made accessible during visits. Our day always starts with a “walk round”. During the walk we will visit different hides and observe the water birds in their natural environment. We may be lucky to see additional animals, migratory birds, insects and amphibians as we move through the different habitats.
After lunch the children will have opportunities to experience 3 additional activities. These activities will depend on the season, weather conditions or the age of the children. They may include:-
Pond Dipping -always a very popular activity. The Reserve has a large pond exclusively for educational purposes (see image top right). Nets, containers and identification aids are all provided on site.
Making Simple Bird Feeders to take home and hang in your garden.
The Honey Bee – An enlightening talk from the Reserve’s resident bee expert with a sweet taste at the end!
Wildflower Meadows – concentrating on members of the pea family both cultivated and wild. The session examines seeds, flower shape, pod formation and dispersal.
Bird Watching – identification of our common garden birds at one of the Reserve’s feeding stations. Opportunity to use binoculars provided by the Reserve.
Mini Beast Hunt – opportunity to search for, catch and use magnifiers to examine mini beasts – count the legs and decide if it’s an insect!
The Reserve tries to be as flexible as possible and if visiting parties have any other activity requests or suggestions we will try and match your needs. Prior to your visit please read Structure of a Typical Day which provides further information and timings for the day.
What else do we need to know?
Safeguarding – Group visit organisers, when calculating staffing ratios, should be aware that Rodley Nature Reserve Trust does not require any of its volunteers to be DBS checked.
The Reserve is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all but it is a natural environment with steps, uneven paths, nettles, ponds etc. and children will be warned of the dangers as the visit proceeds. Many of the paths are wheelchair friendly and children with physical difficulties can be accommodated. Please discuss when booking. Handwashing facilities are available in the Visitor Centre and toilets. Anti bac gel will be used after pond dipping. We advise a pre-visit to the Reserve during which you can carry out a Risk Assessment and become familiar with the site.
Staff and pupils should wear appropriate outdoor clothing including sturdy shoes or wellington boots – we would advise against sandals!
Teachers/Group Leaders will be responsible for the children’s behaviour throughout the visit and should understand how to behave on the Reserve and always follow the Country Code.
Animals and Wildlife
There are no farm animals on the Reserve and direct contact, therefore, is extremely unlikely.
Staff/Pupils undertaking pond dipping activities will be required to thoroughly wash their hands immediately after the activity has finished.
Booking a Visit
Please complete the Enquiry Form below.