For Key Stage 1 and 2 teachers, parks are an easily accessible and rich resource for areas of learning, including, historical, geographical and social understanding, and understanding physical development, health and wellbeing. For young children, parks are places of fun, activity and discovery, and applied projects that involve visiting them will be a memorable experience.
For Key Stage 3 and 4 teachers, parks can be the focus of a compelling learning experience, spanning the curriculum, and which develops students’ personal learning and thinking skills. Engagement with these vital open spaces will help young people appreciate their community value and how parks contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Using parks also underpins the government’s ambitions for The Children’s Plan, realises the expectations of the government’s Every Child Matters agenda and reinforces the aspirations of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto.
The following activities are supported by extensive resources that can be used on an interactive whiteboard or printed off for use in a classroom. Teachers will be able to personalise them for children of differing ages and levels.
Specific curriculum links are detailed in the introduction of each section.
In addition to the activities above, here are resources to use in the classroom or on a visit to a local place to assist with learning more about historic parks and gardens.
Exploring historic parks is a suggested teaching sequence with practical activities that can be adapted for any key stage. These will also help leaders of groups such as cubs, scouts, brownies and girl guides to help members achieve their badges.
Exploring Parks Activity Sheets are downloadable activities for shared exploration of a park, suitable for families with young children.
The Gallery area contains a large archive of images for downloading and using in the classroom which tie directly into the activities provided. Also available is an Illustrated Glossary which provides images and definitions for dozens of garden history related terms.
Park Explorer: London Parks Discovery Project Park Explorer has been developed by the London Parks and Gardens Trust, with the generous assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, to provide information and education resources based around London's rich wealth of parks and open spaces.
The Great Plant Hunt This exciting project will encourage children to explore the natural world around them and join other schools in the biggest ever school science project. Forming part of the Darwin 200 initiative, The Great Plant Hunt invites primary school children to follow in the footsteps of Darwin by going on nature walks in and around their school grounds. They'll find out more about plants and in the process learn key scientific skills.