Over the summer, we’ve been re-stocking, researching and developing ideas for our workshops - and after a busy end to the last academic year, we’ve been able to look back and reflect on the last 12 months. We’ve welcomed more than 9,000 children to RHS Garden Harlow Carr, who we hope have each gone away with a little bit more love for the world around them and a spark of interest in the world of horticulture.
In the Education Team, we run up to 16 workshops each week during term time for school and educational groups and welcome learners aged 3-18. This means that no day is the same: we could be hunting for minibeasts with a Reception class in the morning, to looking at the effects of pollution on invertebrates with an A-level class in the afternoon. Flexibility and adaptability really is key!
Learning inside and out
We’re very lucky to have an amazing building in which to run our workshops, the Bramall Learning Centre, which is one of the greenest buildings in the country. Of course, we also have the entire garden at our disposal and we try to get outside as much as possible, whatever the weather! With such a huge variety of areas to explore, the possibilities are endless; hunting for fruit and vegetables in the Kitchen Garden, discovering tremendous trees in the Woodland or spotting fantastic flowers on the Main Borders.
Through our workshops, we hope to inspire and engage children with the world around them and the role they play in it. It’s wonderful to see the visiting groups interacting with the environment; looking for leaves, creating art, pond dipping, hunting for bugs, planting seeds, listening for birds and much more. It’s also great to hear that schools use their visit as inspiration for work back at school, something we can help with, with our pre- and post-visit ideas, as well as the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.
Let's go hunting
Our visiting schools also get the chance for some self-guided time to head off and explore the garden themselves. This could be searching for sculptures hiding in the garden with our Sculpture Hunt sheet, using our I-Spy leaflets to see, hear or smell things in the garden, or setting off on a play adventure to the Craggle Top Treehouse or Log Ness Monster.
We really do love to create 'wow' moments for our visiting groups, whether it is seeing how dragonflies emerge after their time in the pond, the giant umbrella-like gunneras lining the Streamside or a glimpse of our resident woodpeckers.
Find out more about our free school visits and come and join in with the fun!