Suitable for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Understand the requirements of survival, food chains and observe real habitats on the nature trail. 

Which season is best for this activity?

This activity can be done at any time of the year, demonstrating different requirement for each season. The session is held outdoors; suitable clothing is required in the winter months. We only work indoors if the weather is exceptionally bad.

Learning objectives and links to the National Curriculum of Study

The session links directly to the National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study (animals, including humans and living things and their habitats) for Key Stage 1 and 2. (https://bit.ly/3GlgU58) . All our sessions are underpinned by detailed lesson plans.  These plans are adjusted to take account of the variations in abilty and skill level across the Key Stages.

Pupils should be taught to work scientifically by:

  • Asking questions and using  their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  • Identifying and classifying
  • Gathering and recording data
  • Observing  closely using simple equipment

Outline of the Activity

We begin with an introductory discussion about what a habitat is and what animals need to survive. We look at the homes on display in the classroom – including examples of man-made habitats. We include basic life cycles of birds/insects in relation to examples of homes.

Discuss food chains – using graphic illustration of producers/consumers. 
Divided into three groups, the pupils carry out three practical tasks on the nature trail.
Looking for invertebrates under logs – gathering and recording data relating to what they find.
Look at the pond habitat and what lives there
Constructing homes, explaining adaptation and suitability of habitat for their chosen animal, or play a camouflage game using artificial creatures to demonstrate survival from prey.
In the event of extreme weather conditions, we have a variety of indoor activities, including a digital microscope where invertebrates can be more closely examined.

Ideas for pre-visit learning

Before bringing a group to do this activity, here are a few ideas to help to introduce the subject:

  • Which animals might make their homes in Richmond Park?
  • Can the children find animal homes in their own gardens? Which animals?
  • Where would wild creatures obtain their water supply?
  • What would be the main source of food for small mammals in a suburban environment?

Ideas for follow-up work back at school

  • Draw up a record sheet for invertebrates found on the day.
  • Make up their own food-chains.
  • Create a hibernaculum/bird nesting box/bat box in school grounds.

Feedback:

"Really well organised and informative! The children realy enjoyed themselves. Thank you to all the volunteers." 

“We really enjoyed the session, great level for Year 4 and a fantastic introduction to our habitats topic.”