For some venues, school visits make up a large proportion of visitor numbers. They are an essential way for many venues to communicate their key messages to children and young people and a way to build relationships with local communities. Although guided visits give the personal touch and are, in most cases preferrable, this time of cut-backs and rationalisation forces us to think more creatively about how we can engage our school audiences.
Self-guided school resources are one way to help alleviate resource pressures on very squeezed staff time. But they still need to be well planned and thought out with attention to the needs of the audience.
We have recently developed a suite of resources for various Woodland Trust sites across England and the national Nature Detectives website, examples to download at the bottom of the article.
How can we help teachers plan their visit?
Good quality advice for schools on your website is essential for giving teachers the confidence to use your site and the key information they need to plan.
Q. How can you make it easy for teachers to plan a visit to you site?
Like any audience, it helps to think about the particular needs and expectations of teachers planning a visit. Providing things like the 'What to wear' sheet that teachers can tailor and send home with pupils with visit information help to make sure pupils come prepared for their visit.
What resources can we provide online?
We have just finished writing and creating an educational resource package in partnership with the My Learning team. This aims to give pupils and teachers easy access to online resources about artists and their work at Hackfall (Woodland Trust) so they can build their own lessons and learning. Browse the resource. Research into teacher use of My Learning showed that teachers don't follow a resource or group of resources through as a set very often; they grab what they need to build their own lessons, worksheets and resources.
Also see our article on reviewing your school visits.
Thinking of developing a self-guided trail for schools? Bag yourself a copy of our Trails Toolbox now.
|Woodland Trust Intrepid Explorers Journal.pdf||1.88 MB|
|What to Wear on a Visit to Woodland Trust Hackfall.pdf||692.69 KB|
|Secret Life of Trees Woodland Trust Nature Detectives handout.pdf||1.08 MB|