|Chiswick Gardens Education Centre|
An exciting new opportunity for local schools and the local community
The trustees of Chiswick House and Grounds will this month unveil a brand new Education Centre. Converted from an old stable, the Centre will be able to cater for up to 35 people at a time, and visits will focus on activities in the Gardens, as well as sessions at the Centre.
It is expected that groups will come with their teachers/supervisors, who will be responsible for them, although the activities themselves will be lead by members of the Education Centre team. A 'visit' will last around two hours and there is a grassed area by the Centre for use for picnics and outside play.
Activity sheets and art materials will be available and students will be encouraged to draw plants and trees, to look at colour and shape in the natural and built environment, to develop architectural drawing skills using the House itself as well as the architectural features of the Gardens. Chiswick House and Gardens are also eminently suitable for activities such as measuring and the exploring spatial awareness.
There will be story telling about the House and Gardens and pictures/maps to look at; and students will be encouraged to research and write about trees and plants through history in the Park, or to connect flowers and plants with their daily lives and their familiar spaces (home and school), or write their own stories inspired by the history of the House and/or Gardens as well as perhaps special features such as individual trees or sculptures.
There will be activity sheets covering sizes and measures for buildings, spaces, gardens and trees, and options to use objects and plants to see how they relate to each other, and opportunities to study how numbers, multiples and patterns are used.
The history of the House and the Gardens will be used to explore geography and travel, especially travel in earlier times. Natural history, from pond dipping and close-up study of e.g. individual insects and plants or parts of plants to the question of plant collecting, the hierarchies of plants, the role and development of insects More complex projects such as the Gardens through the seasons may be undertaken.
The Gardens can also be used for more unusual activities such as map making and map reading, or even basic orienteering practice.
THE KITCHEN GARDEN
Visiting the Kitchen Garden will be part of most sessions, to learn about growing vegetables and herbs, and their use. Separate visits can be arranged to give students practical experience in the garden. The centre will be used by the Kitchen Garden team for related indoor activities, especially in wet or cold weather.