A chance encounter
I was running along the camel trail late last year when I bumped into the year 5 / 6 primary teacher from our children's local village school. When I asked her what she was up to peering along the river bank she explained she was looking for a good place to come with the children as a day trip to bring their study of river and ponds to life. "Why not bring them down to Coombe Mill" I suggested, we have lakes, streams and the river Camel.
A school trip was developed
It was the perfect answer, we exchanged worksheets, the children continued with their study in class then out went the letters for a trip to Coombe Mill to see how much they could really discover. They arrived armed with clip boards and descriptions of beasties to identify, homemade nets from cane, tights and wire and yoghurt pots to capture their wildlife.
They were rewarded with plenty of pond skaters and dragon flies together with unknown beasties which they draw on their clip boards to identify back at school. The focus of their time was around the top end of the old trout lake which turned out to be perfect.
Well it wouldn't be a school trip without one managing to fall in!
After completing the pond work Farmer Nick added to the morning with a trip around the farm on the tractor. They all had a magical morning up close with the animals.
I love the way the hands go up as Farmer Nick takes over as teacher. It could only be a school trip!
See the rest of their farm adventures on video here. They really were a pleasure to take round
Back at the house it was relays to the bathroom and utility for hand washing before they tucked into my homemade cookies and fruit in our kitchen whist discussing all they had experienced here at Coombe Mill.
It must have made an impact on the children as now after any school cooking class, they safe all the vegetable scraps for Dotty and her piglets to enjoy and hand them to me to take at the end of the day.
I have a feeling it won't be the last school trip we host!
You can find plenty of helpful worksheets on the education page of our web site from foundation stage through to Key stage 2, including the pond life sheets the children were working on and how to make the dipping nets they used here on the lake. http://www.coombemill.com/education