Year 3 pupils from Long Knowle Primary School in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton had an absolutely wonderful experience visiting the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  We are extremely grateful to have received the Hugh Kenrick grant which covered our entry fee to the gardens for staff and pupils, a teaching session for the class, as well as transportation costs.

This term, we have learnt all about plants in our science lessons: we learnt about the different parts of plants, and what their functions are; what plants need in order to grow and stay healthy, and how this varies from plant to plant; and the life-cycles of flowering plants.
In our geography sessions, we have studied Brazil, comparing it to England. We learnt about the Amazon Rainforest and Sherwood Forest, and compared them.

Our visit to the gardens brought our learning inside of the classroom to life!  In the Rose Garden, we discussed why the flowers were brightly coloured.  We talked about how the colours are attractive to insects, which linked to our work in the classroom on pollination and plant life cycles.  One pupil said, “We know that bees land on the flower to collect nectar.”

Before entering the Butterfly House, we talked about the life cycles of butterflies, and made links to pollination.  The butterflies were very interested in our sunhats!   During our garden walk, we observed how different species of plants need different things in order to grow and stay healthy.  We experienced the very hot climate of the Arid House, and inside we saw plants which do not need much water in order to survive.  In the Growing Schools Garden, we made links to the gardening work that is going on at school. The children were able to recognise tomatoes, carrots and lettuces.  Following our visit, we will spend more time in our own school garden, learning how to take care of our local environment.

After lunch, we took part in the Rainforest Challenge teaching session.  The centre teacher asked the pupils to identify the Equator, and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn on a world map.  This was something that we had previously learnt in the classroom through our geography work, and the pupils were very proud to share their knowledge.  The centre teacher then demonstrated to the pupils where in the world the plants in the Tropical and Sub-Tropical Houses are found, in relation to the lines of the earth.  The Challenge involved the pupils reading clues about different rainforest plants, and searching for the plants within the Tropical and Sub-Tropical Houses

On entrance to the Tropical House, we were immediately transported to the humidity of the rainforest! We were astonished to see bananas growing on trees, and to learn about the different uses of the plants inside.  Visiting the gardens was a fantastic experience for our Year 3 pupils.  Thank you for this opportunity.

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Chloe Mason is a Year 3 teacher at Long Knowle Primary School in Wolverhampton.