Learning for life with real experiences at Calke

It's fun to learn outside the classroom © Gillian Day

It's fun to learn outside the classroom

Take a look at the sessions  we offer - from nursery to KS2, there's something for everyone to learn.

Nurs, Rec and KS1: a Calke bear hunt
Explore the outdoors on an expedition into Calke Park. Search for the Calke bear, find the ice house and discover wildlife that lives here. Follow the trail that leads to the hiding place of the Calke bear.

Rec and KS1: the hungry caterpillar trail
Ssssh - listen to the garden whispering. Feel your way, follow your nose. Eye-spy the colours of the rainbow and see what the hungry caterpillar can find to eat. A sensory experience in a Victorian garden.

KS1: home, sweet home
Step back in time and hunt for clues to discover similarities and differences between homes today and in the past. Children explore the rooms at Calke, handle household objects and meet a character from the past.

KS1: mini-beast safari
What lurks under stones and logs? Join our expedition to search for the caterpillars, beetles, woodlice and more. Includes mini-beast hunting using simple identification sheets, counting and art.

KS1 & 2: how does your garden grow?
Where do vegetables come from and how do they grow? Children explore the gardens and discover plants that grow here. Enjoy a quiz, tastings and storytime.

KS1 & 2: habitats and adaptations
Discover weird and wonderful creatures that live in various habitats in the National Nature Reserve, Calke Park. Find out about adaptations that enable them to live in this environment and the food chains that connect them. Includes bug-hunting, games and exploration of this fascinating park. Bring your wellies.

KS2: the Victorians
Children become explorers and discover the Victorian eccentricities of Calke. Focusing on Victorian life, activities can include a tour of the house, role play, handling sessions and meeting real characters from the past.

KS2: create a Calke Abbey mystery
Calke mansion is a source of objects and atmosphere, where pupils' imaginations are stimulated. Children have opportunities to discover, gather ideas and extend vocabulary, by active learning - ready to create a piece of writing back at school.

KS2: every picture tells a story
Pictures are brought to life as we explore their hidden meaning. Observational skills, speaking and listening, and role play are developed as we build our own picture of images. Children create their story of a particular painting.

KS2: pond safari
Focus on the water environment, including pond dipping and artwork. What kinds of animals and plants live in and around the ponds here? Your challenge is to explore and record what you find. Discover aquatic animal and plant adaptations - use keys to identify your catch.

Tailor-made sessions can be arranged to accommodate individual requirements. Please email for further information