Key stage 1 activities at Alfriston Clergy House

A class of school children sitting down for a workshop

Built in 1350, the Clergy House has many layers of history to discover and can offer exciting learning opportunities for students of all ages. The house, garden and surrounding area provide the ideal setting for cross-curricular activities. Workshops can be led by the property volunteer team or your teacher.

House and Home focuses on different aspects of the property such as architectural features and evidence of change, what it would have been like to live in the house during different periods of its history, and the role of the Trust in saving the building. These can involve hands-on learning such as dressing up and role-play, picture trails and artefact handling.
 
Where the Wild Things Are looks at the unique mix of habitats in the garden and at how a diverse range of wildlife has adapted to live there. Activities can include pond-dipping, a mini-beast hunt, bird feeder recording and a treasure hunt. We can also look at the life cycles of different animals and at how the garden is managed to promote wildlife.
 
Huff and Puff draws inspiration from the story of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ to look at the materials that have been used in the construction of the house: a building made from straw, sticks and bricks! We look at thatch for the roof, wattle and daub for the walls, and the brick fireplace and chimney, which transformed life at the Clergy House.
 
Mr McGregor’s Garden begins with the stories of Beatrix Potter – a celebrated benefactor of the National Trust – and looks at the how the Clergy House garden is managed for the benefit of both people and wildlife alike. The children can get hands on in the garden and consider what plants need to grow, the gardener’s calendar, healthy eating and how pests can be managed in the garden.
 
Storytime in the Garden draws inspiration from the beautiful country garden at the Clergy House. Working together, with the help of characterful animal puppets, the children compose and tell their own stories. The topiary garden, apple orchard and herb garden are amongst the ‘small worlds’ which can stimulate the imagination and provide a magical setting for storytelling.
 
I Spy on the Tye! is a ½ mile guided walk of about an hour around the famous ‘Tye’ at Alfriston, looking at the fascinating old buildings which surround the village
green. The children are encouraged to look at the unusual shapes of windows, doors and roofs, the different types of brickwork patterns, and at how these ancient buildings are now used by the village community. There is also the chance to play
‘poohsticks’ on the White Bridge, get up close and personal with wildflowers and butterflies in the water meadows, and look out for mute swans, grey herons and little egrets beside the river.
 
A Tale of Two Churches is a ¾ mile guided walk of about an hour which takes the children to St Andrew’s, one of the largest parish churches in Sussex, known as ‘The Cathedral of the Downs’, and then, by contrast, leads them across the river to the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lullington, reputed to be the smallest church in England. The site at Lullington affords spectacular views across the valley to the White Horse at High and Over and the sea at Cuckmere Haven.
 
Call us on 01323 871961 to find out more or e-mail us at Alfriston@nationaltrust.org.uk