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Learning at Mottisfont

Children looking over a bridge at Mottisfont, Hampshire
Children looking over a bridge at Mottisfont | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Rich in history and natural resources, Mottisfont has a wealth of learning opportunities for all stages of development. Schools, home educators and other educational groups are welcome to explore and find inspiration in this special environment.

Our educational offer is under review

We’re currently re-visiting our educational offer, so some of the information on this page might be out of date. If you’re looking to visit with your school or other educational group, we’d be happy to chat through the options with you – please do get in touch via the group booking email below.

Why bring a school group to Mottisfont?

Outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities to get close to nature. The grounds include wild play areas and an outdoor classroom. We can also arrange for an indoor community learning space for your group, depending on availability.

Primary educators can select from a series of free, curriculum-linked teacher information packs and worksheets to help make the most of your visit and we have a year-round programme of exhibitions which can link into curriculum-related activities.

When can we visit?

With the exception of June, we're happy to consider an educational group booking at any time of year. All educational group visits must be booked at least 14 days in advance.

How much does it cost?

Prices for child tickets are available on Mottisfont’s homepage. We recommend the National Trust's Education Group Access Pass, which may be a good use of Pupil Premium Money. The Education Group Access Pass gives schools or education groups free admission and parking at most of the places in our care for a year.

Get in touch about bringing a school group to Mottisfont

To enquire about booking a visit, please contact groupbookings.mottisfont@nationaltrust.org.uk. If you need help or advice before making the booking, please telephone 01794 340757.

We will need to know:

  • The date you would like to visit – it can help at busy times if you have a few options
  • What time you will arrive and have to leave – so we know how much you can fit in
  • How many students and adults
  • The year groups of the students and whether any have specific access or SEN requirements
  • Any specific resources you are thinking of bringing or activities you will be doing
Children creating art from leaves, twigs and bark, in the grounds at Mottisfont, Hampshire
Creating art from leaves, twigs and bark at Mottisfont | © National Trust Images/Megan Taylor

We'll then send you a booking form to fill in.

Our learning group can help you to plan your visit and discuss the following:

  • What you want to focus on
  • What activities you would like to do
  • Lunchtimes and whether you might want to visit the shop

Contact us via mottisfont@nationaltrust.org.uk

Confirming your booking

Once we've received your booking form, you will then be sent a confirmation letter.

The National Trust requires that all schools or colleges planning to visit one of the properties or sites undertake a preliminary visit and carry out their own risk assessment. These visits must be booked in advance and are free for the group leader. Any accompanying adults or children are subject to normal admission rates.

Free learning resources for teachers

Working with the University of Southampton's education department, we have produced a number of free, curriculum-linked resources for primary teachers to make use of when visiting with their groups - see them listed further down this page. As well as information for teachers, there are pupil worksheets for carrying out practical activities.

These will help young students to:

  • Give creative responses to key features in our grounds
  • Carry out scientific investigations
  • Develop map-reading skills
  • Discover some of Mottisfont's varied history

Please don't hesitate to email mottisfont@nationaltrust.org.uk for copies of the worksheets:

A group of school boys crowd and write on round a large piece of blank white paper
Why not make use of our free resources and worksheets? | © National Trust Images/David Levenson

Finding your way with maps and a compass

These resources will introduce the use of a compass and enhance the understanding and use of simple maps. The two worksheets give practical experience of using a compass and map to find specific features. Curriculum links: KS1 and KS2 Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

Making sun prints

This activity encourages children to look really carefully using magnifying glasses and then to draw their chosen leaf. From this they can then enjoy the process of making a sun print. Science enquiry objectives: Observing closely and using simple Scientific Equipment. Identifying and classifying. Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings.

Measuring the flow rate of the font stream

The font at Mottisfont is a natural source of water that flows from an underground reservoir. Pupils can carry out a scientific investigation here to discover the flow rate of the stream. Curriculum link: Scientific Enquiry Objectives UKS2: I can take measurements of time with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat reading and record my own data on a table.

Measuring light and temperature using a data logger

Use data loggers (available from Mottisfont – please ask when planning your visit) to give pupils experience in the use of practical scientific methods, processes and skills. Curriculum links: KS1 & KS2 Working Scientifically

Primary creative activities

These activities offer opportunities for children to explore the grounds of Mottisfont in an engaging and inspiring way while developing observational, creative and evaluative skills.

Sensory trail

Explore Mottisfont with your senses.

Story builder tool

Use open questions whilst following our Mottisfont Wild Play Map (available to collect when you do your pre-visit) to help children build their own stories. Curriculum link: KS1/2 Literacy: Composition - articulating ideas and structuring these in speech and writing.

Using gear mechanisms

Study gears in action at Mottisfont and carry out a comparative investigation. Curriculum link: Forces Year 5. Learning Objectives/Success Criteria: I understand that some mechanisms allow a smaller force to have a greater effect. I can recognise that gears allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

Visitors in the walled rose garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Discover more at Mottisfont

Find out when Mottisfont is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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