Learning outside the classroom this autumn and winter with the RSPB in Yorkshire – how schools can book a session

As pupils return to the classroom after the long summer break, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, RSPB Fairburn Ings, and RSPB Old Moor nature reserves in Yorkshire, invite schools to continue their outdoor adventures in nature by booking an educational visit to these special sites.
Children using binoculars on an RSPB nature reserve school tripChildren using binoculars on an RSPB nature reserve school trip
Children using binoculars on an RSPB nature reserve school trip

It’s a wonderful time of year to experience the RSPB Yorkshire reserves, the turning of the season brings a colourful shift in the nature reserve’s autumnal shades and wildlife.

At RSPB Bempton Cliffs pupils can experience gannets, fulmars and towering cliffs with wild seas.

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At RSPB Fairburn Ings this autumn and winter spot fungi, ripening acorns and chestnuts, and migrating geese, ducks and red poll arriving

At RSPB Old Moor see the reedbeds transform to golden and copper hues, watch migrating wildlife arrive on site for the winter, and maybe even spot barn owls hunting.

Curriculum-linked sessions at these RSPB Yorkshire sites will be led by RSPB education professionals, with half and full-day visits available to book now for autumn and winter 2022 terms.

Abigail Gibbons, RSPB learning officer at Old Moor nature reserve, said: “We’re so excited to help continue pupils’ outdoor experiences after the summer break by welcoming school trips to our RSPB Yorkshire nature reserves this coming autumn and winter.

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"We can’t wait to help pupils discover the incredible hands-on learning that nature has to offer. We feel that school trips are an essential part of education and can have great learning benefits for pupils.

"If you think back to your school days, what do you remember? Friendships, adventures, and the excitement of learning through a school trip."

Rebecca Savage, RSPB learning officer at Fairburn Ings nature reserve, said: “Studies have found pupils retain information better when learning outside, bringing to life classroom learning and benefitting their mental and physical wellbeing.

"Our RSPB school trips also encourage pupils to enjoy a curiosity about the natural world. And help to develop their social and personal skills – growing confidence in working together with classmates and teachers in the unique green spaces that our RSPB Yorkshire nature reserves offer.”

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At RSPB Bempton Cliffs nature-based sessions are on offer for Primary & Early Years, Secondary KS3 and KS4, and A-level students.

RSPB specialists will help pupils of all abilities visiting Bempton explore their fantastic coastline for ecology/erosion, bird identification, food chains and habitats.

Lisa Yarrow, RSPB learning officer at Bempton cliffs nature reserve, said:: “RSPB Bempton Cliffs is bursting with exciting nature spectacles during these seasons. In the autumn pupils can experience seeing short-eared owls, farmland birds and changing of summer to autumn colours..

"And in the winter pupils can enjoy exploring the reserve during frosty mornings with wintering birds. Schools could even book a trip to our RSPB Yorkshire nature reserves during both seasons to experience the magical seasonal shifts on our special sites – a true connection to nature.”

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RSPB Old Moor has sessions for Primary & Early Years students. RSPB Old Moor specialists will help pupils hunt for creatures living in the reserve’s pond, search the meadows for mini beasts lurking in the long grass, and investigate the life cycle of plants in the wood and sensory garden.

RSPB Fairburn Ing offers learning experiences for Primary & Early Years, Secondary KS3 and KS4 pupils. The RSPB team will work together with pupils to discover lots of new things about the nature reserves and the wildlife that calls it home. All RSPB Yorkshire sessions offer a great opportunity to inspire pupils to talk about science and geography, to meet their learning objectives of working scientifically, and to use technical vocabulary in context.

The RSPB Yorkshire nature reserves have been awarded the nationally recognised Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, ensuring that we provide high quality learning experiences and manage safety effectively too.

Lisa said: “Our educational visits can also help benefit SEN pupils - the new visual and sensory experiences available at each of the RSPB Yorkshire nature reserves can deepen their understanding of topics and help them to engage with people and activities outside the classroom.”

To book your school trip visit: rspb.org.uk/schooltrips

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The RSPB also offers a range of activities, resources and opportunities that support teachers to take learning outdoors and inspire students to discover and delight in nature when back in the classroom and school grounds. To find out more visit: rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers

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