Free School Visits Scheme
Since 1946, WWT has been inspiring generations - providing unique outdoor learning experiences for children, helping them to explore and make sense of our natural world.
WWT founder Sir Peter Scott wanted to bring people closer to nature and help them to connect with the natural environment. He knew this was key to successfully conserving wetland habitats and species, recognising that people are unlikely to protect what they don’t understand.
Today Scott’s legacy lives on. More than 2.2 million school children have now visited a WWT centre for an up-close and personal learning experience with nature. Now we want to offer this experience to thousands more.
To make this happen we launched our Inspiring Generations Appeal in 2012, to help us provide free access to our centres for thousands of school children from disadvantaged areas. Thanks to the fantastic generosity of WWT supporters we soon reached our fundraising target. This enabled us to launch our Inspiring Generations Free School Visits Scheme, available to schools from September 2012.
We want to provide memorable learning experiences outdoors for thousands of school children from disadvantaged areas, where children are among the least likely to have the opportunity to connect with nature, yet are most likely to gain from the positive impacts that result.
Thanks to our Free School Visits Scheme thousands of school children from disadvantaged areas can now visit our centres and take part in a guided learning session outdoors, completely free of charge.
With our Learning staff pupils can go pond dipping, look for birds, hunt for invertebrates, explore wetland habitats and lots more. In the first year of our scheme we aim to offer this experience for free to over 5000 pupils across the UK.
Benefits to pupils and teachers
Enjoyment, inspiration and creativity
- Pupils have fun learning outdoors with us, often experiencing things for the very first time with the freedom to explore and interact with the natural environment.
- “Our visit today was magical! Their little faces came alive when we got back to school and they talked about their best parts of the day.” Churchdown Parton Manor Junior School
- “I caught a water spider and it had a baby spider too!” Shenya, age 6
- “The children learnt so much from this visit. As a school from east London, they're not used to seeing nature, it was an extremely worthwhile and unique experience for them.” Sandringham Primary
Knowledge and understanding
- Our learning sessions provide pupils with real life examples related to what they're learning in school. From food chains to ecosystems, our sessions help pupils to develop subject knowledge and deepen understanding.
- “It was a wonderful and memorable learning experience. It really engaged the kids and their understanding of mammals has definitely improved.” Meadlands Primary School
Attitudes and values
- Spending a day outdoors with nature can help pupils to develop positive attitudes towards living creatures and the natural environment.
- “They are far more interested in bird life now, particularly feeding the birds from our school feeding station.” Ynysddu Primary School
- “I liked feeding the bird and it tickled!” Mikey, age 8
- “The children learned how to show respect for living creatures. They have been learning about Buddhism in Religious Education and this added to their understanding of respect.” Holmleigh Primary
For more information
To see in more detail what schools have experienced through our Free School Visits Scheme, click on the links below:
- Queen’s Manor Primary School
- Churchdown Parton Manor Junior School
- Ynysddu Primary School
- Holmleigh Primary
If you're interested in visiting us through our Free School Visits Scheme, click on the link to your nearest centre below:
- WWT Arundel Wetland Centre
- WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre
- WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre
- WWT London Wetland Centre
- WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre
- WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre
- WWT Washington Wetland Centre