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Teachers' Notes

With thanks to Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside.

 Explore the local parks in the City of Leeds and consider why we need and how we use these green spaces, alongside wildlife.

Curriculum Links

  • KS2: Science: Plants, animals including humans
  • KS2 Geography: Geographical skills (see Activities Ideas below)


Discussion Points

  • Download the KS2 Grid Reference Activity pack for a presentation and printable activity sheets in one. Featuring a grid reference quiz and activity template for 4-figure and 6-figure grid reference.
  • How do we use green spaces? Why do we need green spaces? What do you do in green spaces near you? Use images and stories to talk about mental health, wellbeing, sport, ecology, climate emergency and nature.
  • What does play mean to you? How can you be, or how are you, playful outdoors? What makes an environment playful? How can you make a space more playful? Use the playground and family play images as a starting point to talk about your school grounds or being playful in the local community. Talk about play streets, playing out, and going to the park. How did people use their leisure time in the past? Did they have as much as we do now? What’s different in parks in the past and now? What’s the same?
  • Talk about sensitive and difficult histories. How did the Victorian development of the British Empire affect Leeds? Think about physical impacts, such as goods and trade, and intangible aspects, such as power and influence. What impact would the empire have had on different people in the city, or around the globe? What impact has the British Empire had on today’s society, for good and bad?
  • How could you better use green spaces around school? Where could you plant flowers for pollinators, such as wildflowers? Are there spaces you could leave wild for ‘No Mow May’? Use the images of open fields to begin a discussion about climate emergency and change over time, natural habitats, ecology and bug super highways for science and geography.
  • Use the images of Meanwood or Woodhouse Ridge showing open fields and compare this to Google Earth today. Talk about the expansion of the city, change and development. Use this as the basis of a 'change over time' topic or to introduce chronological understanding.
  • How does public green space differ from private green space? Has this changed over time?


Activity Ideas

  • Go on a nature walk and map your journey through found natural objects. Take a small piece of card, and stick a piece of double sided sticky tape across the card. As you walk, slowly peel the second side of the tape off and stick on sections of natural materials that you find on the journey.
    - Early Years and KS1: What natural objects have you found? Where do they come from? What are they made of? Can you use your map re-tell the story of your journey? Can you go on a bear hunt (literacy link)? Can you match colours together?
    - LKS2: Does the way you stick on the found materials on the card influence how you tell or retell your story? How could you make your map more accurate? Can you works scientifically to make an accurate story map? Can you create other imagined worlds from your map?
  • Make biscuits like Charlie Cake. What shape would yours be to represent something that means something to you? Who would you want to give cakes to and why?
  • Create, or add to, a wildlife garden at school. Plant areas of wildflowers as B-Line 'superhighways' for insect pollinators.
  • Take part in a Citizen Science project, such as the Garden Birdwatch, Big Buttefly Count, or a Garden BioBlitz.