If you would like to see news about what we’re doing this term, have a look at Secondary Newsletter Autumn 2011 

Here are regular programmes for Key Stage 4.  

Lifecycle of Flowering Plants

Using microscopy and flower dissection explore the main stages in the lifecycle of flowering plants to include all aspects of pollination, fertilisation and germination. Follow the growth of the seedling plant, through vegetative stages to maturity, flower production, seed formation and dispersal

Life in Ponds

Investigate the interdependence of organisms by exploring our freshwater ecosystems. By collecting and identifying fresh water animals from our dipping pools, pupils will discover how different animals move, breath and feed. The information pupils collect, together with support material provided by us, will enable classes to return to school where they can construct food chains and webs, build up ecological pyramids and simple energy flow diagrams.

Pollution Indicators

This double programme investigates air and water pollution. Pupils will investigate biotic factors such as lichnes and fresh water invertebrates, and abiotic factors to measure water quality such as pH, temperature, conductivity and O2 levels. The information they gather on the day will be backed up with support material for you to use back in the classroom at your school.

Ecological Field Studies

Using field study techniques such as random quadrat smapling and transects, pupils will use our Waun Las National Nature Reserve, to investigate the differences in diversity of organic wildflower pastures compared with intensively farmed eutropic meadows. This could include a comparison between terrestrial and fresh water ecosystems if required. The information they gather on the day will be backed up with support material for you to use back in the classroom at your school.

Plant Adaptations

How have plants evolved to cope with different climates across the planet? Why do some have hairy leaves or bright red undersides or smell like rotting flesh? What is convergent evolution?

Explore our Great Glasshouse, Tropical House and ornamental gardens to find out how mediterranean, tropical and temperate climates have affected plant adaptations over millenia

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What On Earth is Sustainability?

This workshop explores the diferent aspects of sustainability, the issues we need to engage with and how we can all make a difference to our sustainable future. It emphasises with pupils that their decisions count. Combined with the Sustainability Trail, this is ideal for Welsh Baccalaureate.

Sustainability Trail

Have a tour around the garden to look at different aspects of sustainable development and how we as an institution address these important issues and minimise any negative effects. Combined with the ‘What on Earth is Sustainability’ programme, this is ideal for Welsh Baccalaureate.

Plants and Medicine Through Time

Find out about the history of medicine and the important role that plants have played in this. Pupils will discover the major cultural and scientific breakthroughs, from medieval times to modern day, that have led to cures for disease and a better understanding for the need to promote good health. Using the Physicians of Myddfai exhibition and Apothecary’s Hall and Garden, explore the development of medicine through time.

Design and build a raft using only natural materials found at the Garden that will carry a grape down the 200 metre rill and save it from being juiced. This hands-on activity is great for problem solving and skills development. It can be used as part of a Design and Technology course or as a fun add on to any of the other programmes on offer.

Environmental Art

Pupils can come and create transient pieces of environmental art that help them think about the natural world and their place within it. Inspired by the work of artists such as Tim Pugh and Andy Goldsworthy, pupils will have the opportunity to design and construct a piece of art using natural found materials from around the Garden. We encourage pupils and teachers to bring cameras to take pictures of these pieces and of other artwork around the Garden.

Food and Food Miles

What is the environmental impact of a typical weekly shop? This programme will raise pupil awareness of the local and global issues, both human and environmental, that affect the food we buy. Using the Garden’s economic plant collections, pupils will find out where and how their food is produced and will be provoked to think about the ethical and environmental choices open to them.

Leisure and Tourism

As a major tourist attraction for South Wales, the Garden is a important factor in the economy of the region.  Pupils will have the opportunity to research visitor services, corporate hospitality, health and safety, maintenance, education, volunteer co-ordination retail sales and marketing. They will do this by talking to key members of our staff team.  

 Self Led Group Visits

The Garden has become a highly popular venue for art projects and for creative writing and poetry. The beauty of the Garden and the global significance of our conservation work provides a stimulating and authentic environment for pupils to engage in creative interpretation of the Garden.

Schools can come as self-led group for a variety of activities, some of which might be inspired by our Art Gallery exhibitions, seasonal visitor trails linked to our plant collections or arrange a tour under our Great Glasshouse to discover how this iconic and sustainable building operates.