Experiencing the conditions of a tropical rainforest, admiring the view from a platform 18 metres above the ground and getting up close to carnivorous plants was all part of Year 4’s jam-packed visit to London’s Kew Gardens. We were blessed with a warm, sunny day that made exploring the expanse of wonders to be found at Kew Gardens a pleasure.
The Palm House drew gasps from all as we marvelled at the towering palms, ferns and large variety of trees to be seen stretching towards the glass ceiling. We discovered how Rainforest plants are used to produce medicines, chocolate, coffee, nuts and one tree was even used for brushing teeth!
In the Princess of Wales Conservatory we were amazed at the variety and beauty of the epiphytes hanging from the branches around us and we eagerly searched the bromeliads for any tree frogs that might be hiding in their leaves. We spotted piranhas, poison dart frogs, cat-fish and even, to everyone’s excitement, an iguana sunning itself beside a Pelican flower!
Our final destination was the Marianne North Gallery. Born in 1830, Marianne, a prolific traveller, devoted her life to painting the plants that she encountered on her transcontinental journeys. We were challenged to identify as many different creatures as we could in her paintings and marvelled at the high level of detail and sheer scale of her efforts (there were over 800 paintings!).
Our trip to Kew was a memorable and exciting one. It provided us with the opportunity to get up close and personal to a wealth of flora and fauna and it will act as a springboard for our further learning about the world’s Rainforests.
We will be tackling branching databases in science and learning more about information texts in English.
It would be helpful if the children could read an information text at home with their parents and see if they can identify as many of its features as possible.