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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher

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November 2018

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River studies
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River studies for KS3 & older students

River studies

Ideally during the summer & autumn terms as the river can be very high in March

Arrive at Rushall Manor Farm (The education centre), off Back Lane SU583723, RG7 6DS. There is coach parking.

Typical river day timetables can be downloaded as PDF files. Meander studies depend on whether the school requests and also whether there is enough water in the Upper Pang at the meander site.

  1. KS3 Generic rivers & pond with meander 2017
  2. KS3 Generic rivers & pond without meander 2017

The students are split into groups of 15 led by a Rushall Farm guide and then taken to the River Pang on a tractor & trailer. The Pang is a tributary of the Thames and a typical lowland chalk stream. The farm guides demonstrate both river dipping using kick nets and also measuring techniques. The students then get into waders and carry out their own study, all the children will get the opportunity to measure and dip. The main measurements are the width of the river, a depth profile & measuring flow rate by floating an orange over a set distance. Other measurements that can be taken include the wetted perimeter(KS3 & 4), the gradient (KS4) and bedload (KS4). All equipment such as ranging poles, tape measures, metre rules etc is provided.

For measuring & dipping we generally use a site on the Lower Pang at Bradfield College or Upper Pang at Pangfield.

If a meander study is also required we can also take the students to a meander on a different part of the Upper Pang. In recent years any use of the Upper Pang has very much depended on river levels at any particular time.

We also have access to a number of sites from Bucklebury to Englefield  so comparative studies over the length of the river are also possible for KS4 & A level students

The rest of the day comprises pond dipping (allowing comparisons between the fauna of the pond and river), sweep netting & woodland invertebrate studies. In May, June & July if a school prefers it’s possible to see the bees in the observation hive rather than sweep net.

Risk assessments for all the activities and the various sites can be downloaded as PDF files as can worksheets for river measurements, pond dipping, river dipping, a meander study & chemical testing of both the river & pond.

Downloads

Bradfield College risk assessment

Pangfield risk assessment

Englefield Dairies risk assessment

Risk assessment all sites for school visits to Rushall Farm

KS3 River measurements sheet

Meander sketch Sheet

River creatures I.D. sheet

Pond creatures I.D. sheet

Chemical testing of the river

Chemical testing of the pond