Educational Visits

There are few places that are as easy as Usk Castle for schools to visit. In a town with a thriving rural life museum and a rich history dating back to pre-Roman times, a whole day can be arranged to cover many aspects of curricular topics.

The castle is fun for children of all ages to visit, have a picnic and do different activities. For the price of a small donation to the castle charity, hours of entertainment are at hand — no formal material is provided as each group will have their own topics and activities to explore, but there are a few suggestions below. Toilets are available for booked visits.

Pre-school

We are in an ideal situation for playgroup picnics. Try our teddy bear hunt. Why not get the children to design teddy invitations, make up stories about teddies or collect certain items.

Use the lovely surroundings for storytelling, hide and seek or make up other games or activities.

Primary

The Castle is suitable for local history studies, including Houses and Homes at KS1. Usk Rural Life Museum has a trail around Usk available for KS1 and KS2 from the Museum.

A full days package can be arranged incorporating the Castle, Town Trail and Museum on an era to suit your curriculum requirements. The Castle site also makes an ideal backdrop for Drama and Literacy. Why not write poetry? Have fun with scavenge hunts and trails. Visit the Castle to think about the countryside and think about how to care for it. Hunt for minibeasts and create your own, an ideal way to link art, science and the countryside. Use fieldwork and enquiry skills on site and get your pupils to use their senses to explore the environment! There are plenty of opportunities to practice numeracy skills; measuring, counting, tallies, frequency and symmetry. Estimate height and solve problems.

Key Stage 1 - Teddy Bears for Science and Art

Get your pupils to make teddy themed invitations. Bring them and their teddy to the Castle and think about what it would have been like before people came and cut the woodlands down.

Ask them to find things; a certain shaped item, a leaf, stick etc. Use a trail of paw prints to think about what we, and bears, need to stay alive. We all need food (Plants), Air to breath, Water to drink and somewhere to live (Shelter). This makes up PAWS.

Key Stage 2

Literacy - Poetry Trail

Explore the Castle and grounds while searching for lines of poetry. Gather them together and see if you can put them in the right order and complete the poem.

Numeracy

Measuring, counting, frequency, tallies, and symmetry, all of these can be done on a visit to the Castle. Use clues to explore the estate, make up numeracy trails and problems to solve. Estimate the height of the towers, measure the length of the walls, use Pythagoras’s theory.

Science and Geography

Take time to put fieldwork and enquiry skills in to practice. Identify plants and mini-beasts. Why not do a ‘mirror walk’ and see all the things you normally miss. View the tree canopy, as you’ve never seen it before.

>Art

Create a mini-beast. Collect leaves and twigs and see what you can identify, or let your imagination take over.

Secondary

Historical studies for KS3 Wales and Britain in the Medieval World c.1000 – 1500, the site loans itself to an ideal local study of the impact of the Normans and changes to the Early Modern Wales c.1500-1760.

The use of locally accessible historical sources means the Castle provides easy access for your students. The site is ideal for Geographical work on Weathering, Erosion and Settlements. Again it provides a dramatic setting for literature, drama and art. Why not use it as a stage for a Shakespearian Play? There are plenty of opportunities for science work, fieldwork and enquiry skills, sketching and drawing.

Students will find a similar freedom to explore this unique and lovely place, whether for its history and archaeology, its scenic qualities for art and drama, or peaceful atmosphere for poetry and creative writing.

Informal visits

We welcome visits from all groups and societies, whether we provide suggestions for activities or you just wish to experience the lovely atmosphere that the Castle has to offer.

Disabled access

Anyone with walking difficulties may take their car up the middle track-way to the top of the hill and park by the grey Tardus. There is a level way, ‘ The Bridal Path’, to walk into the castle through the wooden gate, which is also suitable for accompanied wheelchairs.

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