Outdoor LiteracyBarnes Common is a fascinating social, ecological and historical open space that sits firmly within an urban environment.  The Common and Vine Road Recreation Ground offer some of the most interesting, and in the case of our lowland acid grassland - ecologically rare, habitats in the UK.  

We invite you to join us in our open-ended, open-air, learning explorations.  Our programmes have strong cross-curricular links to current national curriculum objectives and we enjoy working with you to provide an experience relevent to your your specific topic or aims.  Site visits and/or a chat with Sharon, our education officer, are warmly welcomed and strongly recommended.

Our bespoke taster programmes are extremely popular and more appropriate for some learners, including SEN and EAL groups.

Up Close with MiniBeasts

Read about our Policies and Risk Assessments.  Please note: It is the responsibility of the visiting group to follow their own risk assessment policy and bring a first aid kit suitable for the needs of the group.  As stated, site visits prior to attending with any group are welcomed and encouraged.

Cost: There is no charge for education and learning opportunities for the academic year 2017/18.  We welcome enquiries relating to our Key Stage 3+ programmes. Get in touch


Age Group






Arts in Open Spaces

An arts-based approach to learning crosses all curriculum areas, often allowing those with different learning styles to shine. Curriculum linked, this programme offers scope for students to explore and record what they see, hear, smell and feel. It encourages perception and experimentation within our local open spaces through the use of various media.

Art, Science, Geography

Early Years


Nature Explorers: Seasons, Weather, Colour

This popular cross-curricular session invites groups onto the Common once in each season. Through exploring weather (how we feel, what we are wearing), colour (what we can see), texture (what we can feel), and recording our findings in a simple and colourful diary, our Nature Explorers build up a portfolio throughout the year of seasonal changes in their local area, how it affects them, the plants and the animals. Each session finishes by creating an amazing work of natural art!

Geography and History



'Finding Common Ground' (offered with either a Geography or History focus)

We all find it easier to understand large-scale national and global events when we can relate on a more personal level. Using Barnes Old Cemetery as our research site, our history and geography programmes enable students to explore their own sense of place through investigating how local people and events of the past are all a part of the wider picture. 

Maths and Literacy



'Common Denominator'

There is magic in maths which comes alive outside. Children appreciate and engage in this opportunity to work in groups outside the classroom, experiment and investigate with bigger materials.  Help us in our quest 'Finding Fibonacci'!






'Mini-beasts, bugs 'n' stuff'

'Tree Trail Detectives'


BCSI – Barnes Common Scientific Investigators



Mini-beasts, mighty plants - and a bit of mayhem as well!

Can you tell one tree from another, how old or how tall it may be?  Use your detective skills and standard/non-standard equipment to help us find out!

Join our BCSI team. Help us collect, compare and record local data from your school and the Common. Your work will contribute to real conservation records that will help people in the future know more about the habitats, plants, and animals in your local area, and how this changes over time.

Discover, Explore, Compare and Contrast a range of habitats and find out more about our rare acid grassland - and what makes it so special.