Primary Schools

Student-Centred Curriculumn-Based Education Activities
Discover Schools

Primary Schools

Each year we welcome thousands of Primary School students for School Tours and Discover Primary Science & Maths (DPSM) Days. Research shows that nature connection through outdoor play, learning and adventure is invaluable for the developing child and our woodland environment is the ideal setting.

We will work with you to put together a memorable day for you and your students. We have lots of exciting adventure activities to choose from along with our SESE (Social, Environmental and Scientific Education) curriculum-based activities. Primary School Programming is available September-June. We book up fast for School Tour season so get in touch to secure your preferred date and preferred activities!

As an accredited SFI Discover Centre, our DPSM activities focus on the investigation skills, the scientific-method, active data collection and problem-solving. Participation in these activities can go towards the Awards of Science and Maths Excellence.

Outdoor Learning Activities for School Tours

Please see below options for your group, to book please email your preferred date, package and number of students to info@discoverypark.ie or call 056 4440707. ***Please note that bookings will not be considered confirmed until completed booking form has been returned and deposit taken***

 

  • For a Full-day choose 2 options from A-F below
  • For a Half-day choose 1 option from A-F below

 

We can cater for school groups of all sizes but minimum size/payment is for 20. Contact us and will work with you to put together a fantastic day out. Some activities are only available to certain class/ages.

Primary School Packages

COURSE AVAILABLE FROM FEB 20th 2023. BOOK NOW!

Estimated Duration: 90 -120 minutes

Price: €16 per person

Age: 2nd – 3rd Class Can Climb One Level
         4th-6th Class Can Climb Three Levels

      Be amongst the first to experience our brand-new High Ropes Course, coming Feb 2023! This is our latest, greatest flagship activity, providing new thrills and a fresh climbing experience! There are three levels of games and challenges, and multiple routes through the course to try out! Places on this course are expected to fill up so get your class booked to avoid disappointment. *We highly encourage at least one staff member to take part in this activity (free of charge).

Close-toed shoes essential.

Estimated Duration: 180 minutes

Price: €20 per person.

Age: 3rd-6th class (1.2m height minimum, 120kg max weight)

Test yourself against our two-level high-ropes course, the Octagon. Learn the skills needed to master this climbing frame in the sky, perfecting the skills needed to traverse both levels and choosing from multiple paths and games on the course. Follow this up with your choice of Boating craft: Pedal boats or canoes to make this an exciting and memorable physical day out. Close-toed shoes essential.

* Please note: Zipline is not available for Primary School Tours unless all students meet age (12 yrs) & height (1.2m) requirements.

Estimated Duration: 150 minutes

Price: €18 per person.

Age: Juniors – 2nd Class

An action-packed day! Students become little adventurers on our Junior Woodland low-ropes course and get active on the Bouncing Net. Add a choice from our wonderful Nature Activities below for some science-based excitement, then finish up with some fun time at the Timber Tumbles Playground! This package makes up an ideal half-day on its own, or can be chosen along with another package to make up a full day of activities.

Nature Activity: Choose one of the following:

Water Scientists: Dip for freshwater invertebrates in our river and learn about animal adaptations (wellies required)

Nature Trail with Scavenger Hunt : Follow our woodland trails for an adventure to learn about the animals and plants of the forest

Woodland Bug Detectives: Find and identify the many invertebrates that live beneath the forest floor

Close-toed shoes essential.

 

Estimated Duration: 120 minutes

Price: €12 per person

Age: Juniors – 2nd Class

An action-packed day! Students become little adventurers on our newly-expanded Junior Woodland low-ropes course and get active on the Bouncing Net. Then finish up with some fun time at the Timber Tumbles Playground! This package makes up an ideal half-day on its own, or can be chosen along with another package to make up a full day of activities.

Close-toed shoes essential!

 

Estimated Duration: 120 minutes

Price: €12 per person

Age: 2nd class – 6th class

An outdoor package that includes Team Challenge: work with your group to solve outdoor puzzles, build social skills and triumph over our fiendish puzzles as our staff take the group through a series of challenges designed to test your teamwork! This is paired with Archery, a chance to test your physical skills with a bow and arrow at our newly-expanded woodland range.

Estimated Duration: 120 minutes

Price: €12 per person

Age: Juniors – 6th

Choose two from our range of curriculum-linked science & nature activities:

Water Scientists: Become a river animal expert (wellies & change of clothing required). Students will visit the River Deen to carry out kick-sampling. Study and classify the invertebrate animals that live in the stream and learn how this can tell us how clean our water is.

Nature Trail with Scavenger Hunt : Wander the woods to find clues to nature’s treasures. Learn how to identify common woodland species of all kinds. A great way to explore the park and expand students’ knowledge of Irish wildlife. Depending on the age group, we tailor the content to suit and may include an introduction to invasive species in the woodland (e.g. Laurel, Rhododendron), the impact of humans on the landscape and our Leave No Trace Policy.

Woodland Bug Detectives: Students may use pooters, sweep nets, beating trays, cryptozoic traps and other equipment to capture, identify, record and release woodland invertebrates and other flora and fauna. Depending on the age group, a tally record system may be used to record and classify the ‘mini-beasts’ and the concept of adaptations in species will be introduced.

Fossils And Dinosaurs: (2nd class+) Learn about the park’s prehistoric past in this new session. Features a classroom session where students handle real fossils from our collection, and a visit to the prehistoric section of our museum to learn about the creatures that lived here during the Carboniferous period.

Creative Map Making: (2nd class+) Get creative while learning basic map-reading skills. Students learn the basics of how to use and interpret maps, then get creative with found materials in the forest to create their own personal maps.

Primary School Individual Activities Prices

(Primary School Saver Rates quoted for groups of 20+)

Estimated Duration: 30-45 minutes

Price: €7 per person.

Age: Juniors – 2nd Class

Close-toed shoes essential.

We have made major renovations to the Junior Adventure Course in 2022: the course has been extended by 200% with new obstacles and opportunities for the little ones to climb!

The Junior Woodland Adventure Course was specifically designed to encourage small children to become more active and adventurous in a woodland environment.

Made of natural materials, traditional rope and Larch wood, it is a series of low-risk challenges where children balance and steer their way through the course. It is situated 2 feet from the mulch covered surface.

Why not book the Junior Woodland Course alongside the Bouncing Net as part of our combo?

Estimated Duration: 30-45 mins

Price: €7 per person

Age: Juniors – 2nd class

Close-toed shoes essential.

The Bouncing Net is the newest addition to our Junior Play Zone located in the Elf & Fairy Village.  This fun activity is suitable for Juniors to 2nd Class, and like the Junior Woodland, it is designed to encourage small children to become more active and adventurous in a woodland environment.  Get bouncing!

Why not do the Junior Woodland Adventure Course and the Bouncing Net together as part of our Combo package?

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €7

Age: Juniors – 6th Class

A guided walk of the woodland incorporating a scavenger hunt with other nature-based activities. An inquiry-based learning approach is used as students are tasked with observing, identifying and recording a selection of common plants, animals and other natural objects. Depending on the age group, we tailor the content to suit and may include an introduction to invasive species in the woodland (e.g. Laurel, Rhododendron), the impact of humans on the landscape and our Leave No Trace Policy.

Curriculum Areas:
PRIMARY

  • Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (Geography, Science, History)
  • Discover Primary Science and Maths (Living Things, Materials, Environmental Awareness and Care, Natural Environments)
  • Physical Education

Skills Used:
Observation, Analysis, Identification, Recording, Investigation, Communication, Teamwork, Sensory awareness.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €7

Age: Juniors – 6th Class

Our Water Scientists session  uses a problem-based learning approach to determine water quality using aquatic species as indicators. In a shallow area of the River Deen, students will use a sieving technique, to collect, examine and identify indicator species of water invertebrates using classification keys before releasing the ‘mini water beasts’ back into their natural habitat. From the types of water invertebrates recorded, students will try determine the river’s water quality. This activity is suitable for all class groups. Active teacher participation & group monitoring in the water is essential.

Please note: This activity is weather dependent and may not be possible if water level is too high on the day. An alternative activity will be arranged. Wellies and change of clothing essential).

Curriculum Areas:
PRIMARY

  • Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (Geography, Science, History)
  • Discover Primary Science and Maths (Living Things, Environmental Awareness and Care, Natural Environments)
  • Physical Education

Skills Used:
Questioning, Observation, Capture and Release techniques, Recording, Analysis, Classification, Investigation, Reasoning, Communication, Teamwork.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €7

Age: Juniors – 6th Class

An exciting habitat study of the plant and animal life in our woodland which is adapted to suit all class groups. Students may use pooters, sweep nets, beating trays, cryptozoic traps and other equipment to capture, identify, record and release woodland invertebrates and other flora and fauna. Depending on the age group, a tally record system may be used to record and classify the ‘mini-beasts’ and the concept of adaptations in species will be introduced.

Curriculum Areas:
PRIMARY

  • Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (Geography, Science, History
  • Discover Primary Science and Maths (Living Things, Environmental Awareness and Care, Natural Environments)
  • Physical Education

Skills Used:
Questioning, Observing, Analysis, Classification, Investigation, Recording, Communication, Selection of Sampling Techniques, Teamwork.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €4

Age: 1st – 6th Class

The Coal Mining Exhibition comprises a  tour through Castlecomer’s coal-mining past. The exhibition is an interactive multi-media display that takes the visitor on a journey through time.

Starting with the formation of the coal 300 million years ago, it brings the visitor through more than 300 years of coal mining history to the closure of the mines in 1969. The tour includes sections on the Carboniferous origins of Castlecomer’s coal, as well as as the important prehistoric animal remains discovered in the 19th century, as well as the human history of working the mines in more recent times.

For more information about the museum, including a link to download the Coal Mining Museum App, click here.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €7

Age: 2nd – 6th Class

This activity introduces students to basic map reading skills such as symbols, direction, topography and scale. A variety of maps will be shown to highlight the uses of maps, to identify different natural and man-made features in the environment and to encourage a sense of place.

Students are then tasked with creating their own visual representation of a map as part of a small team using materials found in the woodland. Once the map has been created, students will then explore and interpret each other’s maps before introducing and presenting their representations to their classmates in a short ‘show and tell’ exercise.

Suitable for 2nd class upwards.

Curriculum Areas:
PRIMARY

  • Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (Geography, Science, History)
  • Mathematics
  • Visual Arts
  • Discover Primary Science and Maths (Environmental Awareness and Care, Natural Environments)

Skills Used:
Geographical Investigation Skills, Questioning, Observing, Imagining, Analysing, Measuring, Estimating, Expression, Sense of Place, Reasoning, Spatial Awareness, Communication, Teamwork.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €7

Age: 2nd – 6th Class

Those thrilled by prehistoric creatures will enjoy our Fossils & Dinosaurs, which draws from the incredible story of the fossils finds in Castlecomer in the 1860s. Students will get to handle real fossils, visit the prehistoric section of our museum, and learn how one of the most important Irish contributions to palaeontology happened right here! Find out why Ireland has lots of Carboniferous rock and fossils, which dinosaurs have been found in Ireland, and much more.

Estimated Duration: 45-60 mins

Price: €5

Age: 2nd – 6th Class

This is one of our most popular activities for breaking down barriers and getting a class communicating and learning about each other in a fun and energised way. It involves our trained and motivational instructors delivering a number of games specifically devised to to enhance communication, coordination and problem solving.

Boost team dynamics and build class spirit through this activity which promotes communication, planning, physical and strategic thinking.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €8 per person

Age: 2nd – 6th Class

Schools visiting Castlecomer Discovery Park can enjoy our newly-expanded archery range, located just beyond the elf and fairy village.

Our trained instructors will give you a crash course in how to unleash your inner Robin Hood. Learn the skills needed to hit the bulls-eye!

Did you know we have Children’s Bows – these are sized for our little Robin Hoods to make the experience all the better.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €10

Age: 3rd – 6th Class

School visitors to Castlecomer Discovery Park can enjoy leisurely boating activities on the larger of our two picturesque lakes, in our stunning natural woodland setting. The lakes are surrounded by a variety of magnificent trees, and you can admire the backdrop of the beautiful recently restored 17th century stone bridge.

Our boating activities give you the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of our 80-acre woodland. So whether you’re after a fast-paced or leisurely cruise around the lake you can still fit in some exercise while having fun on our Pedal boats and Canadian canoes! Max 4 persons per paddle boat and 3 persons per canoe.

Close-toed shoes and change of clothing required.

Estimated Duration: 60 mins

Price: €3

Age: 3rd – 6th Class

Three permanent orienteering trails are set up in the woodland to complement the range of recreational activities here at the park. Orienteering sessions are self-guided and require school staff to supervise groups.

These courses vary in the distance; 1.6km Short, 2.4 km Medium and 3km Long. Each course has a number of codes secured to wooden posts throughout the 80 acres of woodland.

The trails can be done at ease or for those that want a challenge can be completed by competing for time. This provides the opportunity for participants to return and do a longer and more advanced trail in pairs, or as a team.

Estimated Duration: 90 – 120 mins

Price: €13

Age: 3rd – 6th Class (1.3m height minimum, 120kg weight max)

Test your class’ skills on our famous Octagon High Ropes Course. Set on an octagonal frame over two levels, this course presents a series of challenges in the form of nets, ropes, wooden bridges, and other aerial games. Get creative in the air as you decide which routes to take, how high to go, and how to tackle this ultimate physical test!

* Please note: Zipline is not available for Primary School Tours unless all students meet age (12 yrs) & height (1.3m) requirements.

Estimated Duration: 30 mins

Price: €5

Age: 7+ years (height 1.2m, 120kg weight max)

Reach new heights by challenging yourself on our great outdoor climbing wall. We have three climbing routes with varying levels of difficulty for all to enjoy. Close-toed shoes essential.

Booking

It’s never too early to book your School Tour, we book out early!
To learn more and to book, please contact our team at  info@discoverypark.ie or call 056 4440707. For specific education questions, please contact our Education Officer, Cian: cian@discoverypark.ie We’d be delighted to create a tailor-made day for your class or whole school. We cater for groups of all sizes – no upper limits!