The science of plant growth at Westonbirt Arboretum, KS2

Growing green programme aimed at KS2

Updated 15th January 2024

Suitable for Years 3-6, March to November

Key concepts

Plant structure and function, plant growth, variation, photosynthesis, adaptation, soil function and nutrients.

Learning outcomes

  • list the resources trees need to survive - carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, nutrients.
  • name the different tree parts - root, trunk, leaf, flower, seed - and describe the function of each.
  • explain that tree, like other plants, make their own food using carbon dioxide, water and sunlight during a process called photosynthesis.
  • suggest how different species are adapted to their environment.


Diversity explore - Similarities and differences between trees with the following year specific focus.

  • year 3 - name the different tree parts and discuss their function.
  • year 4 - identify and name a selection of trees.
  • year 5 - what part of the reproduction process is taking place at the time of the visit?
  • year 6 - exploring the classification of plant groups.

Plant resource game - needs of plants and adaptation.

Soil soup - make a sample of soil and discover more about root networks.

Photosynthesis game - an interactive game, stepping 'inside a leaf', to act out the process of photosynthesis.

Build a tree - students create a giant working tree using themselves, sound effects and actions.