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Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service from Derbyshire County Council

Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service provide environmental education opportunities for Derbyshire schools through programmes of classwork, fieldwork and training opportunities in a variety of locations and settings across the county. 

Our four key areas of work cover:

1. Derbyshire Urban Studies Centre

2. Learning outside the Classroom - cross county outreach work

3. Forest School

4. Project work and teacher workshops


See box right for contact details


1.  Derbyshire Urban Studies Centre

Take the stress out of fieldwork by visiting Derbyshire Urban Studies Centre to explore the built environment.  Based in Chesterfield we offer a wide range of day fieldwork programmes for Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 linked to the National Curriculum for Art and Design, Geography, History, Music, Design Technology, Science and Religious Education.  Activities take place in the heart of Chesterfield with its busy market, wide variety of buildings and Crooked Spire.

The purpose of all of the programmes is to develop knowledge and understanding of the urban environment and develop fieldwork skills such as observation, mapping and recording.  The built environment has a direct effect on the quality of our lives. Helping young people to understand the built environment, how it has changed to meet the needs of differing times and different people, how it is changing today and learning about the process of change will, it is hoped, enable them to become involved as citizens in the decision making of the future.

All our programmes are fully risk assessed and led by experienced Educational Visits Leaders who are qualified teachers. All resources, worksheets and equipment are provided by the Derbyshire Urban Studies Centre and activities led throughout the day. 

For further details of the programmes, booking and charges please visit


2.  Learning Outside the Classroom - Cross county outreach work

We are still able to support you in learning outside the classroom in a variety of ways.  We can provide one of our Education Visits Leaders to plan a fieldwork day in your local area.  A day of fieldwork tailor made to the needs of your class and delivered on your grounds, in the immediate locality of your school or on a nearby site can link to many curriculum areas and could involve:

• Art and architecture in the local area

• Being building detectives by studying the built heritage of your locality

• Mapping land use

• Traffic and transport surveys

• Introduction to map and compass work

• Questionnaires with the public

• Data collection, recording and interpretation

• Habitat or wildlife work in your grounds or a local area

• A river study on a stream, river or brook in your locality

• Climate change and energy saving

• Waste and recycling challenges

The cost is 250 and includes a pre-meeting with the class teacher, a risk assessment of activities, planning, preparation and pre-visit to the locality, all resources to be used on the day (which you keep for your own use) and delivery of the day programme of fieldwork and classroom activities.

We also develop learning outside the classroom site specific resources for locations across the county.  These aim to provide ideas, resources and activities for teachers to ‘self-lead’ their own learning visits or you can choose to use Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service education visits leaders if you prefer.  Resources and activities are currently available online for

• Middleton Top, Black Rocks and High Peak Junction

• New Mills in the High Peak

• Belper in the heart of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

Resources are currently in development for the following sites:

• Ashbourne

• Shipley Country Park

Find out more by visitng


3.  Derbyshire Forest Schools

Forest Schools is a unique educational process that offers children of all ages opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.   To find out more about Forest Schools, find out what it happening in Derbyshire Forest Schools, get started yourself, share ideas and resources and discover forthcoming events visit our Forest Schools blog site at


4.  Project work and Teacher workshops

Contact us and we will happily tailor make a teacher training workshop for you and your staff which meets your needs. This could be how to use and develop your school's grounds for different subject areas, how to plan fieldwork programmes effectively, how to teach about climate change and energy use, how to tackle the sustainable schools framework, or buildings and architecture. Just contact us and we can discuss your needs. 

We also get involved in a variety of other projects and periodically produce teaching packs and resources for teachers with other organisations and partners: 

Designing Sustainable Neighbourhoods

This key stage two school’s education pack is available free to download. This resource pack provides the opportunity to teach young children about their local environment and education for sustainable development.

Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is a powerful teaching resource suitable for a whole range of age groups and subjects including history, geography, art and design, citizenship and many others. The learning section of the website includes a wide range of teaching resources, curriculum packs, lesson guides and activities can be downloaded for free.

Green Flag For Development 

Green Flag for Development worked with a group of practicing teachers and educationalists, with expertise in Global Education and Education for Sustainable Development, to produce classroom materials to bring a global dimension to the Eco-schools topic areas and the Sustainable Schools doorways.  You will find activities suitable for all key stages, which you are welcome to adapt and make your own - ranging from PowerPoint presentations, comparative locality studies and games. Each section offers Teachers' Notes to guide organisation and delivery

To view these resources please visit





Derbyshire Forest School Day

WHERE:  Derbyshire Eco-Centre, Middleton by Wirksworth

COST:  No Charge - open to Derbyshire schools, settings and organisations interested in Forest School

CONTACT:  Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service - 01246 208267 or email


Derbyshire County Council have been supporting schools and settings across the county in becoming Forest Schools for some years now. We are planning an informal 'Forest School Day' for Derbyshire on Friday June 17 2011 at the new Eco-Centre and surrounding spaces at Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbyshire. (For more information about this new, eco-friendly adult community education centre visit - For more information about Forest School work in Derbyshire please visit

This aims of this day are to enable teachers, practitioners, organisations and settings from across Derbyshire to get together to share best practice, provide us with a platform to continue promotion of Forest School across the county, provide some workshops to develop key Forest School skills and provide an informal space to build support networks.  As part of the day there will be time available to view a 'market place' area of stands and talk to providers.  To reserve a place on the day please call Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service on 01246 208267 or email  If you would like workshops on specific aspects of Forest School please let us know via our blog site

MELA is a project of Lifeworlds Learning




Derbyshire Environmental

Studies Service 

Market Hall 

Market Square 


S40 1AR 

Tel: 01246 208267 

Fax: 01246 208267 


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