Schools at The Abbey

Milton Abbey, St Catherine's Chapel, and the surrounding landscape provide a unique learning environment, well positioned and suited to host visits from primary and secondary schools throughout Dorset and beyond. There will be a focus on history within the Abbey, and geography will be addressed primarily within the landscape. St Catherine's Chapel will be fitted out as a teaching / lecture / changing exhibition space in addition to its current use for occasional church services, concerts and church plays.

A new landscape link is planned between the Abbey and the Chapel. Athelstan, the first King of all England, founded The Abbey (with its later Benedictine heritage).  It is a unique national history destination for primary schools studying early English history. At primary school level pupils learn about human geography, such as settlements and land use, acquire geographical skills such as map reading and simple navigation, and engage in fieldwork such as recording natural and manmade features. The landscaping element in this project will achieve safe geographical trails, with waypoints, landmarks and items of interest which are aimed at providing school children with a geographical experience and means of mastering basic fieldwork tasks. At secondary school level pupils learn about human and physical geography - including how human and physical processes interact to change landscape and physical environments.

Geographical skills and fieldwork expand to include Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Ordnance Survey analysis. An ideal case study would be the consideration of the impact on the local landscape and rural community on Capability Brown's changes to the Milton Abbey estate in the 18th Century. A landscape Conservation Management Plan will includes development of activities to enable people to get the most out of the landscape through learning and enjoyment.  Opportunities are being created for volunteering, family days, training in countryside management skills, led walks and talks. There will be many opportunities within this programme for both primary and secondary schools.