Courses and Activities (Primary)

The Medina Valley Centre offers a broad and creative curriculum for EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

The Centre is fortunate to have a wide range of habitats in its grounds and easy access to field work localities across the Island. These provide a stimulating learning environment in which students can gain greater knowledge, understanding and skills in all curriculum areas.

We also believe that a great deal can be gained from outdoor activities and we continue to add value to each of our sessions wherever possible. Our sessions link in with the curriculum and many cover a number of areas.

Programmes can be specifically tailored to suit the needs of a particular school.

KS1 and KS2 Curriculum Links:

“Young people are intensely curious and should be given the opportunity to explore the world around them.”
DFES 2006

“We are convinced that out-of-classroom education enriches the curriculum and can improve educational attainment.”
House of Commons Education and Skills Committee Report, ‘Education Outside the Classroom’ January 2005

Below are the activities that are available for both residential and day groups. Each activity:

  • is planned and led by our qualified and experienced staff;
  • is ‘hands-on’ and linked to the curriculum (National Curriculum or CEE). Detailed session plans are available on request;
  • uses a mix of learning styles and approaches, giving children an excitement and appreciation of the outdoor environment as well as knowledge and understanding;
  • has a downloadable risk assessment.


Students are taught how to use a bow and arrow. They have a go at shooting the target and then we go on to play some archery games.

Medina Mud

On the mudflats of the estuary students conduct a squelch test and collect mud samples for investigation in the lab. Students get the chance to see incredible ‘mud animals’ under the microscope and learn about the food webs that make this habitat so amazing.


Students will spend the time out in the woods. Survival skills development! We’ll get building shelters and fires and we may even cook a tasty pancake over your fire too.

Woodland Wonders

What does a woodland really sound like? A fully immersive experience for students as they hunt for minibeasts and use keys to identify woodland trees.


Enjoy the River Medina gliding along in your own kayak. The instructors will teach you the basics and then they will lead you in  some games or maybe on a journey. It’s fun!

Dinosaur Isle

Students can literally tread amongst the footsteps of the Iguanodon and find evidence of ancient animals along the south coast of the Island. Students can get creative with beach materials to make a life size representation of the Island’s most famous dinosaur.


Communication methods will be tested as the students take turns to be blindfolded and guide their partner around. The pairs will then join up into teams and all be blindfolded as they take on the obstacle course!

West Wight Hike

The ever-popular day hike creates lasting memories for students and staff alike. Starting at Freshwater Bay, students tread in the footsteps of Lord Tennyson, learn about the natural landscape, perform their own creative writing pieces, and descend on Alum Bay for ice-cream and a huge sense of achievement!

Raft Building

Set before you are some barrels, some rope and some wooden poles. You will need to build something that holds all your teams and will keep you afloat to complete that on the water challenges.

Cowes Trail

Students collect information in this world famous yachting venue to create a Sailor’s Guide for visitors as well as explore the historical esplanade and marina to learn more about the Solent and its local importance.


We were founded as a sailing centre and had a working boatyard here at one point. In sailing you get out and about on a boat with an instructor and use the wind to your advantage.

Team Challenges

Students are given tasks and challenges to complete as a team. They must solve the challenges together. Students will develop their communication skills as well as be equipped with learning theories which can be taken away and applied to everyday tasks.

Dodnor Trail

Students collect clues from their observations of the local area whilst navigating it in small groups using maps. Can they solve the puzzle to find the mystery animal?

Bottle Rockets

In little groups you will be given some resources and your task is then to build a rocket. Once this is done we will do a grand rocket launch- how high will yours fly?

Pond Superheroes

Students get the chance to dip in one of our ponds and see how the animals they find have adapted to this environment. What superhero powers do these animals have?


We’ll get out onto the water in our traditional Canadian canoes, working together in twos or threes so communication and working together is a must. It’s a great way to see the local wildlife if we’re quiet enough!

Brighstone Trail

What makes a village special? Students map and investigate this idyllic setting and interview local people before climbing the Downs to look down on Brighstone and note how it has changed through history.

Mountain Biking

We travel to the local forest to explore the trails by bike. The ability to ride a bike is necessary but you don’t need to be a pro. We’ll take our time as we travel around looking out for red squirrels in the beautiful woodland environment!

Rocky Shore

Students travel to Bembridge to visit one of the UK’s best rock pooling sites. They will learn about a wide variety of animals and plants that love this environment. Crabs, molluscs and a colour spectrum of seaweeds await!


Students will test their map reading skills as they search for orienteering markers around the woodland and see how many different shapes they can punch from their cards! This activity is easily suited to the pace of the group.

River Study

Why does a river meander? Donning their wellies, students will use their maths skills to measure the river and study its cleanliness too by collecting river animals and scoring them.


Inside our rifle range students will be taught about rifles and how to use them. They can practice their aim before we play some games. The challenge here is to be controlled and consistent in shooting, even your breathing makes a difference!

Nature’s Helpers

Students learn about some of the nature conservation practices in place at the Centre as well as take part in a small mammal trapping and monitoring scheme. Students will also get the chance to make bird feeders to hang in the grounds or to take home.

We also recommend…

(Please note these activities are not run by MVC and therefore may incur additional charges. These activities should be booked independently by schools).

Carisbrooke Castle

Walking on the castle walls, seeing where King Charles I was held captive and seeing the donkeys turn the well wheel are some of the experiences children can enjoy as well as learning about history from Norman to the 20th century.

Osbourne House

A visit to Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s former home, offers glimpses into life at this time with a chance to walk through the family’s private rooms, servants’ quarters and ornate function rooms. We strongly recommend the ‘Waiting on Hand and Foot’ Discovery Visit.

Needles Boat Trip

Departing from Alum Bay, this twenty minute cruise is a great way to see the famous rocks and a funny and informative on-boat commentary gives students an opportunity to learn about the history held deep in the formation.

Brading Roman Villa

Guided tours and activities for school groups vividly ‘bring to life’ the history of the villa for children before they explore the site with its visitor centre and grounds.