Unlocking the Severn for Schools

We believe the UK’s longest river can uniquely inspire young learners.

We are taking bookings for school visits to Diglis Island and Fish Pass.

Give your class the opportunity to enrich their learning around subject areas such as rivers, habitats, and local history and geography, with a visit to our new visitor experience site at Diglis, Worcester. Young learners will take part in fun STEM-based activities on Diglis Island, before walking around on the riverside path to visit the new Diglis fish pass, with a chance to spot wild fish up close in our underwater viewing gallery.

All activities are designed to have clear and direct links with the National Curriculum and help pupils develop a range of core and transferable skills.

For more information, or to book a visit for your class, please contact:

[email protected]

Our approach to learning

We believe the UK’s longest river can uniquely inspire young learners.  We want local children and young people to make a powerful connection with the River Severn.  Outreach is a fundamental element of our project, and we have already engaged over 6000 school children.  In partnership with schools, our project is developing pupils’ understanding and pride in the natural heritage of our river.

We want to inspire awe and wonder when young people visit the riverside. Back in the classroom, arts activities and storytelling using our resources can continue to ignite young imaginations, help children embed their learning and creatively explore this underwater river-world. Young people will also have powerful opportunities to see STEM applied in practice in the ambitious engineering that will enable this river restoration for migratory fish.

Learning Topics

Your class tour will be relevant to the topic areas below:

Biology and Habitats
Unlocking the Severn provides exciting opportunities to learn about the fish in the river, their life cycles, and the remarkable journeys of migrating fish.  We will also encourage young people to learn about the challenges that fish and other wildlife face in the river.

History and Geography
Discover how the river has shaped our landscape and how people have relied on and related to the river through time. Understand the importance of the River Severn in the Industrial Revolution. Critically understand how river wildlife was affected as a result.

Modern Engineering
Our river restoration project will use technical solutions to help fish and people on the river co-exist better, allowing endangered fish to flourish once again.

**We also have some fantastic EDUCATION PACKS for teachers and home-learners**


View our education packs

Welcome to a world of water. What an incredible resource water is, and to think that every drop you drink has taken an amazing journey around the world to get to your tap at home! This diverse pack will develop your vocabulary as well as your story writing skills!

The twaite shad need you! Learn more about the life cycle of the shad and the impacts that the industrial revolution has had on this beautiful fish. Then use your epic engineering skills to design something to help the shad succeed!

Ever wanted to have the mighty River Severn at your fingertips? Well here is your chance! Learn about the incredible journey this river makes from source to sea, and use your imagination and creativity to build it in your own lounge or garden…but without using water!

An exciting opportunity to explore the way that farming affects rivers. This pack requires a focused eye and attention to detail, as well as a creative imagination!

Diglis Island

As part of our project, we completed renovation work on the Victorian heritage buildings on Diglis Island, belonging to Canal River Trust.  The island now provides a unique learning destination for school visits.  The special location on an island in the middle of the River Severn, and the distinctive character of the former lock-gate workshop provides an extraordinary learning space.  Visiting school groups can learn more about the river, its wildlife, and the modern engineering involved in designing and building an innovative fish pass at Diglis.

In, autumn 2021 we ran a series of pilot tours of Diglis Island and the fish pass – an impressive 100m structure – including the underwater viewing gallery, allowing rare glimpses of the underwater world of river fish. Our workshop and visitor facilities provided the base for these booked tours. We had fantastic feedback from teachers and students, and are thrilled to have been able to continue these visits, with the support of the Canal & River Trust Explorer Volunteers.

Underwater Viewing Gallery

Our underwater viewing gallery is located at Diglis Fish Pass in Worcester. The viewing gallery provides a unique perspective of the River Severn, as our huge 2.0 x 2.5 m window allows you to see under the water into the fish pass itself.

The gallery has been built to offer members of the public and school groups a chance to connect with the fish of the River Severn in a special way. Standing at the window, you have the opportunity to see wild fish swimming past as they make their way upstream on their migration. We also use it for scientific monitoring purposes. Specialist motion-sensor cameras capture the different fish as they swim past the window. We then use this data to assess how many fish are using Diglis Fish Pass, what species are making use of it, and what time of day they tend to move upriver.

Canal & River Trust Explorers

Canal & River Trust, the charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways, was a delivery partner for Unlocking the Severn.  They have extensive experience and commitment to schools’ outreach.  ‘Explorers’ is the Trust’s education programme aimed at children aged 5-11 which exists to inspire children’s learning by connecting them to our canals and rivers. These waterways offer powerful ways to engage children and bring learning to life. The learning programme is closely linked to the national curriculum and group badges. Dedicated Canal and River Trust volunteers lead inspiring visits on the towpath, in our museums or in your school or clubhouse.

Visit the Explorers website for education resources, games and more information about educational visits to discover the magic of the waterways.

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