ARK River School

Enjoying, valuing and understanding their local river

Wherever possible we believe getting children outdoors and in the river is the best learning experience, however we can bring the river to you when this is not an option.

River School can be run at a range of river locations in the catchment. Activities can often be tailored to age, ability, time and objectives of the group. In 2022-23 we worked with 2,012 children.


  • Learning in and by an internationally rare chalk stream
  • River dipping and wetland exploration - kick sampling, identification
  • River safari - learning to identify river features, healthy habitats and field signs first hand
  • Assisting with conservation
  • Gaining knowledge and skills
  • Guided riverbank and water meadow walks - exploring habitats, sweep netting and identification of plants and animals
  • What lives here and why
  • River features and life cycles
  • Pollution and water scarcity - pressures the rivers and wildlife are facing and what we can do to help
  • Bird watching

River School is suitable for pre-schools, schools, Rainbow, Beaver, Cub, Brownie, Scout and other groups. For further information and to book email

What those who have worked with us say.....

'ARK are a fantastic organisation who we love working with. They really engage the children in finding out about the environment that surrounds them. It is outdoor learning at its best!' Teacher feedback Kennet Valley Primary School, Lockeridge.

 'I just wanted to say thank you ever so much for last night’s session.  The Beavers had a great time and I have already heard from one mum saying that her son chatted about it non stop all the way home.  Thank you for the time and effort you put in.' Feedback from Wash Common Beavers Leader.

'We had an amazing afternoon with you.  The children absolutely loved it and learnt a huge amount – the perfect combination.' Teacher feedback Hungerford Primary School.

'Anna and her team adapted their session to meet the needs of our students seamlessly making it an enjoyable and informative day. The students loved all the activities and there were lots of learning opportunities delivered in a fun and practical way. We will definitely be returning for another session.' Teacher feedback Tadley Court School, Tadley.

'We wanted to email and say a massive thank you for a fabulous trip to the river - the children (and adults) enjoyed immensely! 
The children gained so much from both the workshops and the trip that we are eager to do it again for our next classes.' Teacher feedback Falkland Primary, Newbury.

'What an amazing day! I would like to send my heart felt thanks for the work that ARK has done with us over the last two weeks. Our students have gained so much from it and not just the intended outcomes but a greater understanding of the river that they live near and the impact of the damage that is done. Their level of learning conversation was great and the volunteers working with them and questioning them to further their knowledge was amazing.' Feedback from Assistant Headteacher Southcote Primary.

'Thank you for another fantastic day at the river. It really is our favourite school trip in year 5. The children had a fabulous time and learnt so much from your staff and volunteers and hopefully now appreciate the amazing chalk streams and will think about their own water usage. 
Thank you for giving them the opportunity to love our rivers.' Teacher feedback The Willows Primary, Newbury.