How a visit to Stotfold Mill can contribute to school learning
Even the youngest children who visit us have been fascinated by the machinery and the milling processes that convert grain into flour. For older students, there are a multitude of features in the mill and in milling to enhance their studies.
The Mill inspires a wealth of language development, both spoken and written, including:
- Listening skills with broadening and enrichment of vocabulary
- Retrieving, recording and presenting information
- Traditional stories and legends, and writing about real and imaginary events
For younger children: These skills can be developed using stories about mills and flour e.g. The Tale of the Little Red Hen
The Mill machinery offers excellent experience and reinforcement of:
- Common 2-D and 3-D shapes
- Position, direction and motion, symmetry, rotation and angles
- Standard units of measurement, ratio and proportion
For younger children: Look for and recognise the shapes found in and around the mill and its machinery.
Both the Mill machinery, the Nature Reserve and the River Ivel offer wonderful opportunities for scientific investigations and developing knowledge by experiencing:
- The natural and humanly-constructed world
- Life cycles, plants & animals in their habitats (e.g. pond dipping), with effects of seasonal changes
- Identification keys and food chains
- The uses of everyday materials and their properties
- Forces such as water resistance and friction, levers, pulleys and gears
- Sounds and vibrations
For younger children: What makes the wheels go round, get faster and slower? Why are there big and small wheels? Where does our food come from? Which plants and animals live in the meadow?
A mill has stood on this site for at least 1000 years and, with other mills in Stotfold, it is recorded in the Doomsday Book. Historical studies could include:
- Historical development of milling
- The importance of mills in the community
- People and places in the locality, and significant historical events
- Life and work in England in various historical periods e.g Victorians
Geography and Environmental Studies
Stotfold Mill is situated on the River Ivel and is surrounded by agricultural land. It provides an excellent foundation for studying:
- Land-use patterns and the location of mills
- Importance, uses and management of rivers – illustrated by the millrace and sluices
- Industrial and geographical features
For younger children: Why was Stotfold mill built where it is? What does the river do?
Art and Design / Design Technology
Students will be fascinated by the craftsmanship that has gone into the construction of the mill and its machinery. It provides boundless opportunities for:
- The study of gears and mechanics
- Craftwork in wood and metal
- Drawing, sketching, painting
- Cooking with flour, and learning how flour is grown, processed and used
For younger children: Cooking with flour, and the story of grain to flour to bread; bread making machines and models.