Robert Bloomfield Academy visit

We offer schools a mix of practical activities, discussions and role-play with cross- curricular interest including history, English, maths, science and technology. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Bedfordshire’s Forgotten Abbey

These sessions are currently aimed at Years 7/8 and might typically include

  • the story of Warden Abbey and the Reformation,
    Warden Abbey Tiles
  • what life would have been like in the Abbey and who did what,
  • the herbs the monks would have grown and why,
  • making “tussie mussies” – a posy of flowers and herbs used in medieval times to hide horrible smells!
  • testing sugars in the grapes.
  • Illustrated letters/calligraphy

Please note: we cannot currently access the former site of the Abbey itself as it is operated as a holiday let by the Landmark Trust.

Other activities/age groups

Stratton Upper School
  • Practical sessions doing seasonal tasks
  • Vineyard tours covering the vineyard year, the local food agenda, the community project and role of our volunteers.
  • Putting science into practice e.g testing grapes for sugars, estimating yields, soil testing
  • Doing observational drawing/photography


Stratton Upper School

Year 7 & 8 pupils from Robert Bloomfield Academy 
"I loved picking the grapes and I got to press them into juice and drink it" - Robert Bloomfield (RBA) year 8 
"I found it really interesting and loved listening about the history of the Abbey -  RBA year 7
"I loved tasting grapes with Alastair - he always got the dodgy ones" - RBA year 8 
"It involved everyone and was interesting but fun" RBA year 8 

Year 12 students from Stratton Upper School
Connor: 'It was a worthwhile insight into how a vineyard works. I enjoyed learning about the history of the abbey and the volunteers were really helpful.'
Laura: ' I liked working with the hoes because it was satisfying to clear the land and see how you had made a difference to the row.'
Emily: 'It was a very enjoyable day on the whole. It was good to work in a team and to work with the other volunteers. Everyone embraced the idea of getting involved with the community.'
Emily D : 'It was a good bonding experience, especially when we had to shelter from the rain!'
Kelly: ' I really enjoyed the tucking in of the vines it was very therapeutic and was a nice way to end the day.'
Heather: 'It was nice to do something different and work with some new people and see people out of a working environment. The volunteers were really helpful and everyone got stuck in which was nice :) !'
Ben: ' I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I would definitely volunteer again, maybe at harvesting season.'
Emma : I enjoyed the practical work because it made a change from the academic school work. It was great to be outside all day. 10/10 would recommend'

“The community vineyard provides a rare opportunity for students to participate as a large group, and our students have benefited from:
  • Experience as a volunteer.  This helps fulfil our aim of providing community activities to supplement academic achievements on the students’ CVs;
  • A sense of satisfaction and achievement in working to support a worthwhile community project;
  • Getting out of the classroom and urban environment, and experiencing working outdoors in the countryside, which is unfamiliar territory for many;
  • Carrying out a whole day’s physical work helps instil the work ethic.”    

Michael Leasure, Stratton Upper School   KS5 Coordinator

Grapes in Sunlight

For more details for teachers, visit our page on the Culture Challenge website for more details:
Challenges offered: 
Nature & Adventure - Spend time in the great outdoors
Go on a trip - Culture & Community
Do something within your community - Visit a workplace