We are pleased to welcome groups of all ages and abilities. We can recommend a structure for the day with activities tailored to suit the audience but are more than happy to fit in with your requirements.

The VEC is also suitable as a base for Scouts, Guides, Canoe Groups and Duke of Edinburgh courses. Overnight camping on the grounds is permitted (through prior arrangement) with access to toilets and shower facilities available.

The VEC is a suitable location outside of the classroom environment to expand on your classroom topics. You can incorporate some or all of our activities depending on the duration of your visit.

Our educational visits can comprise the following activities:

  • Talk about the Suffolk & Essex River Stour Navigation (past and present, the working river and the lighters, the locks)
  • On site quiz (covering aspects of the talk as well as information and items that can be found in and around the VEC)
  • River Dipping (we have the equipment and ID sheets on site)
  • Trips aboard our boat/s (our ‘floating classrooms’ are an enjoyable addition to your visit and comprise ‘I Spy on the River’ sheet)
  • Operation of Great Cornard Lock (the children are actively involved in its operation and see how it works- we prepare certificates for each child)
  • The artwork of John Constable (a selection of his paintings depicting the working river, simple quiz involves studying the images)
  • Crosswords and Word Searches (work as a filler or take away activity)

We usually assign 30-40 minutes per activity (to include changeover between activities) and provide buoyancy aids/life jackets for the children (boat, lock operation and river dipping activities). Our volunteers are on hand to operate the boats and lock so we ask that you provide a minimum ratio of 1 adult for up to 8 children with the school being ultimately responsible for the children’s welfare.

We have a risk assessment in place and would ask to have a copy of the school’s own completed risk assessment/s before the visit can take place. You might like to click on the link to view some images of the VEC – click here.

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