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  • Ellie

Our Summer Adventures!

This term has been busy as always! We started the term discovering Viperious Lizards or common lizards, building a wildlife pond and planting around and in it!

You can regularly find groups of children sat observing the contents of their new pond! We have continued to find all sorts of delights, including a toad, a morel mushroom and this has led to the children starting a large project all together of a nature journal, collecting, pressing, mapping, drawing and doing activities like tree rubbings and leaf rubbings.

We have even met a small hand rearing lamb! They have used local flora to make things, like dandelion jelly and enjoyed foraging a few snacks from items we have identified.

They have loved watching several nests of house sparrows hatch and fledge from the eaves of the welcome shelter and a family of baby squirrels bathing in the afternoon sun as they emerged from their nest in the apex corner of the welcome shelter.

We have been off on exploring missions, bushwhacking through the woods, finding new paths, dragons and sculptures.

We have ventured to the stream, finding giant ferns and building and testing rafts that the children have built using a variety of natural materials and loose parts.

We have discovered fallen trees and the roots systems. They have used non standard measurement systems to add mapping including counting steps and counting the number of children long a branch was. They have also been noting landmarks of interest to them.

Den building and wildlife house building has continued, with the construction of D5, yes that is 5 dens just within the welcome shelter area! D5 has been the most ambitious yet, with planks being used and twine to secure the planks to the L bend tree trucks they have discovered. They have made a variety of defence mechanisms including mud and moss bombs and booby traps! The swamp den has been extended and most recently they discovered the clay in the mud at the bottom of the swamp and have been using it to model items and also to make clay faces on the trees around the swamp. They have also extended, built and rebuilt dens in the woods.

We have been planting and now have a variety of fruits, flowers and vegetables which the children have enjoyed watering and occasionally tending to. The best thing so far have been the radishes which they have all tasted with mixed reactions! The children have helped to maintain areas of the gardens, using a variety of hand tools in the process. Using the climbing veg and flowers we have made an archway tunnel on the yard and we can’t wait to see it again in September!

Creativity abounds in all of the children and some of the projects have been sewing, painting, drawing, woodworking (including building some more items for around the welcome shelter area and whittling elder) and modelling clay. (Both the bought version and the stuff they have found in the swamp.)

They have enjoyed many board games and card games this term, including monopoly, top trumps, snakes and ladders (in various forms) and enjoyed making their own games of noughts and crosses or foxes and paws, shells and rocks etc! They have also made up a number of games including a stunt bank jumping game, which involved running up the bank and spinning, twisting and jumping down. These games have allowed them to develop their negotiation skills in deciding the rules, number and addition skills. Another game they have had involved testing their nerve and balance on a small balance bike, starting on the yard and seeing how far down the garden they could zoom to and mud surfing down into the swamp.

They have continued to enjoy activities like bubbles, various types of blocks, cars, diggers, trains, Kinex and the ninja line at regular intervals. They love heading to the woods and the cargo net and swing continue to be a firm favourite, as do the swing and hammock at the welcome shelter. They have added a swing to the swamp area and have enjoyed the addition of swing ball. They have built small muddy worlds on the tuff trays developing imaginative play skills on a small scale as well as through their larger games and activities.

We have managed a few fire circles making popcorn among other things and a few more meetings this term to discuss plans and any issues arising within the community.

We have enjoyed observing the children at play this term and the multi age learning has really been wonderful to watch, older children realising their skills and confidence and supporting younger ones to learn new skills. Teaching and learning skills like climbing, using the ninja line, firing a bow and arrow, building rafts, helping each other to write words in the nature journal or their books, as well as crafting skills.

This term all of the children have worked hard on their social skills, including negotiation, repairing/restoring, they have helped new children settle, or been new children who have settled well. They have helped each other achieve some wonderful things and picked each other up when they have fallen.

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