Over the Autumn/Winter term, Children from Year 2- 6 have had additional outdoor learning time on Monday afternoon (Foundation Stage/ Year 1 have theirs weekly). In times when we are reminded that many children spend far less time than their parents’ generation outside playing, this provides the children with an opportunity to learn and play in nature and to connect with an outside space.
As we are always outside for this – come rain or shine – activities tend to follow the seasons. This offers up different materials and opportunities to make, explore and play across the year. Earlier in the Autumn term, we explored the pond, as life readies itself for the deep slumber of winter. The newts and frogs have emerged; finding log piles to hide under and dragonfly nymphs get ready at the bottom of the pond to over-winter. We have watched how the trees have made their own winter preparations: how different species change colour and drop their leaves at different times. We have used these to create art work – another chance to identify which leaves, fruits and seeds come from which plants.
If you have heard a ‘tap-tap-whack’, it will be children chopping wood; we usually build a fire to have a hot drink or a snack to warm ourselves as Autumn days turn colder. And towards the end of term, we have sawn wood-rounds to make Christmas tree decorations; used birch branches woven with holly, pine and yew to make wreaths; and threaded popcorn and rosehip garlands to decorate the bare willow structure – and also to feed the birds!
We will look to keep you updated as the year progresses.
Merry Xmas – I hope you have a good break