Yesterday we had a superb morning in the woodland classroom; we practised our noticing skills (4/5 senses today), we spoke about changes and seasons, we examined buds and unfurling leaves, we crunched old leaves from winter and felt the scratchy rough lichen (close-ups with a magnifying glass “it’s all bumpy!”). We looked at some sting-y plants that we couldn’t touch and wondered the names of new flowers that weren’t there last year (wild violets – we are lucky!) then took some of the items inside. The grown-ups did a lot of listening to the little people; to their ideas, their musings, their puzzling-outs. Little people have a lot to teach grown-ups about noticing little things (especially the biggest worm we have EVER seen – good conversations about how worms move without legs, watching over a sustained period as it stretched and compressed to make its way over the grass) and grown-ups are good at explaining the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of things when little people don’t have a theory or two.
We also listened out for birdsong, using our RSPB noisy birds to think about the different ‘languages’ of birds (robin and blackbird). We spoke about the languages and words we hear at home – some of us are so lucky we hear as many as three languages in our houses!
We were sparing in what we took in our (purposefully) small basket; talking about conservation, taking care of wild creatures (they can’t go in the basket) and how we can use photographs to remember instead. To uphold this promise, each child received an annotated flatlay photograph (as pictured – they helped to categorise the items and lay them out), naming each item and explaining in the children’s words what was experienced.
I returned to my office for the afternoon departures and arrivals, listening to the children excitedly tell their parents about their morning and the things they had learnt. Each child waved goodbye, holding their photograph (A3 size to pick out the detail) and occasionally they would stop to involve me in the conversation, a character in the re-telling of their nature expedition.
If Carlsberg did jobs…