Our Week in the Forest...
“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was about to happen.” Winnie the Pooh
Adventure and story-telling has been a spontaneous theme to this week with our children being the authors and explorers. The children have shown a real interest in literature this week and to scaffold their learning we have been introducing teaching techniques to encourage and develop their interests further.
One example of this is story scribing, a technique in which the educator writes down a story narrated by the children. This allows the child to understand the connection between spoken language and written words. It allows them to be creative and imaginative, but also take ownership of a narrative, that over time, can be developed and revisited. The children have responded warmly to this and have been writing stories with their educators all week. At the end of each day we then read the stories and there is a real sense of pride and accomplishment shown by the authors. As the children progress with their interests in literature and writing, we can then encourage them to begin to write their own names, words and even short stories.
With this interest in literature and story-telling we have also been on several Adventure Walks around our beautiful forest site, taking full advantage of the Palace’s Garden. The children really enjoy these adventure walks, and we often use a narrative to form the foundation of each adventure. Whilst on these trips it is common sight to see the children investigating nature’s details. One child this week decided to decorate her hat and transformed it into a crown of bird feathers which she had collected. Another child built a glorious pine cone collection which began to spill out of their arms as we reached our camp. Whilst on these walks there are ample learning opportunities that arise, such as investigating shapes in our natural environment, learning new words, being imaginative and physical development.
On one of our walks we decided to go back to our first site on the opposite side of the walled garden. We sat down to take a break and whilst refuelling with a drink discussed our old site. The children were able to recall all the different areas in our old site and one child even hugged our old climbing tree and said “I love this tree”. The child then continued to climb the tree and was able to show our new children how to successfully climb the tree. It is fantastic to see that we have already been able to give our children lasting memories and instill a sense of appreciation and care for our environment.
Adventures are arguably all about creating memories and experiences, and in a sense this is also true of the Early Years curriculum. As forest school educators we aim to give the children powerful and meaningful learning experiences using our natural surroundings as our key resource to achieve this, giving the children memories of playing with friends and their educators.
Have a fantastic long weekend!
Little Forest Folk