Year 4 thoroughly enjoyed a day in our Outdoor Classroom at school today.
We began each session with a time of silence. Birch Group then spent some time discussing the things which they had really appreciated since getting up. Some children found this really difficult, but with encouragement everyone ended up thinking of something – these ranged from seeing some amazing wildlife at home, or on the way to school, being woken early by birdsong after a good night’s sleep, making a quiche before school, having breakfast, and being alive! There were others, of course.
Both groups then became very quickly engaged in the activities Tawny Owl had planned. They made natural inks from Lime leaves, King Alfred’s Cakes, and Cornflowers. The mortar and pestle we used was generously given to us by our link school in Malawi - Lungamadzi. It was a very special moment.
The results were very interesting as the colours did not behave in the way most people were expecting. Some children used herb potions to add to the inks to make them smell lovely. While this was going on, other children used Elder wood to make charcoal pencils; we agreed they were not as easy as we had though they might be either.
After this activity we then went to the pond where the children had great fun pond dipping, and searching for minibeasts around the pond area. They found some amazing creatures - beetles, worms, centipedes, water louse, diving beetles, newts, dragonfly nymphs (and a case from a newly metamorphosed dragonfly), water boatmen, and pond skaters. A great collection.
The final activity was using the charcoal pencils and inks to draw pictures of what they saw.
There are lots of pictures today, so these are just a few. Please look at the year 4 gallery to see all of them.