Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Monday, 28 March 2011 08:11
Friday the 25th March 2011 saw us working in Yalding St Peter and St Paul County Primary School working with a group of 42 very enthusiastic and polite students from Years 3 and 4 on our “School Based Bushcraft and Nature Education Course”.
It is always a privilege to deliver one of our School Based Projects to a group of young learners. We first piloted this approach to taking bushcraft into schools in 2008 at Furley Park Primary School in Ashford. The day was such a great success that the initial programme has changed very little over the years but there is always a bespoke element to suit the schools requirements included somewhere in the days lesson plans.
We arrived at the school shortly after 07:00 to establish a display in the classroom and place one of the word searches, available as a free download from our growing Badger Bushcraft Resources page, on each desk.
It is always a lovely experience to see the faces of the children when they walk into their classroom and there is a display of exciting items at the front of the class awaiting their arrival.
The session started with a brief bespoke video of some infrared footage of badgers which I know was really enjoyed by the students.
Then we moved onto the course syllabus which included:-
- History and Natural History - A look at primitive technology including primitive flat bows and flint tipped arrows, flint tools including knives, scrapers, arrow heads and a hafted axe, bark containers, wooden spoons and cups, animal hides and buckskin, simple cordage, textiles, etc. Exploring the differences in animal skulls; including prey and predators, teeth, vision and animal senses.
- Nature Walk - A walk around the school grounds to identify plants, trees and possible animal sign. Samples of leaves and plants were collected by the students as verification of learning. After exploring the school grounds we were then able to demonstrate some of the methods of making fire in a very safe and controlled fashion. As the sun was shining we were able to show how a solar sparker worked and fire by compression was easy on a fine and warm day. All the children clearly enjoy my fire by chemical reaction which is always a bit of a flamboyant display!
- Art and Literacy Session - Still life drawing of skulls, flint axe, tools, bark containers, etc. with a literacy element where students also wrote about each item they had drawn. The quality of their work was really wonderful and it is such a pleasure to see what fine attention to detail had been included in their artwork!
- Survival and Survival Kit - We looked at some of the survival kit we carry, why and how it is used. We discussed the differences and various possibilities and hazards of different environments following the direction of active class discussion. The day was concluded with jelly babies all round and presentation of Badger Bushcraft Certificates.
All of the pupils were a really polite, exceptionally enthusiastic and real credit to the Class Teacher, Head Teacher and the school. Thank you so much for a fantastic day at work and I have to say teaching in schools is a real privilege for a bushcraft instructor!