Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft News Sunday, 22 May 2011 10:23
We have recently delivered two incredibly successful Badger Bushcraft School Based Projects at Furley Park Primary School in Ashford, Kent working with Years 5 and 6.
Our school based projects have always been well received by both pupils and teachers and it was a pleasure to revisit Furley Park in Ashford near our base in Kent. This school holds some special memories for us here at Badger Bushcraft because this is the school where we first piloted our School Based Project back in 2008 with Mrs Drage who is an exceptionally proactive teacher who fully comprehends the impact and long-term benefits of nature based learning. This is what Mrs Drage had to say of our initial pilot School Based Project in 2008:-
The thanks must really go to you, I know from the shining, excited faces that they all had a fantastic day. It is such a treat to see ALL children engaged in an activity and it couldn’t have fitted more perfectly with our topic and I know you have given the children something they will ALWAYS remember.”
Furley Park Primary School, Ashford School Based Project 2008”
The format of the School Based Projects has changed little since inception. All of our work at Badger Bushcraft is bespoke and designed round the requirements of the client but we believe that our innovative approach to school based learning delivers both exceptional value for money, encompasses many areas of the curriculum and reaches out and connects with all pupils regardless of academic ability.
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 – We were able to visit the school woods to experience the sounds of the woodland landscape, listening to the birds and the beasts, the wind through the leaves of the trees before examining and learning about some of the tree species that grow there. The session then progressed with a lesson about fire making, fire safety and the law. The group was split into four smaller subgroups and we all achieved taking a spark from flint and steel to flame in a hay “birds nest” tinder bundle.
- Art and Literacy Session – As the sun was shining were able to sit outside for the 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 and wine gums all round. Presentation of Badger Bushcraft Certificates to all students will take place during a celebration assembly at the school.
Working in schools across the county of Kent has proved to be very successful and most enjoyable for us all at Badger Bushcraft, we are now also taken booking from school further then our Kent base, we have bookings at schools in Sussex and Surrey that we are greatly looking forward to and with our fingers crossed that the weather stays fine for some quality outdoor exploration and education.
If you would like Badger Bushcraft to visit your school please contact Head Bushcraft Instructor Phil Brown to arrange an appointment.
We would also like to thank Curtis and Jake from Year 6 for thier wonderful poem that spells Phil's name vertically which we have included below:-
Pine trees above me,
Hills in front of me as I start my adventure,
In my sight is the warm crackling fire,
Long grass tickling my neck as I stop for a drink,
Brown oak trees as I look for firewood,
Roebuck deers down my binoculars sight,
Oak is burning in the midnight sky,
Wind cooling us down from our walk,
Now the end of the adventure.