Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft News Saturday, 09 July 2011 08:43
This week has been exceptionally busy here at Badger Bushcraft with Phil packing the Land Rover and travelling to schools slightly further afield from our base in the centre of Kent all of whom have heard about the work we do and the positive effects our Bushcraft For Schools “Outdoor Learning Days” can have combined with their passion and existing provision for working in the outdoor classroom.
Wednesday saw Phil working in a primary school over in the village of Leigh near Tonbridge in West Kent. It was a pleasant return to this area that hold some special memories for Phil who spent some of his formative years exploring the local countryside when he was growing up in the village of Weald near Sevenoaks. Many of the woods, fields, rivers, ponds and streams in this area provided interesting habitats to discover and enjoy and after several decades it was wonderful to see that the landscape had changed little over the years and these beautiful green spaces are there for other generations to benefit from.
Earlier in the year we were delighted to hear from Leigh Primary School teacher Viccie Oyler who had heard about our School Based Project Work and commissioned Badger Bushcraft to write and deliver a bespoke Outdoor Learning Day in the schools stunning outdoor classroom which boasts a wildlife pond, seating/teaching area, bird feeding observation wall and a host of wonderful trees and plants.
Elements of the one day course included:- :
- Fire Safety and The Law
- Plant and Tree Walk
- Natural Art Session
- Survival and Survival Kit
Phil arrived to the school early in the morning to establish access to the site and build a shelter in the seating area as the weather forecast informed us that the day was due to deliver quite heavy rain showers during the morning. The children were so well kitted out in fabulous waterproofs and welly boots that the weather was not going to spoil their enjoyment of the outdoor parts of the day!
The morning sessions including Fire Safety and The Law, Firecraft and the Plant and Tree Walk that were all delivered out of doors. It was plain to see that all the children were engaged and enjoying both the learning experience and the sense of adventure.
The afternoon sessions saw us back into the classroom for the Natural Art and then the Survival and Survival Kit session. The pupils produced some exceptional artwork using natural materials we had collected earlier in the day, it was wonderful to see them working in small groups discussing their projects, being so creative and producing some amazing master pieces. The final Survival and Survival Kit topic resulted in a most interesting and lively hands-on class with some exceptional answers and amazing questions coming form the children.
All of the pupils were presented with a “Badger Bushcraft Leigh Primary School Outdoor Learning Day” certificate and went home happy after such a busy day.
It was nice to receive some pictures and a thank you note from class teacher Viccie Oyler:-
"Just a thank you again for our fabulous day yesterday, everyone is really buzzing still. Badger Bushcraft was the most fantastic day for my class. They were so interested in everything that they did and the amount of learning we got out of the day was enormous. I am eager to use Badger Bushcraft for other projects around the school.” Viccie Oyler, Teacher at Leigh Primary School
We look forward to returning to the school and building upon our working relationship and we are now discussing how to take our work forward over at Leigh Primary School and helping them to develop their outdoor classroom and wildlife area.
Thank you to all the pupils and teaching team that made our visit so enjoyable and rewarding.