Term 2 Week 7

WHAT A WEEK EH?!? What a week! Did you have fun?  I DIIIIID - Had a great time! We got up to all sorts this week.  Admittedly there were some days when we did stay inside because as I said on another blog "sometimes you've got to know when to call it 'quits'" but we threw snow, we built snowmen and some of the children even joined me in making snow angels, but some of our children looked at me with an expression that read "Tall person, why art thou lying upon the floor? What meanest thou by this?" and so I had to get up then.  

But if the children did have appropriate clothing, we DID go outside.  And thats the point.  There will be times when our children will be exposed to risk and danger and different types of weather and its about teaching them not to be "risk-averse" but "risk-aware", where appropriate.  If we can get them to understand the nature of danger and what risks MIGHT happen then they'll grow to be more aware of whats going on around them, so they can make better choices and become more independent, which is what we want.  That being said, there is some weather fronts and situations where you just look at it and go "uh-uh".  

SO LETS BEGIN! I was going to do this in another story format but then I've decided not to.....THEN AGAIN:

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I'll begin: 
In the land of Springwood Primary, where the "little ones" (oh good grief, here he goes again with the inverted commas) lived, there was a man named Andy.  He was the schools outdoor learning co-ordinator, and he lived outside in his shed (or any other place that he could find to be honest).  Andy had help from the "little ones" and every day different groups would come out and work with him to learn all about nature and the great outdoors and different things like maths, english and science.  Andy liked his job.  It was a lot of fun. 

On Monday, he started off with Dragonflies who came out to learn about different types of sticks and whether they were long, short, thick or thin.  The children did very well with this activity and Andy thought it had been a good lesson.  "Onto Grasshoppers." Andy thought to himself, as he went to pick them up.  The "little ones" in Grasshoppers were doing a big lesson that day, as they were to go on a snail hunt around the Outdoor Learning area because they were learning about France.  Their teacher, Scott, split the class into two and while the other group were searching high and low for snails, the second group were helping to organise the wood in the Outdoor Learning area so that they could use it to build a roof for the compost bins.  When the first group came back they said "Scott, we can't find any snails." And so Scott had to go and help them look high, and look low, and to look wherever they would go while Andy helped the other groups sort the wood into different shapes and sizes.  After this Andy came to Ash class and the "little ones" in there were learning about Florence Nightingale.  They were going to plant some "herbs" which may have been useful for medicine during the Crimean War, which was a very long time ago, and so Andy took the "little ones" outside and they worked on using the gardening tools and putting soil into the pots and placing seeds into them and giving them some water so that they could grow.  "Maybe one day you could take some of these home." said Andy to the children (Andy didn't have much experience with gardening.  This would be an interesting experience for all concerned, to say the least.  Alan Titchmarsh, he is not.) 

On Tuesday, Andy came outside and was surprised to find a big, white, canvass had covered his Outdoor Learning area.  IT HAD SNOWED!  Andy liked the snow, and he hoped some of the children could come outside and play in it too.  The first class in though, were Butterflies, and some of their "little ones" weren't very well, and some of the staff hadn't managed to get into school and so they stayed inside instead and did some planting of lillies and other herbs (I actually had photos of this for "highlight of the week" but then left them on the school system so I'll update later next week) and the children were very good and really enjoyed it.  The "little ones" told Andy that even though they couldn't go outside, they still liked planting and had fun.  

Woodpeckers DID come out though in the snow, and they and Andy had a great time.  They made snow angels, they built snowmen, they even threw snowballs! It was brilliant.  Some of the "little ones" were a little hesistant about the snow and had to explore it with their hands first but they soon began to play with their friends and there were lots of smiles and laughter all around.  Unforunately not everyone in Foxes could come out to play, and so Andy stayed inside with them to help them learn about planting, which they, like their friends in "Butterflies", really enjoyed! They liked feeling the soil, and smelling it, and learning to put it into the pots with a gardening spade.  Andy was very happy that they were enjoying themselves.  But then the snow began to get heavier and heavier and wind blew harder and harder and it was time for Hedgehogs to come out! "I know", thought Andy, "We'll go into the Quad".  The quad was an "outdoor area" with a roof, that was in the middle of the building.  So it was outside, but it was inside.  Which Andy thought, as a description, was a bit of a contradiction but was certain that when the reader would read his description, they would understand what he meant.  "Lets go into the Quad" said Andy, when he saw his friends from Hedgehogs/  "Good idea" said the TAs from Hedgehogs, "We were thinking the same thing." The Hedgehogs wanted to build a planter for their "medicinal herbs", so that they could have something for them to grow in.  Andy brought along some saws, and some gloves, and some safety glasses (Honestly, I'm going to have my own work force soon - be able to knock you up a bungalow in no time) and the children began to learn how to use a saw.  They learnt how to hold the wood, where they should stand, how to hold the saw and they even tied maths into the lesson, because Andy had them count to 10 while they were sawing (cross-curricular, people, cross-curricular, check that out.) Well they sawed, and sawed and sawed, and even though they were having such a good time eventually it was time to go in so that they could go home.  "I'd better make sure I bring my hat, gloves and scarf, tomorrow." thought Andy as he left the building 

Wednesday came along and out came Elm.  They came to explore the snow with Andy, but they only came out for a little while because it was a bit too cold for them, but they had just enough time to throw a snowball and attempt a snow angel before going in.   Badgers were next for Andy on a Wednesday, and they needed to plant some herbs.  They went into the quad to plant their herbs, and so the "little ones" touched the soil, they felt the pots, they explored the seeds, and then one at a time they each had a go at putting some soil into a pot, with some seeds, before Andy took them outside and put them into the BIG planter (capital letters people, get that emphasis in there). 

Thursday saw Poplar come out first.  Adele, who was looking after the "little ones" in Poplar said "Lets go outside with some paint brushes and mark make." Andy thought that was an excellent idea, and the children came outside and explore the texture and the sensation of the snow, while making different marks in the snow.  The children were very happy about this.  Then Andy went to see the "little ones" in Beech, and they said "Can we have a go too!", "Oh good idea" said Andy.  They went out into their playground, and felt the snow beneath their feet, and listened to the "crunch, crunch, crunch" of the snow, and how it felt in their hands AND watched as it fell when Andy threw it into the air.  But then the wind started to huff, and puff, and blow and so the other classes said "Its too cold, Andy.  We won't be coming out today." And Andy thought "Thats a sensible idea"  On Friday it was very, very cold and the wind had not stopped blowing all night and so the teachers said to Andy "Andy, we WANT to come out, but we don't have the right clothing" and so Andy thought that the teachers were very sensible and went on his merry way.  

The End. 


We love doing Outdoor Learning at school, and wherever possible we will do it and we'll try to make adjustments for the children to come outside because they genuinely do enjoy being outdoors, but we also know when "enough is enough".  Hopefully the weather will improve and you'll hear more and more stories of what we get up to outside.  

Take care, out there.


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Springwood Primary School (Years 1 – 6)

Barton Road



M27 5LP

Tel: 0161 778 0022

Craig Hall

Springwood Primary School

Preston Avenue



M44 5XB

Tel: 0161 921 2170