Term 3 Week 9

Do you know what I found out this week?  People actually read my blog!  Other than myself!  And my mother!  I couldn't believe it when I found out.  I've got a target audience now.  I'm feeling the pressure to come up with new material to make it interesting.   And now I've got writers block!!! It was only meant to be part of a school website, now its turned into 5 people with a mild interest.  Tell ya.  Stress! 

Anyways, where was I?  The World Cup!  THE WORLD CUP!  Not even watched a game, so don't worry about it. OUTDOOR LEARNING! There we go.  That's more like it.  What did we do this week?  Well let me tell you, we are well on our way to be able to host a small snack time with the amount we've harvested this week.  3 lots of new potatoes (I'm not sure they were planted as new potatoes...but they came out as new potatoes non the less...) AND some runner beans!  The runner beans are MASSIVE.  Literally, a few of them have measured the length of my hand.  And with old shovel hands over here (I'm not sure if I do have shovel hands but it makes it funnier and gives you an idea of just how big they were) was very impressed.  So we had Elm, Badgers and Owls come out and all the children had a go searching through the compost piles and woodchips (Back to Eden Gardening Y'all check it out) and we got a nice little amount each.  

You've got to bear in mind that we are just starting this particular branch of Outdoor Learning off, BUT they children really engaged with the activity and took to searching through each bag.  What I wasn't prepared for was ants.  ANTS! Now according to the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society dont'cha know), Ants are pollinators (WHO KNEW! I thought it was just bees) and so long as its just the little black ones, you're garden should be fine.  Unless it breaks out into a swarm.  Then its not fine.   

Anyways they do not like you taking their potatoes.  Oh no.  They were not happy AT ALL.  And they let me know this by biting me.  So I squirted them with water.  And took the potatoes anyway.  I don't want to use a pesticide because they are pollinators and so that's helpful.  Plus they kill off aphids or something.  And I don't know whether that's good or not but it sounded like it was.  SO.  We'll keep the ants and I'll just buy a bee suit or wear very long sleeves when I go harvesting next years crop.  

Who else?  When you go into hot and cold, you have to have a fire.  Because that's what you do.  So we had a CRACKING session with Poplar, who came out and made "eggy bread" with their kids.  Well the YOLKS on you if you think this didn't work.  Coz we were just SHELLING them out.  I POACHED these one liners from somewhere, but I'm not sure where.  My heads a little FRIED at the minute.  Sorry.  I'll stop now.  But seriously, for our children sensory experiences can be a tough thing to deal with and some of them don't like certain sensations on their hands or faces or wherever.  Well our children in Poplar came out, whisked the eggs, put their OWN bread into the egg mixture and turned it over, and then put it into the pan to cook.  Now that's simply brilliant, I don't care who you are, you've got to be pleased with that.  Another lesson with Ash class was teaching them through toasted marshmallows about patience.   

Right, I'm not daft, and I know that to you and me a toasted marshmallow is a sugar rush and a nostalgia kick BUT if you want to get a good toasted marshmallow you've got to be a bit patient.  NO one likes charcoal, and so we used the lesson on toasting marshmallows as a vehicle to teach the children about fire safety, and about how they had to wait with their marshmallow, at just the right height and by slowly turning it they got to see it change.  Now for some of our children that's a big thing to see.  Waiting can be hard for them BUT they all did it and they all had a go and it was a real success, I thought.  Well we saw this also with Maple class who again learnt that if you don't have the marshmallow at the right height you get black char and you also usually end up with it falling off your stick.  Well if at first you don't succeed, try and try and try again.  The children do enjoy these practical types of lessons and we're seeing them hopefully pick up some life lessons along the way.  Oak class had gathered fire wood the previous week and learnt why they had to allow the wood to dry first before lighting it (seriously it makes a big difference.  Think the difference between a nice, cosy, enjoyable fire.....and Victorian London) and how to add wood safely to the fire to keep it going.  

Hedgehogs came out to describe to me and the rest of the adults the different textures and sensations they felt when touching different parts of the Outdoor Learning area.  Whether something was slimy, soft, hard, smooth, spiky, hot or cold and this improved upon the lesson from the previous week about what colours they could find.  Spiders and Dragonflies came outside, along with Woodpeckers and Foxes to work on the theme of animals.  The Dragonflies and Spiders looked to differentiate between animals and humans and to seperate them into two groups where as Woodpeckers and Foxes looked at matching the animal skin patterns to the correct animals and seeing if the children could get the correct pairs.  

Beech used their story of "The Gingerbread Man" to repeat a previous activity and build upon the childrens recognition by having a sensory story (Complete with the smell real ginger, I'll have you know) a picture search and a mark making station on logs which was enjoyable.  Finally Grasshoppers continue to develop their allotment and we have seem some growth of plants that are definitely NOT weeds.  I wasn't joking about the farmers market, folks.  

Highlight of The Week goes to Spiders and Dragonflies for a great double lesson on humans and animals.  Check it out.  

I possibly have one more video for you before the year is over...but that's your lot then.....Well we'll see.

What's Happening

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Swinton

Springwood Primary School (Years 1 – 6)

Barton Road

Swinton

Manchester

M27 5LP

Tel: 0161 778 0022

Craig Hall

Springwood Primary School

Preston Avenue

Irlam

Manchester

M44 5XB

Tel: 0161 921 2170