Cob construction 

Cob construction 

This is a great example of children involved in a real construction project. 
They worked in teams to prepare the clay mix and then fling it at the wall and beat it down! a very energetic job. this space for the finished article! 


Problem - we need a birdbath.

Problem-we need a birdbath. Solution?-make our own
The after school club is leading the work on our Growing Garden development, and last term they made a “tufa” birdbath. This is involved a lot of careful measurement, calculating proportions of the ingredients, and working co-operatively to make a thorough mix of the materials before adding water and sculpting the bird bath in the mould.  Working outside in our Nature Lab meant there was no problem with making a mess!  The children also discussed the health and safety implications of working with cement and were proactive in managing the risks.
The birdbath was left over the summer holidays to cure. It was exciting to unveil it this term. Result! The Nursery children helped to transport the birdbath to the garden where it will have a permanent home  and provide essential water for birds and insect life.

Working with builders

filling the dumper with soil ready for transporting to siteproblem solving  -moving a tree!
transporting soil for the planting bedwatching, learning, asking questions
"I was not sure about having the builders on site during term time but Felicity was right, it has been great! The children took so much from it, chatting to the builders, asking questions, looking down holes,  watching and role playing. They were taking ownership and absorbing what was happening around them. For example, I observed a child with speech and language delay who was busily engaged in building his own ‘fence’ after watching the building team at work”

This is a quote from an Early Years teacher, where a very positive outcome came from working with the builders on site during the term time. As the site developed I also helped the children to get involved in transporting materials to fill the planting beds and the sand pit too. Then the children also worked out how to transport 2 trees, and planted them in their new exploring zone.

These children were actively involved with the build, rather than having it done for them, as if by magic, in the holidays! So much learning and engagement, in return for a (very) little "disruption".

Willow Workshops


Willow Workshops

Nurture Group children, and years 1,4,5,6 all contributed to making a
new willow dome and "crinkle crankle fedge", with secret doors too! We
had two of the warmest February days (usually I am doing these workshops
in cold and rain!) The materials for the structures came from pruning
the Nursery willow tunnel that was planted about 5 years ago. Great
features of these workshops were the team working required, opportunity
for physical effort (who needs PE when you are wielding a mallet) and
the application of practical maths/numeracy skills throughout the design
and construction.  The mound behind was recently constructed and has
been sown with grass and wild flowers, although it is acknowledged that
these will struggle to survive when it is played on later in the year!
Watch this space for updated photos.