At Wicor Primary School in Portchester, Hampshire, we have spent the last seven years helping the next generation learn about and value nature. So when I heard that the editors of this e-magazine were looking for articles from young environmentalists I felt that we could add anew angle from the perspective of a primary school. Starting next week, this blog won’t be written by me – but by the children of my Year 6 class.
As teachers we are so aware of the uphill struggle we have to engage our children with the outdoors – to make them actually stop and look around them; to see the beauty in nature, not just when the sun shines, but when the cobweb drips in early morning dew or when the trees stand stark showing their winter glory which some might perceive as dull after the autumn colours. This blog will reflect seasonality, and hopefully you will see that we give the children a chance to stop, and reflect on the changing nature of their world.
We are lucky at Wicor, as we have worked tirelessly to improve our grounds, and have created many areas for children to explore and plant. We have built our own pond; constructed a chicken run; have six, honey producing bee hives; planted a heritage orchard; created tropical beds; turned some of our playing field into 100 feet of allotments and edible hedging; we even have our own bed of Jurassic plants along with a dinosaur or two. Animals, therefore, regularly visit us at the school and this includes roe deer in the field next door, herons on our roof and green woodpeckers tapping away in the trees. Frogs sit and listen to stories (yes they do!) next to children by the pond, and badgers leave their mark with latrines.
To make the most of the hard work we have put into the grounds we have created an environmental science curriculum based on seasonality. This is designed to get the children outside in all weathers every week of the year to give longitudinal learning and enable comparisons.
So here’s to our next blog…from the children of Wicor Primary School, Portchester, Hampshire. To find out more about us visit our webpage and our own blogs – Wicor’s World, Wicor Grounds and Buzzin’ and Cluckin’. http://www.wicor.hants.sch.uk/
Photo: Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=674432