Airth Nursery Class have also embarked on the Outdoor Learning Early Years Project. They are visiting the Larbert NHS Woodland Site on a regular basis. A group of 10 children are off-site every week on a Tuesday for the full nursery session. Karen Thomson, Senior Early Years Officer, Falkirk Council Curriculum Support Team, visited the group on 30th April.
It was clear that the children are becoming more confident in this new exciting environment and they were able to explain to Karen what they like to do in the woods and where they like to explore.
During the session, it was clear to see that the children are experiencing a wide range of Curriculum for Excellence Outcomes and Experiences for example:-
The children noticed that there were more ‘flowers’ (daffodils and dandelions) than their previous visit. They are discussing and examining the changes that have occurred since they were last here. (I explore and discover the interesting features of my local environment to develop an awareness of the world around me. SOC 0-07a)
On the walk to the woods, one child decided to count the dandelions at the side of the path. (I am developing a sense of size and amount by observing, using and communicating with other about things in the world around me. MNU 0-01a). She discovered that there were “80 dandelions!”
It was one of the few sunny days that we experience in Scotland and the children noticed that their shadows were cast onto the path. They asked the question “why is my shadow in front of me but when I turn around it is still there?” This began a conversation about where the sun was in the sky and how this has created the shadow there. Later on in the session, when the sun had moved, the children recalled this discussion and noticed that “my shadow has now moved to the side of me” (By observing and recording the sun and moon at various times, I can describe their patterns of movement and changes over time SCN 1-06a).
We then went for a walk around the pond. The children were keen to feed the ducks and tried to attract them over to them. Where the children were standing was very mucky and the children commented that they should move to another spot as the ducks would not come over in the muck. We discussed that we might have to be a bit quieter as they may be scared of us.
At the water the children also explored a variety of objects and whether they would sink or float and which object made the biggest splash!
Throughout all these child directed activities they are developing a curiosity and understanding of their environment and their place in the living, material and physical world.
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