The first half of the Autumn term has gone by so quickly. The children have been really busy and happy we are so pleased with how well both old and new Venturers have settled. We mustn’t forget that Venture is a challenge and that is a large part of why we are all doing it. An indoor setting is an easier journey for children. They can sit in warm shelter on the carpet comforted by playing with toys that are familiar to them (maybe a train set) without having to make an effort to engage and use their imaginations. When we arrive in the woods or the beach we often get the opportunity to stand back and watch as they begin to come up with their own new ideas and play wonderful imaginary games together. We can’t help but feel very proud and also happy that you have all chosen a setting which, yes is sometimes more challenging, but is undeniably better in that it is giving your children an opportunity to become engrossed with all of their senses in the natural world, to make their own decisions, to use their imagination and be allowed to think independently rather than be spoon fed knowledge. The children gain so much from this and everyday we get to see it on their faces as they complete a challenging task independently.
We watch as they decide what to do next, without obvious predictable activities set up for them. Instead they have to think, wonder, dream and create things to do on their own. This has lead to some fantastic ideas such as the ‘toilet area’ some of them have spent weeks planning, designing and building, clearing a path, digging an area, tying rope across trees to stop people entering and laying bamboo canes to mark the pathway. There has also been bridge making, pirate ships, redirecting the reading rooms gutter water, making a waterway in the stream and so much more. All of this was done as a team, welcoming new people each week, negotiating, problem solving, sharing, making decisions and taking risks and changing strategies. Add to that the incredibly rich language used in order to complete these tasks together and we have something really very special! The resources we provide for the children to play with allow them to try their own ideas, ask their own questions, discover their own answers and create new possibilities.
Read our first autumn newsletter here.