What a truly wonderful first half term at venture for lots of new children and myself too. It is quite incredible to see how quickly both old and new venturers have settled and wonderful to observe more experienced children holding a hand and showing new children the ropes, myself included. Our days at venture are slow paced and children are given the freedom and time to explore, spending a whole day leading their own learning in natural surroundings that feed their curiosity is something that is quite unique. Children are eager to learn as their experiences are real life and relevant. They aren’t playing with plastic bugs in an already made bug hotel, they are finding slow worms in the mud and finding out what they need to create a suitable home for them. They aren’t tapping a letter on an Ipad screen, they are pointing at a sound on a sign on a wall and questioning what does that say? why is it there? They aren’t moving a small world digger across some brown material pretending to be mud, they are watching from less than a metre away how the controls of the digger move to adjust the bucket as it scoops tarmac from the road.
‘The best learning happens in real life with real problems and real people and
not in classrooms’
Each child’s thoughts and who they are as individuals is valued and their well-being and happiness is integral. We spend long periods of time observing and listening to children, learning about their character and understanding them as individuals to support them along their learning journeys. Children at venture are learning to be aware of others, to be kind considerate and polite to each other. It is heartwarming to see children helping each other, offering a hand when their friend is sliding down a muddy hill, zipping up each other’s coats as the rain starts to fall and emptying one another’s boots when they have filled with water. The surroundings of Hope Cove are just breathtaking and not a day goes by that we don’t see something different. Yet there’s no denying that it can be a challenge in this ever-changing environment but the confidence and perseverance that children show is something I have never seen before. There was one moment in particular that has stuck with me for the last few weeks. It was at the end of a day in the woods, the wind had started to blow and the rain had started to come down, and the children were strolling along up the hill. As we reached the top and looked down across the hills, I heard a little voice say, “that view is magic!” I replied with “it certainly is” the little voice continued “Don’t you know that everything at venture is just magic”.
Read the rest of our Autumn 1 Newsletter here.