One moment of many incredible moments

These past few weeks at Venture have been rather extraordinary and we feel very fortunate that we were able to spend this time with these inspiring children. There have been many memorable moments, but this particular moment reminds us why Venture is so special. It was a sunny, yet windy day and we headed off to Mouthwell beach. Our ever-changing environment is often the topic of many conversations and as we arrived the children commented on how the stream running down the beach looked different. They thought that there wasn’t as much water and wondered if this was because the sun had dried it up at the top of the waterfall or whether people in Hope Cove were drinking more because we had quite a few days of warm weather. As we sat together to talk about how to keep safe whilst playing at the beach I could hear little whispers of ideas being shared and plans being devised. These children then wandered off towards the waterfall discussing how the streams of water flowed in different directions and why the directions were different to yesterday. With time to let their minds wander they shared different concepts but decided that the sea must have been particularly wild overnight which had pulled the sand higher up the beach towards the wall. They noticed how the sand had made a barrier and the water from the waterfall was creating a pool. They began gathering rocks and seaweed on a piece of wood they spotted under the concrete and started laying them continuing along the sand barrier using the seaweed to block the holes between the rocks. Creatively and effectively using the resources around them. As more children gathered around to look, a small dam that just two children were working on soon emerged into all ten children working together problem solving, negotiating, making decisions, asking questions and advising each other. As the children were following their own choices, without adult interference their thoughts and ideas were their own, they felt empowered and became deeply involved in their own play. The children communicated with each other throughout the process. sharing ideas and discussing theories. Explaining what would be the best resource to use, why it would work and how to use it effectively. They listened intently to each other and asked questions for clarification. The children’s vocabulary was incredible as they used complex words to explain concepts such as “The water is most powerful here, where it’s close to the waterfall” and “the wood is big enough but not heavy the water force will push it over”. It was evident that these children have built strong relationships and have a real understanding of one another. Continuously offering guidance and encouragement they advised each other on what they could do and rushed to help when friends were struggling. Throughout the whole process the children were independently assessing risks and managing their own safety as they worked together to move heavy rocks into place. They occasionally stood back to look, observe and reflect on the decisions they had made and create a plan to solve the next problem. Although it took time for a solution to be reached, with space and time for children to think critically and problem solve independently, they are learning a powerful lesson in trusting themselves to work things out. From their persistence it was evident the satisfaction they experienced as they stood back to look at their dam. The intentions and goals they achieved were their own. Although it wasn’t long until the dam collapsed, yet with a different perspective and new approach they began to build it again…

Read the rest of our Venture Hope Cove summer newsletter here.

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