We often go for walks at Venture, but there is so much more to these than ‘just going for a walk’.
Today’s walk was a fine example of what the children have been learning throughout the term so far. As always at Venture, we like a challenge. The very nature of our kindergarten is a challenge. The high unique expectations we have for each child are a challenge. Even separating from our parents can be a challenge. But like I said, we like challenges.
Today’s walk was challenging for many reasons. It’s the furthest we have walked from Kitley Farm. It’s somewhere we have never been before and to make it that little bit more challenging even the terrain was being difficult.
We set off after a morning snack in search of new woods to explore. Not only are many of the children independently finding their backpacks and name tags on the rope bus, but they are becoming more aware of their peers and offering help to those who need it (this shows a wonderful self awareness as the children can see how their actions affect others). All the children can now tell you all the rules of the rope bus with very little prompting from adults (this shows great listening and retention skills). They don’t just know these rules but they also all follow them (even our little twos!). We had a new friend, who will be starting with us after half term, and the other children took turns to show him the ropes (excuse the pun) and made him feel very welcome in the group.
We started out our walk on the familiar road up to the orchard but it wasn’t long before we soon reached unfamiliar ground. The children took it all in their stride however, which expresses a brilliant level of confidence in themselves and trust in the staff. As we walked along the path we saw strawberry fields and pheasants, among many other things, which gave the children a chance to talk to each other and broaden their vocabulary and listening skills.
We soon encountered an enticing muddy puddle. It lured the children in until the water was above their wellies and many boots were stuck! The children weren’t phased however, as over the last half term they have been building up a resilience to challenging situations and of course getting muddy.
We eventually found a picnic spot and stopped for lunch. The children now know the routines and could probably sing the washing hand song in their sleep, (retaining songs and routines is key for the foundations of reading). Chris then read them this week's story ‘Hairy Mclairy and the Caterwaul Caper’. Everyone loved filling in the repeated refrains and linking the characters with the other ‘Hairy Mclairy’ stories.
Once lunch was finished and we had scientific discussions about the unripe strawberries being out of season, we packed up and headed back towards Kitley farm. On the way we stopped to count the pumpkins, (constant access to numbers vocabulary helps children to embed them so they become second nature).
All term we have been engaging in running races for the children to build up their gross motor skills. Today Jess extended the learning by adding in a stop and go element. Everyone had to listen carefully to the instructions, listening games are the first steps in learning phonics! After a short trip on the rope bus we were back at Kitley.
Once back we worked out the walk was about 3/4 mile and I must say all the children loved it! They all carried their own kit the whole way and embraced every challenge. Each and every child has come so far in their perseverance and resilience this half term. This isn’t just something we have seen today. It’s what we observe every day at Venture. These achievable challenges support your child’s confidence, self belief and resilience to grow. These skills are a huge challenge to learn but will be rewarding for each individual for the rest of their lives.
You can read the rest of this Venture Kitley Farm newsletter here.