Venture Outdoor Kindergarten aims:

  • Build a positive mental attitude and independence
  • Develop patience, resilience and determination
  • Foster imagination and initiative
  • Cultivate respect for the natural world
  • Strengthen self awareness / sense of self and develop skills in cooperation and communication
  • Encourage individuality and original thinking
  • Harness children’s innate curiosity and cultivate a passion for learning which will last throughout  their lifetime
  • Learn how to make their own decisions to keep themselves healthy and safe
  • Have fun!

Ethos

At Venture Outdoor Kindergarten we spend the whole day outside exploring within our beautiful, carefully chosen outdoor environment. We recognise children’s competence as independent learners and our approach is child-led, allowing each child to play and be motivated by their own curiosity about the natural world.

At Venture we place emphasis on self confidence and independence which is achieved through each child’s negotiation of physical, social and personal challenges.

We respect children and place trust in them, allowing them to take ownership of their own learning and empowering them to make their own decisions. The children learn to manage their own risks and relationships with others whilst respect for one another and the environment is promoted.

The adults at Venture stand back and observe the children and this means that we can understand each child individually and plan for their next steps effectively. The adult takes a back seat and simply ‘scaffolds’ the children’s play and learning.

   

We become more humble, we teach less,

and we provide an environment for learning instead.  

 

 Magda Gerber

Giving the children the opportunity to be outside for long periods of time means fresh air, exercise and many rich opportunities for play and also provides an open ended, ever changing environment where the children are not restricted by commercial influences.

Outside they have physical and mental space. There are opportunities for natural quiet times when the children can approach their inner selves and enjoy a solitary moment, allowing time for thought and reflection.

Whilst outside the children and what they choose to play with can be anyone or anything, creating endless opportunities for creativity.  Children learn about the consequences of their actions and set their own challenges rather than having them artificially set by an adult.

 

Teach your scholar to observe the phenomena of nature;

you will soon rouse his curiosity,

but if you would have it grow, do not be in too great a hurry to satisfy this curiosity.

Put the problems before him and let him solve them himself.

Let him know nothing because you have told him, but because he has learnt it for himself.

Let him not be taught science, let him discover it.

If ever you substitute authority for reason he will cease to reason;

he will be a mere plaything of other people's thoughts.                Jean-Jacques Rousseau          

Physical and emotional resilience develop and are gently nurtured as the children become more able, with each achievement the child’s confidence, resilience, persistence and endurance grow. As the child begins to feel at home in an outdoor space they feel a sense of ownership and autonomy which brings with it confidence and the intrinsic motivation to discover and learn. This motivation is not often experienced within the constraints of an indoor, adult controlled environment where tasks are set and children are judged by adult standards.

Typical Activities

The children are encouraged to explore and play independently. Activities are planned according to the group’s and individual children’s interests and abilities. Examples of the activities that the children may encounter are:

Shelter work
Building dams and dens
Whittling
Boat building
Hill rolling
Experimenting

Splashing
Skimming stones
Pond dipping
Story telling
Caring for wildlife
Mud kitchen

Exploring
Map reading
Tracking animals
Bird watching
Developing balance
Using tools