Monday, 4 July 2011

School nature adventures

Newts at the Waterings, with Landewednack School
It's been fun all round as all years from Grade-Ruan and Landewednack Primary Schools have been out and about with us in the last few weeks, for action packed nature themed adventures. Class 1 from Landewednack came pond dipping at The Waterings nature garden, and then later in June joined us for a fun day on the beach at Poltesco, scrambling amongst the rockpools. Prize for the biggest crab of the day to head teacher Mrs Wilson! Class 2 came along for a habitats themed afternoon at the Waterings, learning how to use keys to identify trees, and quadrats to survey the meadow. We learned that quadrats could work well as quoits too! Class 3 were set the task of making their own natural pigments for artworks on wooden 'canvases', using berries, leaves, chalks and charcoal, as well as the big rope challenge. Could they, from nothing more than plant leaves, make a rope strong enough to lift their teacher? The answer was a resounding yes, although just to be sure we didn't dangle Mr Bolton over the pond, as the kids had requested! Everyone soon mastered the art of twisting and braiding the New Zealand Flax leaves into cord, which we could plait together into an ever thicker rope.

Grade-Ruan - just testing their home-made rope!

Grade-Ruan joined us en masse for two days of fun at Poltesco. On Monday yrs 3-6 were challenged in teams to build their own shelters from bamboo, poles, bracken and other natural materials at hand. The dens were soon put to the test as the rain set in, but even the weather couldn’t dampen high spirits as everyone rose to the construction challenge. A wildlife quiz, nature painting and ‘rope challenge Mark 2’ rounded off an action packed day.

Grade-Ruan testing out their shelters

On Tuesday the younger classes joined the older children, and all were treated to tales of the old serpentine factory in the cove at Poltesco, and the mysterious loss of a cargo of polished stoneware at sea, which helped seal the demise of this once bustling Victorian industry. A drama session with professional storyteller Mark Harandon for the older pupils, and a fishing game for the younger children, rounded off a fun-filled few days.

The kids have risen to every challenge we have set them, from making rope to building shelters, and they can be really proud of all they’ve achieved. Thanks to all our volunteers who have helped make these days with Grade-Ruan and Landewednack schools so memorable for all the kids.


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