We need space, place and time to do the things we need and want to do. The conditions which we create to enable the creative or learning process have a direct impact on the process and the outcome. Continue reading “Space, place and time”
You may have noticed that Dacres Wood looked a little different after the summer holidays! In the reserve the leaves were starting to brown, the baby moorhens had grown fast, and berries, helicopters and conkers were appearing on the trees. But the biggest changes were to be seen indoors! Continue reading “The Third Teacher”
We invite you to come to our next information meeting that will take place on:
Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 16:00 to 18:00.
For more information and for reserving a space send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This event is only for adults.
In preparation for the first day at Dacres’ Wood, I made a map to give to the children. The map was a sketch of the reserve made into a puzzle. I had named some of the main landmarks I could see and invited the children to explore the forest and find which is which. I knew at the time that this map would be temporary. That with time and play, names would change, places would morph, and legend would emerge. But little could prepare me for the richness, depth and intricacies of the meaning of place in the children’s world; and I challenge any cartographer to capture the contours of a world which shifts with season and story, dips through dimensions and holds the hand of imagination.
Continue reading “The places we didn’t know existed”
It’s a sunny day sometime last term and I’m standing in the kitchen making some coffee. Lunch has just finished and a few children are outside in the woods playing Harry Potter. Rowan is out there too playing the part of Voldemort. Some other children are indoors making constructions with straws.
All of a sudden, Rowan rushes in and in a serious tone she calls over to me.
“Sally, I need to call a small meeting with you”. Continue reading “The Small Meeting”
The day the children started cleaning the bricks was magical for me. I’m not exactly sure how it started. One moment there was a pile of old used bricks covered in hardened mortar, and the next there was a production line of workers meticulously hammering and chiselling the mortar off, piling the bricks into countable piles and checking for quality control. It was even more organised than that, with a boss giving out jobs and instructions and organising breaks for the workers to run around the forest in turn and rest tired hands. Continue reading “Learning to lay off”
Last term (spring term) we started a science club. This came about when a visiting parent suggested it in the meeting, the children cheered, and there it was, up and running. Friday afternoons, dedicated to science. It would be fun, it would be experiment based, the children could propose experiments or themes they wanted to explore, and no one would be forced to take part. We started by doing lava lamps and gigantic bubbles. Both afternoons were fun and the children’s understanding of the properties of materials was probably enhanced. Continue reading “Are gorillas grown up monkeys?”
Join us in our open day at Dacres Wood on Saturday 28th April from 1pm to 6pm.
Besides screening the film/documentary ‚Being and Becoming‘ (directed by Clara Bellar) at 3:00pm which explores the choice not to school ones children, to trust them and to let them learn freely what they are passionate about, we will have snacks, drinks, and kids stalls.
Every day I spend at Dacres Wood I learn something new. Last week it was how to identify animal tracks left in the snow and what moorhens like to eat. The week before that it was wood carving and bricklaying. The past week or so however, for me, has been a lesson in how to hold different kinds of spaces at Dacres Wood. Spaces for quietly concentrating, dreaming and making; as well as spaces for group play, discussion and laughter. Continue reading “‘Sitting Down’ v ‘The Upside-Down Jungle’”