Permaculture and Play

As of January 2016, we have introduced our new outdoor curriculum: ‘Permaculture & Play’, led by Mrs Jo Pedrick and Mrs Kate Smith.  The children cannot speak highly enough of thier outdoor learning!  

We take one class out to the ‘Permaculture & Play’ base per day.  There is a clear structure to the day and every child has the opportunity to play, to farm and to cook throughout each term; this is a met, dairy and wheat free provision, which allows ALL children to take part fully. Children are taught to take an active part in drawing up risk assessments for the tasks using a ‘risk benefit’ board. 

We start the day with ‘Mind Up’ then we share our understanding about permaculture, play, the school ethos and nutrition. This supports mature conversations and links between all areas of learning. While getting warm on soya hot chocolate and pop corn we plan the day ahead.

During the morning, a group of children will cook lunch, for example; vegetable soup, plant cakes and custard. It is very popular! An example of our play includes a theme around ‘fire’, the children have the opportunity to make and draw with charcoal and mud. They have also enjoyed making story sticks and ‘mud modelling’. The chickens have never looked so well and have started to lay again, due to all the farmers taking good care of them. Also, the playground area is starting to look much cleaner due to the excellent efforts of the yardsmen and women.

We follow a moon calendar and employ ‘no dig’ gardening systems in our vegetable gardens. We make our own compost.

The future looks good, the aim being that the children will begin to take on many of the jobs independently and spend quality group time, where they learn to be increasingly independent of adults.  They learn to ‘play’ collaboratively, in a way that nurtures a sense of self and others in their environment, which is the basis of permaculture. We have a pizza oven, reciprocal round house, herb gardens, a pond, wild flowers and a forest foraging area.

Please click here to take a look at what we have been learning