Mill on the Brue Schools Section.
Last night I switched on the radio (very late) but was fascinated to learn about preschool adventurous learning in Denmark. Children in many of the northern European countries do not begin formal education until they are seven, nor do they start to learn to read until that age. The Danish preschools take the children out into the woods or fields, all day; they climb trees, they play and build shelters, light fires, identify plants, insects and wild animals, and learn to whittle wood. This particular group of children had also seen chickens killed, and helped pluck them and cook them for their lunch. As their leader said – the children are learning to take risks, but they become more independent, more social, healthier with better immune systems. The interviewer was obviously quite shocked that children as young as three were learning to use sharp knives & watch chickens being killed, and asked a six year old whether he had ever cut himself – yes was the answer! The interviewer then transferred to New York and Hong Kong to question people there; was it a good thing in their opinion. Both agreed that getting the children out into the wilds if possible had many benefits, though doubtful about the knives in young hands. As both were living and working in huge cities they were really rather remote from the idea of the outdoors and what being in it meant.
However along with the introduction of Forest schools and the surge in Bushcraft practices, there is a movement in the UK, supported by the Outdoor Council, that every child who enters primary school in 2022 leaves school at 18 as an Outdoor Citizen. It is well documented and researched that being outdoors improves mental and physical health, concentration and an awareness of nature and the value of the environment. I would like to think that our future Outdoor Citizens will be given the chance to whittle!
Dates for the Diary:
Saturday 16th March – open morning at Mill on the Brue for teachers, 10 – 12pm.
Saturday 30th March – Bruton Spring Clean 10am. Start from Mill on the Brue car park.