Over the last two days, our Year 6 children have had the most amazing time in school, experiencing our school grounds in a very different way.
As part of their Year 6 leavers treat, Golden Badger Education have been teaching the children new wilderness survival skills. So many, it’s difficult to know where to start, but here goes…
The children split into two groups, having been given the challenge of making a shelter. They worked well together, achieving great results. In fact the shelters were still in place when they returned to school this morning.
Once the shelters were complete, food was next on the agenda! The children were fascinated at what they could scavenge and eat from around our school grounds. Some of the children were brave and tried Nettle (folded in a certain way so as not to sting), Hawthorne and Herb Robert. Other edible items found were Burdock, Elderberries and Blackberries.
As part of their survival techniques, they discussed the importance of water, and if we found ourselves in a situation where we didn’t have running water, how we could purify it as best possible. The children created filters using natural materials found on site. Although they succeeded in making the water clearer, they discussed the fact that the water would still be dirty on a microscopic level – hence none of this water was drunk! As with our Brilliant Schools work, the children were vocal about how grateful they were to have clean running water.
Next, the challenge of lighting a fire! The hunt for the most firewood was on! The children learned how to light their fires using flint and steel, embracing one of our vision words – Perseverance! Both groups successfully managed to light their fires, with the children feeling a great sense of pride in their achievement.
As many people know who’ve had camp fires themselves, you’ve got to have marshmallows on hand to toast! Not only did they toast marshmallows, but they made their own bread dough to cook on the fire too!
Before the end of the first day, the group set up some cameras to see what wildlife lurked in our school grounds at night. They left some food out to entice the nightlife. The children couldn’t wait to see the outcome this morning; there was a cat, a hedgehog, blackbirds and magpies!
Wildlife at Night – The Cat
Wildlife at Night – The Hedgehog
Wildlife at Night – The Blackbirds
Wildlife at night – The Magpies
This morning, they kicked the day off with some orienteering around the school grounds. Again, perseverance came into play. This was followed by a manhunt – in simple terms, hide and seek using camouflage skills. The children really got into the spirit of camouflage, covering themselves with mud.
The children then lit another fire and had some great discussions around the campfire using the ‘diamond nine’ ranking system. Nine survival items were introduced and the children had to discuss and determine the priority of the items based on a particular scenario. Problems were then introduced to the scenarios where the children had to determine if the priority of the nine items was still the same or whether they had changed. Some interesting discussions were had. They also reflected on their own impact on the planet and discussed how they could make a difference to their future environment.
The session ended today, with not your usual wilderness survival meal, but nevertheless it was thoroughly enjoyed……..McDonalds!
Thank you to Golden Badger Education, the FPTA for funding this activity and to the children for embracing this fantastic experience.