In 2012, the UK National Trust complied a report called ‘Natural Childhood’ (Stephen Moss). It examined the shift in the childhood experiences of the current and previous generations, and identified that, due to many barriers and perceived risks, children now are facing a Nature Deficit Disorder – they are missing out on the joy of connection with the natural world. Many parents feel that we now live in a more dangerous world, with increased traffic and pollution, stranger danger, increased health costs and so on, and as a result, children’s access to risk is more closely monitored.
One of the outcomes of the report, which aims to reconnect children with the natural world in order for them to appreciate and conserve it for future generations, was a list entitled ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’. It’s a must-do tick list of wonderful rite of passage experiences that enrich childhood and promote natural play.
This report is in harmony with the aims of the Early Years and Primary Curricula at Dulwich Puxi, and this week, we’ve been busy getting outside to do all kinds of learning. If you have walked through our Nursery Garden recently, you will see that the teachers have been busy working through the children’s interests in building, and they have created shelters and dens. They have also been observing materials and how they get caught in the wind, and will be making kites to take their learning further, thanks to Mrs. Higgins unearthing the talents of one of our facilities team. Bob Hu is apparently a superb kite builder!
Y2 have also been getting out and about in Maqiao. To celebrate the end of our author Anthony Brown topic, they used the kitchen to make healthy fruit kebabs, and packed a picnic for their trip to the QiZhong Park. They used the walk around the local community to talk about significant landmarks, local flora and fauna, and to learn some of the history of Maqiao town.
Finally, thank you to Miss Johnson for her fantastic parent workshop on getting outside. By sharing the UK National Trust list of 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾, she gave our parents lots of ideas about simple experiences that children absolutely must have during their childhood. If you missed the workshop, please do check out the website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50-things-to-do.
I’m sure you will spot so many things on the list that we do in school – I’ve counted 34 of those experience across the College this year alone. The website also has a list of activities for parent to do during the Spring break. I hope you all have amazing outdoor adventures, and rekindle the joy of feeling connected to the natural world.