Layers of Learning: Reflecting on a Walk
I wanted to keep the content of the session relatively simple, giving the Year 1 children a chance to find out what they were excited by, and a range of ways to sense, record and reflect on their experiences, both as individuals and a group.
After the group arrived, and we (myself, Bethany from MK Gallery and Alice our Project Assistant) had welcomed the school, and reminded them a little bit about why we were there and what we had discussed in my school visit, I handed over to Nicky, a park ranger with whom we were working for the morning.
We spent the morning outside, in a walk led by Nicky and punctuated by opportunities provided by me to stop, look, listen, feel, draw, make rubbings and collect.
Nicky gave the group useful contextual information about the site’s history and ecology, while I gave them a chance to connect with the here and now, and pay attention to what was asking to be noticed.
In the afternoon, back at the Cricket Pavilion, our base for the day, we invited six groups of children to each create a map of their experiences with the support of an adult. Long sheets of paper were taped to the floor and they were encouraged to incorporate the rubbings, drawings and objects that they had collected along the way. I provided pens and pencils for mark-making, glue and tape for sticking, coloured card, luggage tags and string.
It was an opportunity for the children to take their experiences from the morning and to explore how they connected, to express their feelings and memories through mark-making, textures and found objects, layering and combining one with another to tell the story of their journey through the park.
We will be meeting at the Park again in a couple of months for our second session together, to build on this initial exploration, and any follow-up work that takes place back at school.