Today was our first Forest School Adventure! Well to be strictly accurate it wasn’t forest school because we were are a popular nature site which wasn’t very ‘foresty’ but that didn’t spoil our fun at all. We set off with four toddlers, eight pre-schoolers, three pushchairs and four staff. There was lots of excitement as we made our way to the site. The children walked along beautifully, holding on to the sides of the toddlers pushchairs. As we neared the site we realised that there was an underpass the would take us directly to the site without the need to cross the road. So very sensibly we made our way to the underpass. A sign on a near by post warned us that, ‘the swans can be quite aggressive at this time of the year as they are sitting on the nest’
I thought this was a very good, literacy, opportunity so I pointed out the sign to the children and read it aloud. I explained that the swans would protect their eggs just like we look after the children in our care. I suggested that if we were quiet we could see the swans sitting on the nest, that would be exciting wouldn’t it! We set off down the path but before we had gone more than fifty meters the cob, male swan, started towards us. I pointed this out to the children but before the words were out of my mouth I realised this was no sightseeing trip for the swan. He was protecting his nest and nothing and no one would get in the way of that. Although the nest was situated on a dry piece of land within the pond, with no possibility of us accessing it we were clearly a threat to the swan. He headed directly for us, head down, wings extended and at quite a pace! As I was at the front of the group I quickly called a warning to my team and asked the children to return to the top of the path. Quietly and sensibly we bid a hasty retreat. The swan kept on coming, he really did want to get rid of us. Once back on the footpath we explained to the children why we were going to cross the road rather than use the pathway. The children took it all in their stride. Once on the site we stopped for our morning snack which was wonderful to eat out of doors. We then set off for the large field were children raced through the long grass. Some of the grass was up to the top of the children’s legs and this was the cause of much fun as they jumped on it, lay in it, rolled around in it and looked for bugs in it.
Children also enjoyed a story together in the long grass before we set off for home again. The children were wonderful, they behaved beautifully and managed the long walk very well. They were certainly very tired and hungry on arriving back at the Prepatoria. We have added some lovely photographs to the website gallery for you to see.