Year 2 took their learning outdoors for their ‘African Adventure’ project, and what a splendid adventure it turned out to be!

Last term’s ‘My Patch’ project, saw the children successfully fighting to save their land from the evil ‘Grizamelda’ by learning to recognise and appreciate all the special qualities of their local area, before looking at contrasting locations further afield in Africa. During Forest Fun sessions the children gradually developed fire-lighting skills by learning to use fire steels and special ‘fairy blankets’ to get a weekly campfire going and create the feel of a rural African community.

Children practised weighing and measuring capacity skills by making pancakes inspired by the book, ‘Mama Panya’s Pancakes’ and enjoyed creating fabulous toppings for them. Next, everyone explored what would make suitable habitats for African wildlife and created small enclosures for them using natural materials whilst practising knots and whittling skills. During all of this, the fun factor was kept up with the highlight being the weekly campfires with everyone gathering around, sharing ideas and delicious snacks together – the favourite was the dough balls and s’mores (toasted marshmallows sandwiched between two chocolate digestives!).

It was fabulous to see children successfully getting the fire going with just a firesteel and cotton wool and everyone showed an excellent regard for safety.

The focus then switched to looking at some of the development issues people in rural areas may face and the children created their own solutions to the issues of unsafe water, unsustainable food supplies, unfair education opportunities, child labour and limited healthcare. Whilst these are indeed complex issues, our Year 2 dealt with them in a mature, sensitive and very practical way and couldn’t wait to get building model schools, health centres, farms and water filtration systems!  Everyone experienced what it is like to have to collect firewood, buckets of water and considered resource management during each of these activities which has really helped the children understand and empathise with those who live in impoverished communities elsewhere in the world.  In role as community members, the children presented their ideas to the Chief – Mrs Andrejceuk – and debated which idea would be the most important to the community.

Having been so engaged with these issues, the children were keen to show some support for those less fortunate than themselves and be change-makers in the world. They decided to make a pledge to be helpful and do jobs over the half term for small amounts of money and voted to support two different charities – Water Aid and Send My Friend to School.

We are so proud of the children for their valiant efforts and sensitivity, understanding and empathy for others. Well done Year 2!