'Fun in the Forest'
Throughout the year we take the older children (those who will be school leavers) to a local woods. We take children in small groups for a series of sessions throughout the year on a rotational basis. They should all have two series of visits to see the woods change in different seasons. The children lead the activities, under adult supervision, so every session is very different. Activities have varied from bug hunting, to building woodland crowns, to treasure hunts.
Through the activities, children should achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees, as well as respecting the strict boundaries that are outlined on the first visit to maintain their safety. Within these boundaries they are encouraged to take risks and explore within an environment that would be different to their norm. We explore the natural habitat, the varying stages of growth throughout the calendar year, and the wildlife that can be found in different areas of the 'Forest'.
Children need to wear long trousers and long sleeves in all weathers to avoid bites or stings. They also need to be wear wellies, waterproofs or sun hats and bring spare clothes and water bottle in a small back-pack.
St Brendan's Care Home visits
3 times a year, the children from The Ark visit the residents at St Brendan's Care Home. This interaction between the generations has proven benefits to both age groups and the residents here certainly enjoy our visits.
Children have partnered residents to decorate plant pots and plant flowers, make Christmas tree decorations, and create Easter Bonnets. The most recent visit saw the children go in their costumes to talk about their topic, People who help us. They sang songs, decorated Easter eggs, paraded their Easter Bonnets, and sang some songs.