Welsh Woodland Culture

I am very pleased to introduce Welsh Woodland Culture as a new weekly activity.

Already students have begun to appreciate that this activity is a great opportunity to get out into the woods, leaving behind school routine and life indoors for the chance to spend a few hours lost in nature. Uptake has been good and students have become very committed to learning about the immediate world around us and appreciating its diversity.

Every session we learn about the natural world and, hopefully, awaken an awareness of the richness which is all around us. We spend minutes of mindful contemplation and share ideas. With each outing there is an opportunity to share ideas and become aware of one’s natural surroundings. There are elements of botany (tree identification, reading the landscape) and craft activities in situ. There is also a linguistic thread, with tree names and words for the natural world being noted, in Welsh and English – as well as key words in other European languages.

There is always a focus to each session — history, folktale or poetry. So far, we have had references to the local folktale of St Collen; a talk on the local history of the Roman Occupation and daily experiences of Iron Age people; latterly students have been introduced briefly to the aesthetics of the woodland and how, according to Wordsworth, it can have an overridingly positive effect on one’s own wellbeing and allow folk ‘to see into the life of things.’

All in all, a very positive start to the new school year. It is hoped that pupils will return to school with new awareness of environmental issues – and contribute creatively to the ecological development of the school and its grounds.

Mr N. J. Blandford

 

Posted on: October 13, 2020