Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Big Outdoors

It's sad to learn that less than 10% of children get to play in natural places such as woodlands, as reported by the Field Studies Council.

I never got round to saying anything about it, but about a month ago I went on a school journey to stay at the Magdalen Project on the Dorset, Somerset border. It's an amazing place, "encouraging children and adults to learn new skills, enjoy new experiences and develop a greater understanding of the countryside and a more sustainable approach to life." Girls whom previously drew hearts on absolutely everything, suddenly became obsessed with jumping in 'squishy mud', preferably falling into it if at all possible. And many of them, I realised, had never experienced true darkness - something of an impossibility coming from inner London. It was a real eye-opener to say the least.

With all this in mind, I am more excited than ever to be moving back to Cornwall - where I'll get to camp out at the place pictured above as often as I like through the summer holidays. I hope that in my new school there will be ways to fit as much of the outdoors as possible into the National Curriculum. Fingers crossed.