Friday, 27 January 2012

Deep in an unlikely rainforest

and here are a few images from workshops this week at Annesley Primary School, making masks inspired by rainforest creatures with Year 1

a cheerful fish swims through a rainforest river, while....

2 big cats - a cheetah and a very heavily camouflaged jaguar loiter (and no, don't remind that they live on separate continents and that cheetah's aren't exactly jungle predators. I know!)

Homeward heading adventurers need journals to tell their adventures so here are a few extracts - of the panther that stalked someone (above) and of a parrot flying in the canopy...

...and then there was a very hearty scorpion rattling around...

...and someone else saw an anteater!

Annual Festival of Outdoor Learning

03 -04 March 2012

2 days of liveliness in the Hope Valley, this annual event run by t the Lindley Trust and the Institute of Outdoor Learning is a good chance to renew old connections, forge a few new ones  and get some juicy new activities to work with
small adventures hidden all over the place...

I'm there on the Saturday with a storywalks workshop - activities to plan and lead your own walk, and a wild books session - techniques for making little books in the field as ways of recoding observations or noting down the wild adventures that are growing out of the spaces you are working in

stories are for everyone...
...we just need ourselves a bit of time

From the Hollowford website:

A Great CPD Opportunity for Outdoor Professionals, Teachers, Youth Workers and Anyone With A General Interest In The Outdoors
Only £70 for the whole weekend - includes 4 workshops, 2 nights accommodation and meals during the the event

We have a great line up of workshops already confirmed

Saturday Workshops
                Gang Interventions - Julia Wolton
                Story Walks - Gordon MacLellan, Creeping Toad
                Group Dynamics - Dave Baines & Harvey Downey
                Pottery In The Outdoors - Gill Jones
                Natural Music Making - Alex Hampson
                Dark Skies - Dave Chalton
                Wild Books - Gordon MacLellan, Creeping Toad

Sunday Workshops
                Outdoor Photography - Alex Ekins
                Philosophy Within The Outdoors - Frag Last
                Environmental Learning Made Easy - Jim Langley
                Throwing Arrows, Make and Play - Ian Cresswell
                Improve Your Forward Paddling - John Handyside

we can grow stories out of all sorts of things...
(and without any apology at all, most of these photos are from warmer climes than the Hope Valley in March but I am sure the excitement will be the same!)

The Value of Distance

I was in Amsterdam last weekend, partly work, partly social, partly just getting away from everything for a few days. I did not come back with a volume of new work, a stunning set of inspiring activities or even much written down at all, but after a weekend of drizzle and damp coats, I came back with a renewed peace. That comes partly from those friends (go visit Maria's site for poetry...) but mostly from places to walk and sit and simply think.  Reflect, review and meditate and appreciate not trying to deal with new projects, old proposals, imminent workshops and late deadlines
Hortus - lovely glasshouses (web image, not my own!)

There was Hortus, the Botanic Gardens, and the Allard Piersen Museum of Archaeology. I was reminded how intriguing it is to wander round an exhibition where one has no idea what most of the interpretation says and simply enjoy the collection and wonder at how subtly different the artefacts that were brought back to the Netherlands were

That sounds trivial but the strength runs deeper. This is time alone but observant, to enjoy the rush of humanity, to watch, listen and always watch. To think about what moves these children to run and play just there…or where do people stop and stare at a tree, an empty flowerbed, which sarcophagi draw attention…

Go away. The creativity never stops, the thinking, planning, planting, growing but there is a distance here physical and emotional and stepping out into a different place with only a notebook refreshes more than 4 days at home

Inside the Cycad House at Hortus, again not my own image

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A New Year begins in Ancient Egypt

It is a while since I last posted here with a Midwinter of escaping from workshops but not escaping for plans and proposals and grant applications....

Quick catch-ups

Wintry Lanterns in Sherwood Forest: 17th December 2011

And more recently there has been a trip back in time to Ancient Egypt at Annesley Primary School. PArt of an ongoing relationship with this lovely school, the Year 3s and I have been adventuring across the desert to the rich Nile the same time, with the Year 1s I've been taken off to a rainforest somewhere (nothing too specific continentally but with lots of animals, hot, humid atmosphere and quite possibly Terrible Adventures)...more of that will follow

characters encountered on our journeys....
The lovely Sekhmet statue in the picture above is mede by my friend Maria Strutz

Making our own scarab beetle seals

...and building stories
and in a darkened temple room (or maybe a school classroom) a single ray of light illuminates a wall of  pharaohnic masks

practice mask