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Out Door Family Learning, Heritage & Arts Activities

May 30, 2012

Out door learning for families

Above: toddler looking for ladybirds in an old tree.

At Dawn Chorus we encourage a supportive, nurturing culture, which builds early learning principles and practices based on the real world, to give meaningful, relevant experience. This can lead to positive life long learning patterns, improved confidence and self-direction. We believe that most youngsters want to be respected and trusted and want to co-operate in contributing to the community, in a responsible and sustainable way. We aim to build children’s confidence & encourage mentors to experiment with approaches to learning which are filled with vitality & creativity. We use positive affirmations with the children as they create effective self-regulation and give the tools to persevere during troubled or stressful situations, boosting self-esteem and helping create positive mental attitude, thinking and outlook. We encourage Trust Nurturing and PACE parenting, where playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy are key. This Opens communication, helping children to experience being listened to in a safe place. Children then start to explore, discover and learn.

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Above: exploring.

We aim to:

Raise awareness of the vital role played by families in raising levels of attainment.

Develop opportunities for parents, carers & guardians to support children and special needs family members: for example as part of our community awareness and well being work: we arranged an event where mental health service users and young people with learning difficulties visited the office of the Nottinghamshire Crime and Police Commissioner.

Work with families in receipt of pupil premium, including adoptive families and forces families. We also integrate these activities with initiatives for those who feel lonely and isolated in our communities. This often leads to intergenerational cooperation and sharing.

Foster involvement and hands on seasonal creative learning activities, which promote an understanding of the power of nature & horticulture; the arts & heritage. this help children to transform their understanding of the world and their communities. One example is our popular annual photographic competitions.

Encourage family access to intergenerational activities, events and play-learning games, to develop compassionate and creative thinking, social responsibility, healthy eating & mental wellbeing, basic skills, understanding of & skills in animal welfare, environmental and social responsibility. For example: community, family and children’s cooking sessions are popular.

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Above: angel, Laxton Church.

We understand that creative and arts activities, stimulate learning and creativity in all academic areas. The arts develop neural systems such as motor skills and emotional balance, aesthetic awareness, cultural awareness, social harmony and appreciation of diversity. Helping children to understand cultural heritage and history, builds self-esteem and pride in place & community. Children who are read stories and who are taught to listen to music become good listeners: in lessons, in relationships, in social care roles and may become more empathetic and compassionate.

2012 saw a 30% contraction in arts funding in the UK, this makes our work even more vital and worthy of support.

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Above: “discovering the peg” used to mark the strips in the medieval strip farming still practiced at Laxton.

Below: green spaces are important for children.

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Our community engagement for all ages, in just one week, helped children’s groups to: celebrate heritage festivals, take part in garden bird watching, countryside ID & pond adventures. Our community project on ammonites model making for children and our family kitchen food preserving project has been important to our communities in lockdown, stimulating the documentation of the memories of participants.

We have been in demand in the community, to support cross-curricular immersive learning: developing compassion, cultural experience, creativity, academic potential, social skills & outdoor learning possibilities. We have developed resources to support elective home education groups. Activities directly link to Key Stages of the National Curriculum. In one project, our volunteers helping children to check insect hotels, comparing designs to find out the preference of specific species for various designs.

Dawn Chorus Educational Initiative set up fifteen virtual learning community event forums during lockdown, to promote thinking and awareness on a range of topics. We will maintain this type pf engagement as part of our ongoing programme delivery.

In contrast to the virtual world, our real world  learning activity outings are popular & range from consideration of medieval stonework in Tickhill, South Yorkshire, to architectural furniture in Grantham.

We were delighted to supply copy writing & images to Juno Enterprise Charitable Association for community education resource sheets; this work will benefit over 10,000 people. We printed, for the Association, community education resources, including foraging bags to benefit several hundred people. Pictured below, the Juno Enterprise Charitable Association partnership project with SEND Nottingham, working with hard to reach children and young people in an inner city area.

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