Understanding of the World

A safe, stimulating environment allows the children to explore and experiment with a range of natural materials such as clay and beeswax softened for modelling, kneading bread and watching it rise, planting seeds and watching them grow. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognizing the differences, patterns and similarities. They are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment by activities such as going for walks in the fields and woods, discovering what grows there e.g. blackberries, which are made into jam, crumbles and even paintings, mushrooms and toadstools which may or may not be poisonous. Festivals from different cultures are celebrated, and the children take part in seasonal crafts and activities. Foods from around the world are cooked and eaten at snack time and the children learn how to use cooking utensils e.g. knives and graters. Songs and dances from different countries are taught and stories told from other cultures. Sewing and simple woodwork projects, such as making a weaving loom, enable the children to extend their understanding of how things are made and used and where appropriate, parents are encouraged to visit and give the children an example of their work.