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Prep at The Wilderness Centre - A-Day-in-the-Life

We arrived at The Wilderness Centre at 9:30am, after registering in the classroom at Wotton House. The day was bright and sunny and we set off to ‘The Ride’, a part of The Wilderness Centre which is reserved exclusively for students from Wotton House.

Once there we got organised, the students started collecting sticks, categorising them by diameter in order to ensure we are able to effectively start and maintain our fire. We have a ‘no matches’ policy in the Prep now - the students are excellent at working together to quickly build the fire and careful in taking turns fairly. Once we were ready to light the fire it was time to sit around it and have our morning snacks

together, discuss the tasks ahead and ensure we were all ready for the day. First on the agenda was campfire cooking, we made our own garlic bread using wild garlic we foraged freshly there and then. This was great fun - and a definite hit with most of the students!

As the students ate their garlic bread we listened to poetry around the fire, telling stories of nature and putting into words the incredible seasonal variations we are immersed in during our weekly visits. Then it was the students’ turn to write their own poems. We are working towards a class book and want to tell the story of an element of nature that we have experienced at The Wilderness.

As we drew nearer to lunch time the students asked to keep working - getting the water colour paints out around the fireside and painting the sights and sounds that they found inspiring. These special moments will be captured for the students in their rewilding journals, but also in our class book - this will come out at the end of term. Students will have an opportunity to perform their poetry for the rest of the school community in the last week of term - celebrating the wonderful connection they all have to nature through our rewilding programme and our regular opportunities to simply ‘be’ in nature.

Lunch break was much shortened as the student wanted to continue working. After lunch we went back to The Farm Room - another Wotton space at The Wilderness Centre. Here we had a wonderful art lesson with Mischa, our incredible art teacher. The students are making replicas of ancient vases using papier mache - the end results promise to be breathtaking, but they are currently still a-work-in-progress. Once we had finished, it was back on the minibus - tired and content after a wonderful day outside.

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