Hand-in-hand Stepping Stones pupils took a guided tour of bushcraft. They explored the wooded area that surrounds the eight-acre site of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep. Their journey coincided with the bushcraft activities for Berkhamsted Girls Year 7.
Over 70 Senior School girls were busy building fires, learning knife skills and building a camp when the three-year-old children of Stepping Stones arrived.
It was an exceptional opportunity for learning to take place between peers eight years apart. The fascinated children of Stepping Stones engaged with Year 7 by asking many curious questions. The first being a simple “what are you doing here?” Inspired by what they saw they wanted to know how the girls built their dens, what they were cooking and so much more. They learned how they made the fire, where they sourced the materials and most importantly some of the safety aspects of life outdoors.
Year 7 girls showed incredible empathy and leadership as they explained what they were doing to our Stepping Stones children @BerkoPrePrep
Lighting fires, cooking lunch and making shelters #outdoorlearning pic.twitter.com/QbWWbYT6jb
— BerkoPrePrep (@BerkoPrePrep) September 12, 2018
In return the Year 7 girls were excited to share their outdoor education experience with the younger pupils. They formed unique relationships and were inherently nurturing and empathetic towards the younger children who were enthralled but understandably a little timid. As they toured the site the care and attention that was given to the youngest pupils was exemplary.
Stepping Stones Sweetness
“I had so much fun and we especially enjoyed the shelter building. There was a lot of teamwork involved and we really got to know everyone. It was exciting and a nice surprise to see the Stepping Stones pupils, they were so sweet and good at asking questions.” Liberty, Year 7
“We made fires to cook our food out of cotton wool and vaseline. For lunch we set up a grill on the fire so we could cook sausages and jacket potatoes. After lunch Stepping Stones pupils came and asked lots of interesting questions about how we made the shelters and how we cooked our food.” Sasha, Year 7
An adventure every day
Pre-Prep Headteacher Karen O’Connor said “Many of our Year 7 girls started their Berkhamsted life in Stepping Stones. It was endearing to hear how much they remembered about these very important years and especially pleasing to listen to them happily recounting how much they enjoyed their early days in our school to our newest Stepping Stones children. A huge thanks goes to our Year 7 girls for the warmth and care shown towards their youngest friends in our school.
“School life is an adventure every day for the youngest pupils at Pre-Prep with so many additional experiences on offer, not only in their learning environment but through specialist teaching and our inspiring grounds. They are used to having slightly older children on site, but it is the benefits of being part of a 3-18 school that allows for interactions with Senior School children that is so special at Berkhamsted. These unique experiences will build a lifetime of memories for them.
“Naturally, our group of young learners are already curious to explore their beautiful new surroundings at the start of their School journey but it is also exciting for our Parents to see what the future holds as their child progresses through our school family and to see how much our children develop as a result of the cohesive approach to learning evident across our school.”
Led by the Outdoor Education department, Bushcraft took place in September 2018 for Year 7 and 9.