Risk? What risk?

It’s got to be said, we have THE best job in the world!…

Today the kidlets and I, together with a dear friend of mine (who happens to be a deputy head!) and her two boys visited Groombridge Place-The Enchanted Forest. http://www.groombridgeplace.com

I am taking my little gaggle of gorgeous 4/5years here for our school trip in the summer term. So today we went to risk assess.

What a place… I am not quite sure where I should even begin! On entering the grounds you are met by the most stunning view of the large house, which is surrounded by a moat that is home to the resident ducks and the odd goose. This in itself prompted a discussion about moats, and why this particular house had a moat when it wasn’t actually a castle!

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I am under no illusion that my class won’t be too interested in the history of this house or that

Pride and Prejudice was filmed here, but I thought it was pretty impressive!

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So into the park, and wow what an array of things to capture the minds and imaginations of children of any age! The forest definitely is a treasure trove of mystery and enchantment. The serpents Lair, the Double spiral, the Mystic Pool, Village of the Groms, The Standing stone, and the Dinosaur and Dragon Valley to name but a few. We saw fallow deer in the woods, a Zeedonk (zebra crossed with Donkey!!) grazing in the meadow and birds of prey flying in an enclosure.

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The Fort- Who fancies a game of hide and seek?

       We walked through ancient woodland surrounded by wild garlic and bluebells to reach the ‘Boardwalk Challenge’ with its aerial walkways, tunnels, rope swings and child’s zip wire. Amazing for physical development and encouraging children to take risks.  There was plenty of opportunity to stop and build shelters along the way too!

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Den and Shelter Building

There was great excitement when we found the “EPIC” (to use the words of my 6 year old) tree swings! These humongous swings stretched out amongst the trees, and gave one the feeling of literally flying! Nobody is ever to old to swing surely!

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Giant Tree Swings

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My favourite place in the enchanted forest is the Native American Teepee’s. I can imagine great story telling sessions, with all 60 of us huddled into one tent, using musical instruments to add detail and excitement to the story as it unfolds. There is a certain amount of magic that comes from sitting on wooden tree stumps listening to a story! Note to self to add these to my list!

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This old chap looks a little worse for wear!

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    During our time at Groombridge today, we kept bumping into familiar characters from a well known story…

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Groombridge place is an amazing space where children’s imaginations and ideas can run wild! I am so excited to be able to share this experience with the children in my class. I know that most children won’t have visited here before, and I can’t wait to watch the learning develop as the day goes on. Everything that I stand for in EYFS can be achieved here… creativity, investigation, speaking and listening, physical development, taking risks, confidence building, problem solving etc etc the list is truly endless.

A fabaroonie day had by all x

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