On Thursday 28th and Friday 29th April children from Early Years went on a field trip to the Fuverszkert Botanical Gardens. It was a huge success for those children who chose this experience to enhance their learning. The children were able to see a wide range of flora and fauna. They photographed the things that interested them and a major interest was in the pond with stepping stones across. The children discovered tadpoles and observed these with fascination as they crossed the pond by carefully walking on the stepping stones. Perhaps this could be a new interest developing for our children. It certainly connects to the concept of growth and decay that they have been exploring through their ongoing project work. We heard Year 4 have some tadpoles we could go and see.
During the field trip, the children visited the Garden Centre to buy a range of plants that will attract butterflies to be part of their Butterfly Garden design, a project they have been working on within their ongoing explorations of growth and decay. We now have a collection of different smelling herbs, and a range of flowering plants.
Through exploring the garden, the children are also full of ideas for our eBook about ‘Our Budapest’ and they took photographs along the way, and asked teachers to take photographs of them in front of different flora and fauna holding our two Budapest mascots, ‘Dino’ the dinosaur and ‘Fluffy’ the unicorn. This was Dino's and Fluffy’s second field trip and the children were excited to take them along.
Following the trip to the Botanical Gardens, the children have now planted their additions to the Butterfly Garden. They have also used their phonic knowledge to write new signs for the added plants and flowers and laminated these signs to protect them from the rain. The children have been tending to the garden and checking when it needs watering, although with the recent rain, they have not had to water it very often!
In the Art Studio, to support the children’s understanding of where butterflies come from, the children were excited to arrive at school on Monday to find a net with caterpillars. From their ideas we began to generate a wonder wall to capture their prior knowledge and understanding about caterpillars. We also added non-fiction books, story books, magnifying glasses and the children’s butterfly garden designs to the area.
Following their book explorations and building on their existing knowledge, the children were curious to know how long the caterpillars would take to turn into butterflies. To track this, they decided to apply their mathematical understanding of calendars and create their own calendar for their wonder wall. On the calendar, they have been using drawing, writing and numbers to track what is happening, including how many nettle plants they have been eating. The children have been amazed to see the caterpillars have eaten their way through an entire nettle plant every day. It is a good job we have been able to find fresh supplies in the IB garden each day. On Thursday, the children noticed one caterpillar had attached to the top of the net and was beginning to turn into a cocoon. By Friday we had two cocoons and eight caterpillars attaching to the net. As this newsletter goes to print, all of the caterpillars have turned into a cocoon and the children have counted 14 in total.
The children have been making predictions and hypothesising about what will happen next. Their skills in scientific inquiry are developing and the group learning taking place through sharing knowledge is enhancing their understanding of this process of change in nature. The children also have some interesting and imaginative ideas about what the butterflies will need, including a wooden castle. We have been developing the children’s skills in woodworking to prepare them for creating this idea. They have practised using saws, hammers and nails so far.
We would like to thank all staff involved, bus drivers, volunteer helpers, and parents for making these field trips and experiences possible.