I couldn't resist this picture. It has no relevance to us at all. We have no giraffes here, we are not even flying when we go on holiday later next month. We're InterRailing!
It's just a really funny pic that I had to share with you.
I'm writing this blog at the end of a long Secret Garden Admin day. My task has been to encourage regulars who haven't yet booked for this Summer, and newbies who we want to welcome warmly - but who we are afraid may leave it too late to book.
Yes peeps, we are booking up so fast. Already we have closed booking for some days.
I would like to thank you all peeps, for your continuing support. We have had an average of 1000 visitors per month to our site! I can't believe it! And so many of you come back holiday after holiday.
Here is an extract from an open letter to a parent - it outlined what we do and how educational it is. We've got something right, because its the very best fun too :)
Hope you enjoy reading this, and that the new visitors to my blog can grasp the true magic of our Secret Garden days:
"In terms of specifics, it is difficult to tell you exactly what we do because our themes and activities change every day/week - for example, we had Science days at Easter when we experimented with eggs, water and ice, talking about capacity, liquids and solids, gravity, forces, and much more - interspersed with time around the camp fire, cooking and down time playing with the parachute. We have had 'Apple day' where we went to our neighbour's (Lord Coleridge's) orchard and picked apples, brought them back and used them for a whole range of activities such as apple pies, apple target practice with our own hand made woodland catapults, we photographed and drew them, dissected them, printed with them, researched how best to grow an apple tree and planted the seeds, we fed the windfalls to Ruby our pet piggy.
We recently had 'tree day' where we observed and drew trees, we had a local artist who offered tuition in sketching and the children produced some awesome pictures. We did bark rubbings, lay underneath and gazed up at the canopies and wrote poetry, shook the bugs out onto a sheet, then identified and researched them. We measured them, estimated the height then calculated it using a mathematical method, We discussed and explained methods for gauging the age of the trees and even touched on the science of carbon dating with some eager and inspired older children. Finally we created a 12 ft sculpture in the garden made of wood and filled with leaves.
We have 3 separate walled areas to our gardens, and it is entirely possible to have 2 or 3 different groups working on something appropriately pitched in entirely different areas. But when we come together, it is delightful to see how the children interact and what pleasure they get from being with children much older or younger than themselves. It is so much better than PSHE. It is natural, enchanting bonding, developing the ability to consider others and their differing needs. Cherishing a link with like minded people. Breaking the barriers of the strict age driven groupings of state schooling. The children love this time too. My children are 15 and 13. They fully participate in all our days in the holidays. Along with the others they are actually getting a fabulous education, great grounding for the future, and an experience that just isn't available at school."
I have to admit to being a little proud of who we are and what we do. Thank you for being part of it too :) x x