The Annual PS day trip is one of the major events in the early years calendar. Each year the three PS classes plan and spend a day out outside school in a new environment. This year was no different. After carefully considering previous venues and a few suggestions regarding weather conditions, we decided to spend the day at PEIK, an urban farm in Bavdhan. PEIK, is an initiative by a group of keen nature enthusiasts striving to live in close harmony with the mother nature. Undoubtedly, it became an ideal choice to enjoy outdoors, make connections with our current Units of Inquiry on ‘Sharing the planet’ and ‘How we organise ourselves’ and get inspirations for further learning engagements and for taking responsible action.
Finally the day arrived and everyone seemed excited and keen to start the day. We boarded the school buses after revisiting the ‘dos and the don’ts’ with Ms. Helen. As the bus rambled on, many songs were sung and conversations started inspired by images on big hoardings, carts full of fruits and vegetables, buildings and landscapes seen out of the windows.
After a 45 minute bus ride we reached PEIK where we were greeted by Monish and his team from Adventure Mantra and Hector, one of the pioneers at PEIK. Soon after finishing our snack, Monish and his team grouped the children for the games that they had organised. The children participated enthusiastically in the action song, “Go Bananas”, the caterpillar and frog races and the dragon game which required collaboration and teamwork. The children spent some time playing on the jungle gym which was described as “the tree jungle gym” by one of the preschoolers observing that it was all constructed with wood and “a bit wobbly”.
As the children were hungry we had an early lunch under the beautifully set canopy which is built around an old mango tree, against the lush growth of a variety of herbs and plants. After lunch, we took turns touring the farm and once again went back to playing more games.
PS1 children were a bit disappointed as they could not see any animals on the farm. However, they were open-minded and went on a guided tour of the vegetable patch where they saw a mango tree, papaya trees, cherry tomatoes amongst many other vegetables and herbs.
For the PS2 children, the trip was a fantastic opportunity to explore their own theories and the concepts that they are focusing on in the Unit of Inquiry, in an authentic setting. The guided tour of the vegetable patch was greatly appreciated by all. It was interactive and engaging and helped make connections with their previous learning and understanding. It helped bust one of the misconceptions ‘Honeybees only go to sunflowers’ as the children had a first-hand experience of observing bees buzzing around visiting many flowering plants. It was clear that many have grown as learners since their first field trip. They were not only seen observing the signs of change and growth closely and wondering but reflecting on their roles and responsibilities too towards the survival of plants and other living things.
Our trip ended with a quieter bus ride back to school. We were glad to see many familiar faces eagerly waiting to collect children on arrival.
The next day as always, we reflected on our experiences and learning. The PS3 children shared what they enjoyed the most on the trip which they did rather enthusiastically through illustrations and writing. The excitement of being in a new environment and their enjoyment were clearly reflected in their recount of the day at PEIK shared below.
- We liked looking at the birds
- We enjoyed the bus ride.
- The greenery around was very nice.
- The sandwiches and cupcakes were good.
- The plants were good.
- The playground was fun especially the slide.
- We liked digging in the ground.
- Climbing up a tree was fun.
- Looking at honey bees.
- We liked seeing the vegetables and papayas.
The students of PS3 also had a brief discussion on ‘the choice’ we made regarding the mode of transport and its purpose. These were some of their thoughts based on their observations and understanding of the concepts that are we are inquiring into:
- The bus is bigger.
- The bus can take us all at one time.
- A car is small.
Overall a good trip enjoyed by most and an opportunity to reflect on how we can make it better next year.