As I drove into Mayfield I was greeted by smiling faces and cheerful waves as the children returned from their walk into the Beyond. I was keen to hear about their adventure as they entered the Kindy with joyful eyes and excitement. The children shared many stories with excited voices from what they saw, where they went and what they did.
Charlotte was keen to share her adventure through her love of drawing. Paper was selected, pens and crayons were chosen, and the storytelling began. Charlotte started her walk at the beginning from the moment they left through the front door of the kindy. She led me down the path to the front gate of Mayfield where they checked the mailbox. Along the way I was able to visualise what Charlotte saw through her eyes and what stood out to her with the language that she was using – the many trees with birds nests, the termite mounds and the rocks and stones along the path.
The walk took a turn to the right where a new track was discovered. Down this track there was a termite mound with a hole in it. Charlotte shared her thoughts about what could have caused this hole, and this was drawn onto her picture. Another moment that stood out to Charlotte was when a large stick was blocking the track and how could they get past. Fletcher spoke up about how he could move the stick and asked his friends to help him. Charlotte remembered this with a smile and I could just picture Fletcher flexing his muscles and showing us his strength, and how the children worked together to solve a problem.
The Beyond walk was brought to life with Charlotte’s words and drawings, but also with the friends that went along with her. It was important to Charlotte to embrace the friendships that were growing through the walk. There was an order to the way everyone left the kindy, who was holding hands, who was needing extra help and where was Miss Lynda and Miss Beverly. Miss Beverly was at the back to keep everyone safe and together, and Miss Lynda at the front holding Chayse’s hand. Charlotte was holding Grace’s hand to help her along the way. This brought a smile to my face as I realised that the smallest details that we sometimes take for granted are being treasured by the children.
As an educator this amazing time spent with Charlotte opened my eyes to the spontaneous learning that is taking place as we discover the Inside, Outside and Beyond at Mayfield and how important it is to share the voice of the children. What will tomorrow bring?
Written by Charman – ECT from Mayfield