Message from Mr Hymer: 7 May 2021
The delivery of the eggs and the egg incubator has stirred the boys' interests this week.
After such a long winter of lockdown, the chance to see new life and beginnings has been appreciated by all. However many times you have seen the chicks as they break through their shells, you cannot help but feel a sense of awe and wonder about the natural world.
Striding back from the top of Walton Hill through the driving rain on Monday, I was denied my usual dose of awe and wonder looking towards the Malverns, Cotswolds and Black Mountains. I was impressed by one or two brave families as they made a similar effort to ignore the conditions. I would have some sympathy with the children in tow if they did not view their walk as a chance to breathe in the natural world both literally and metaphorically.
Parents provide the key to helping children appreciate the world around them. Sitting on the top of a hill, sharing a moment to take in a vista, is a chance to activate a child's sense of place in the world and to wonder at the marvel of creation. Without such moments to be still, to watch and observe, a child's natural curiosity in the world can be lost. We can help children in this process by modelling the surprise of that shared moment. It could be by directing a child's attention to lambs in the fields or to clouds gathering on the horizon.
I was very impressed when in a recent lunchtime chat with a Year 5 boy, we stumbled upon a shared interest in birds. We talked about red kites in the Cotswolds, green woodpeckers and treecreepers. The ability to recognise and name species is becoming increasingly rare amongst today's children. Taking boys on residential trips, I have often asked them the names of common trees. More often than not, they struggle to distinguish a sycamore from a beech. I feel very fortunate that I grew up in a family that put a high value on the names of trees and birds. Knowing the names of birds, trees and plants is something that stays with children and helps direct their appreciation of the world around them. I hope there are many other ornithologists and budding botanists amongst the boys.