Home » Visits » Going Back To School

Going Back To School

On a raw February afternoon a group of Smallholders made their way to a Newcastle primary school. We had been invited to put on a display of country crafts to a class of 6-7 year olds who had spent the previous week exploring the use of natural materials. Neither group in this arrangement knew quite what to expect, but as soon as we walked into the school it was sunshine and smiles all round.

The excited children were ushered outside while the Smallholders set up their displays for spinning, wool and woodcraft, complimented by posters of sheep and other wool producing creatures. Ros commandeered one corner with her spinning wheel, while Billy and Dave squeezed behind tiny desks at another with their fine array of wood turning, sticks, horn and tools. Margaret and Eve were the back-up team.

When they came in the children were given a brief introduction to the crafts, then they were free to ask questions and investigate the samples. This produced much fun and amusement. The children were fascinated by a Lazy Kate and a wool-winding umbrella, and impressed by the spinning and wonderfully wrought sticks.

Although there were one or two anxious moments for the Smallholders (stick pole vaulting springs to mind), the children behaved well and showed a happy, intelligent interNeedless to say the highlight was when they were given hands on experience of the woodworking tools.

After a big thank-you from the children and staff, the Smallholders came back to Eve’s for tea where they could relax quietly and discuss the session. We agreed it had been a heart-warming experience, and although we had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, there was absolutely no way we could spend 5 days a week confined to a small classroom with all its demands and noise. Hats off to those dedicated teachers who do!

When the children came back to school after half-term they produced a lovely card to thank us for our visit.

Eve Morgan