Children’s Islam & Nature Immersion Workshop
Beyond the Constraints of the Curriculum
A couple of weeks ago, we had the honour of leading a workshop for children in year 3 (7-8 year olds) at The Olive School in Hackney, as part of their Annual Spirituality Day.
This is a special day for the pupils and teachers, as it allows the school to go off syllabus and the children to enter into a learning that can embrace more of the world, and their being, than what the curriculum constrains them to.
The Boundaries to Work in
Our role, as Wisdom in Nature, was to take three classes separately into a woodland edge and lead exercises that facilitated an exploration of nature and a sense of connection to it and Islam.
We had only 1 hour per class, and with 30 children in each, this was always going to be challenging. It can take time to gain familiarity and work with the uniqueness of each class and the children within it, and moreso when the group is a large one as it was. However, with gentle games that captured qualities in nature, and background support from a couple of teachers from the school for each class, the children enjoyed an experiential engagement with local woodland for a short preiod of time, expressed themselves in their own way, and had fun doing so!
There were many satisfying moments. One of the highlights came out of one subgroup whose task was firstly to sit or stand quietly and listen to different bird sounds they could pick up, and then to each sing like one of those birds to the rest of the class who had just returned from another task.
With each child mimicking a bird sound that had caught their attention, a beautiful chorus emerged. With one of the groups, I did not want them to stop singing, it was that moving, yet there was a time when we had to move on – We all applauded as one teacher exclaimed, “That was amazing!” which it most certainly was!
“There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book” (Qur’ an 6:38)