We are extremely lucky with the extensive grounds we have at Mill Lane and we like to make use of them as much as possible, not only for sporting activities and Forest Schools but also for environmental studies. Our children are regularly able to go pond dipping and follow the nature trail. Last year, we followed the progress of our breeding pair of red kites, who were nesting in a tree on our field. Through photographs, and the use of binoculars, we were able to track the progress of the two eggs which resulted in two chicks hatching and gradually growing. Unfortunately, we had a minor scare when one chick was found on the ground and appeared unable to fly. Fortunately, Mr Gray (our premises manager) quickly spotted the poor chick and rescued it. The chick was taken to Tiggywinkles but before it went some of the children were able to meet it up close. We were pleased to hear from Tiggywinkles that the chick quickly recovered and, when it was old enough, it would be released in to the wild.
We were also very lucky to have received some funding from the Chinnor Beer Festival in order to put up a night camera in our environmental area, so we could observe what wildlife we were sharing our grounds with. The children have been delighted, and very excited, by the photographs and videos of the animals who come out at night. So far, we have seen a very cheeky fox who seems to enjoy looking directly into the camera and several field mice scurrying up and down the trees. We also have two playful badgers that follow each other about. We will move the camera to different areas to see what else is moving about at night.
Finally, we also use our grounds to host the annual Chinnor fireworks display. This year it took place on the 2nd November and I am pleased to say we were pleased with lovely, dry weather. As usual it was a spectacular display which everyone seemed to enjoy. Thank you to all those who came along and supported this event but mainly a big thank you to all the parent volunteers at the school who gave up their free time to organise and manage this event.
Tineke van der Ploeg
The Windmill Community Nursery
It’s Autumn - time for Fun on the Field! Windmill Nursery joined the children from Reception and Jack and Jill for a morning of playing at Mill Lane’s Forest School. The children loved exploring this area and playing in the leaves. They tried swinging on the rope swing, climbing a rope ladder, balancing on logs and making collections of sticks and leaves. We finished our morning with Autumn songs and parachute games - then it was back to Nursery for snack and a rest! Our next few months are also very busy. We are joining the Mill Lane Remembrance ceremony, celebrating Diwali, taking part in the Tree Festival and of course getting ready for our Christmas performance and party. We look forward to sharing lots more Windmill news next time!