Lost words and found connections

Adventures into language and literacy through nature

We are delighted to be working with Mayfield Primary School and their communities again in 2018. This time we are able to also collaborate with Under Fives Roundabout pre-school, thanks to a grant from Cambridgeshire County Council’s ‘Talking together in Cambridgeshire’ initiative.

Inspired by The Lost Words book, ‘Lost words and found connections’ is a child-led adventure into language and literacy through nature connections. This project will share CCI’s inclusive, child-led creative practice with young children, their educators, parents, carers, relatives and wider local communities across Mayfield Primary School reception classes and Under Fives Roundabout pre-school.

Through a series of artist residency workshops and after-school sessions, the project will explore creative activities which connect young children, their educators, families and communities with nature on their doorsteps and with each other. ‘Lost words and found connections’ is about being together and sharing discoveries and will creatively explore themes of talking, listening, making and creating together.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Talking Together Cambrdigeshire Logos

The dream grasshopper


I saw a grasshopper once, a dream one.  Patrick

(by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) On our first day two small groups of Reception Children and Nursery school children came together with their teachers to explore a carefully managed wild space on the corner of Mayfield school grounds.

This way, this way. It’s a trail.  Look here’s another gate and there’s our school. I think it is our school. Kayla

A familiar place for some but new to others it was the first time they were together in this new group. We set out to explore, listen, look, discover and imagine. As we went we shared our discoveries, created stories, exchanged ideas and drew imaginary creatures and worlds. Here are just a few of their many observations of the world we found in this patch of land:

It’s water, and the leaves…and its growing (the leaves) the butterflies and the caterpillars are growing too ……and the birds are eating the leaves and the water. Amelia

A big stick, we found it. In the forest. It has marks.…(it’s) a bit taller than Jo. Louis and Ayan

An egg, a soft leaf, a teeny tiny creature.  Patrick

We’re fishing for frogs..and sea rabbits….and waterbunnies…and sea spiders.  Oliver, Kaydee and Patrick

We’re water hunters…..Look a very tall mouse house. Ayan

Drawing in the outdoors

Autumn leaves and pebbles

Children discovering and imagining

Seven birds and a Scribble Scrumble


Childs hands holding a seed

(by Joanna Holland and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) Our time together outdoors this week had more of a sense of unfolding adventures rather than discovering the space afresh.

Everyone knew what they wanted to return to. We ran through mazes, climbed trees and looked and listened carefully.

Together we talked about hearing ‘birds and children chattering….silent seagulls, planes, and helicopters’. We described feeling the warmth of the sun and sound of the leaves as we watched them fall onto the ground, into our hands, onto our heads.

Our imaginations created ‘mountain landscapes, floating trees, monsters, and many wild creatures’. Some of us built a little home, a shelter, and many of us noticed many other homes in the outdoor space - birdhouses, nests, spider webs.

We finished the sessions by sharing our discoveries and stories. Mr Holt shared one of ‘seven birds talking together’; Oliver and Patrick’s was about catching fish – ‘a kind fish to put on the fire and cook for tea’; and Ezra’s talked about gathering food for the Scribble Scrumble – ‘the huge monster who lived in the Church House’.

A den made from black cloth

Family adventures in oranges, reds and yellows


Artwork pegged on a line

(by Joanna Holland and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) After school on this stunningly bright November day, we were delighted to welcome many of the children we’ve been working with and their families. The parents, grandparents and siblings were able to make the most of the last of the year's warmth. Together we shared and celebrated the discoveries their children have made during their recent sessions.

Clipboards lined up ready to explore

Cakes and apples were eaten as we played with open invitations and prompts to explore the school’s nature space brilliantly ablaze with orange, red and yellow leaves. Together all of us talked, listened and created together: following children to their favourite finds and discovering miniscule details, hidden archways, ancient gates and enormous sticks.

On December 5th, everyone in the Mayfield reception classes and Under Five’s Roundabout community is invited to join us afterschool for more cake and outdoor adventures.

Families exploreing together outdoors


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