A guest blog post by Ruth Sapsed, Leadership for Learning Network Coordinator and Director of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination.
Drawing on a ten week project with local school children, the Guide invites you to see Hinchingbrooke Country Park as never before: through the real and fantastic journeys of a class of four- and five-year-olds, through their stories, secrets and speculations.
The exhibition now in the Faculty of Education library offers a number of ‘escaped’ pages – glimpses, beginnings, maps, reflections. It is not the complete book, nor is it a story that can only be read one way. The pages are offered, like the park itself, as places of exploration, in which you can wander, day-dream, notice, remember. You will see how the children met different elements and also how they explored the park with their bodies and senses, with imagination and daring. There are fantastic maps to follow – visible and invisible traces through the woods, lines drawn on paper, words that connect one place to another…
Young children are inexhaustible and profound explorers of the wild, yet the voices that explain our landscapes are usually adult. This first in CCI’s series of Fantastical Guides seeks to re-position children’s voices in our public descriptions of place – to celebrate their expert knowledge, to encounter their wild imagination.
The full guide can be read online or purchased at www.ccifootprints.org.uk
The Fantastical Guide and this exhibition were made possible through support from the Ernest Cook Trust, Cambridgeshire County Council Early Years Service and Jesus College.