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Butter-Bee Gardens Open Days

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Two sunshiny open days later…and every class across the school has now visited and discovered all that Langley’s newly constructed ‘Butter-Bee Gardens’ has to offer.

All of the plants in our new garden were chosen to attract butterflies, bees and other insects. A frog has already made a home in the new pond and we also have a wildflower meadow, a mini-beast area, a sensory path, a selection of herbs to pick and use in our cookery lessons and a willow tunnel, which will soon be providing us with lovely flexible sticks for us to use to make Forest crafts.

Take a look at how much we using Butter-Bee Gardens this week as we looked at, smelt, enjoyed and touched the plants…

The Willow Tunnel was lovely and shady…and perfect for smiley faces!

The wildflower meadow was buzzing with bees, busy collecting the pollen from all the beautiful flowers…

…and the sensory path leading around it was fun to explore too!

We discovered lots of residents in Mini-beast Mansions…

And loved pond dipping and looking at all the different pond-creatures we caught.

We all had the opportunity to identify, look at and taste some of the herbs in the garden. The mint has grown incredibly…so we all picked a leaf and used it to make a mint and yogurt dip. It was delicious!

Lastly, we had a go at a spot of bird-watching in the bird -hide. With so many children in and out of the garden, it was a little noisy, so we didn’t have much luck spotting many birds! However, there were lots of bird pictures hanging up for everyone to find, and match up to the pictures inside the bird hide.

 

All the children are looking forward to using Butter-Bee gardens next year.

Have a lovely summer…that’s all from Forest School for this year!

 

A farewell fire for Beeches.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

What a lovely last morning we had with Beeches today. We celebrated a happy term in Forest School with a special treat -toasting marshmallows and squashing them between two biscuits to make marshmallow smores!

At the end of the session, after we’d put out the fire, we all took turns to choose one of our ‘feelings pebbles’ to tell the class what had made us happy, surprised, worried, what they had loved or found difficult or funny in Forest School. Just one person could find something to say that made them feel sad…and that was “I’m sad that Forest School is finished.”  I agree!

Thank-you Beeches class for working so hard, for learning so much and for becoming so much more confident over the term.

Gruffalo Crumble Hunt

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Group 1 from Oaks and Firs thoroughly enjoyed hunting through the forest this week, to find lots of different natural ingredients to make a big Gruffalo Crumble!

The children had to decide for themselves which ingredient (fir cones, spikey reeds, bark, conkers etc) they thought matched each Gruffalo body part (knobbly knees, claws, tusks, prickles etc). But first they had to find them…

Also hidden were 4 different coloured bottles of ‘magic’ water, which helped to mix the crumble together. Everyone was keen to help add these to the buckets!

Of course, anything else that the children found along the way was added too. One group added sticks and leaves, the other thought that a few spade fulls of soil would taste great!

When all the ingredients had been collected, we all gathered together to think of some magical words. Everyone took turns at mixing the ingredients all up, whilst we all shouted out our magical words.

We even pretended to have a little taste!

What a lovely, fun and language-rich time we had. Well done Group 1, it was a pleasure (as always) to share the morning with you.

 

 

Beeches Busy Morning

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Another lovely morning was had by all of Beeches class.  The children requested  to use the fire strikers last week, so this was a popular choice of activity this morning. They all remembered the safety rules and persevered brilliantly…it’s not easy using a flint and steel to make a spark! The satisfaction and feeling of pride each child experienced was great to see…

Away from the fire circle, there was lots of creativity going on…

Some children chose to go hunting for ingredients for a Gruffalo crumble. They looked for ‘forest finds’, representing the Gruffalo’s teeth, eyes, prickles, tongue, tusks, claws, wart and knobbly knees! Then they set about making their dish and serving it up to their friends. Later on in the morning, the children were able to describe and explain exactly what each ingredient was for…very impressive!

There was also some investigating happening today for those who chose to do some mini-beast hunting and identifying…

Oaks and Firs

Saturday, 24 June 2017

It was another wonderful morning of discovery for children in group 2 of Oaks and Firs this week. We found some guttering and used it to pour water down…the children were fascinated and played until we had used up all the water we had!

Then this ingenious bunch thought of their own ideas! They rolled pine cones down the guttering and noticed how some rolled better than others. They observed, pointed out, were interested in and then shared their discovers with the adults and with their peers. We saw lots of very natural turn taking and sharing going on.

Some children didn’t stop there! Even more investigation took place…they searched around the site to see if they could find something else to place at the top of the guttering. And tried to out-do one another with finding the biggest stone possible!

This look of excitement and pleasure was a real sight to see!

And of course, lots of other adventures were happening all across our Forest School site…

Including a little digging, pouring, mixing…then decorating the area with mud paint!

Well done group 2…we all loved our morning watching you learning and experimenting. Roll on next time…

Elder Snakes

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

This morning, Beeches learnt of another way that the elder trees they had located last week, could be of use. This time, we used the sticks rather than the elder flowers. The elder tree is special, as inside the sticks, there is a soft removable pith. This makes the sticks great for cutting and then threading.

The children looked at the secateurs and listened carefully to a ‘tool talk’ so that they knew how to use the secateurs correctly. They carefully cut sticks into small pieces, pushed the centre out and then threaded them onto wire…

…making lovely elder snakes.

We also had lots of fun choosing activities…including den making, the mud kitchen, hide and seek…

…and a great game of ‘What’s the time Mr. Gruffalo’! It was brilliant to see such lovely group co-operation, turn taking, and organisational skills…well done Beeches.

Foundation Footprints…

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Group 1 from Foundation had fabulous footprint fun this week! They started off the morning by searching through the forest, looking for hidden footprints. Once they had all been found, the children matched them, to discover if the footprints belonged to a fox, an owl or a mouse. Luckily, we found no Gruffalo footprints!

We then decided to make our very own footprints…so set about making a huge, sloppy, muddy mixture.

When the children decided the mud was ready, they took it in turns to make their muddy footprints. It was very exciting!

Ready, get set….GO!

As always, the children were very happy to choose their own activities, and today we saw a brilliant mud-face…

Some great climbing, spinning and balancing…

And some lovely, very carefully produced art work, using squashed leaves to make green and charcoal sticks to make black…look how great these look.

 

Elder-flower Cordial

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Today was a Forest School First-we made our own elder-flower cordial…Forest School style!

We started our morning by finding/identifying the elder trees in our woods, using a range of different methods. One group used a tree ID app on the iPad, another group used a tree ID flow chart and the last group used leaf and tree picture matching charts.

Once we knew we’d got the right tree, we collected some freshly cut elder-flowers, snipped the flowers from the stalks and gave them all a good wash.

Then we put some water into our Kelly Kettle, lit a fire and placed the kettle on top. We all took it in turns to add some sticks to keep the fire going and before long the water was boiling…

We added some sugar and lemons to the pan, poured on the boiling water and gave it a stir. It smelt and looked great!

We will need to leave the elder-flower cordial to infuse overnight…then it will need to be sieved and strained…but it will be ready for breakfast time when we get to school in the morning. Watch this space for an update!!

After a drink and snack we all had a turn at using the fire striker to make a spark, and of course, a lot of fun was had playing games and enjoying using the site with our friends.

 

UPDATE…The Elder-flower drink was DELICIOUS!! Very well done Beeches…all the children (and staff!) loved it and I’m sure that this will become an annual Forest School treat as soon as the elder flowers are ready.

The wonderful outdoors…

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Foundation children just loved exploring this week…we sensed a real feeling of awe and wonder in their discoveries and in the way they were so relaxed and at ease in the forest environment.

How do I get this to move?…Aha, stepping back and pulling seems to work!

And what about these…how do they move along the rope?

…I’m just loving the sensation of feeling the soil

And enjoying just being where we are…

Sharing experiences with our friends…what is it? What does it look like? How it is moving? How does it feel? Do you like it?

What have you found? What are you making?

And look at me!! Look how clever I am…look at what I can do.

 

Beeches go mini-beast hunting

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

It may have been a wet windy day today, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of Beeches class! They had a brilliant time learning about the tiny creatures that live in our woods…

They learnt where to look, and how to carefully handle the mini-beasts they found, as well as learning to identify and name them.

At the end of the morning, we sat together to look closely at and discuss each mini-beast we found. We learnt that insects all have 6 legs, that spiders have 8 legs, we discussed the difference between a centipede a millipede, talked about how fast the beetle moved in comparison to the worm, looked at lots and lots of legs on the woodlouse and enjoyed watching the slug extend and retract it’s tentacles!

LANGLEY IS A SCHOOL WHERE INDIVIDUALS ARE VALUED FOR THEMSELVES
AND WHERE ALL ARE EXPECTED TO GIVE OF THEIR BEST