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Forest School Blog

Loose parts play…

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Today Oaks and Firs had a wonderful time creating, experimenting and problem solving with a range of ‘loose parts’.

It was left to them to decide what to do with the resources, and it was wonderful to see how engaged and excited the children were in their discoveries…

We also continued with our medal making that we started last week…

And look what else we did today…

 

Super-elder-worms

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Beeches worked hard today to make their own superworms to take home, using sticks that had  been cut from one of our elder trees.

They first learnt how to carefully hold and use the secateurs to cut the sticks into small pieces.

Then they used a smaller stick to poke out the soft pith from the centre of the stick…

Once the centre had been removed, the pieces of stick were threaded onto a pipe cleaner. With eyes and mouth added on, Superworm was complete!

Halfway through the morning, everything came to an abrupt halt, as Ryan spotted something very exciting in a tree directly above the den he was making! We quickly gathered together…very quietly…and looked up onto a branch, to spot this beautiful baby tawny owl looking down at us!

We abandoned the den making, so as not to disturb the owl, and kept checking back on him during the morning. He stayed there all morning…but had gone by lunchtime. We hope to see him again one day.

Also this morning, we used the Superworm book to inspire creative ideas. The children were given a box of ropes and…just like Superworm did…were asked to find different ways of using them…

The ropes became a fishing line, were tied to some trees in order to go under and over, and were also used to add another bucket to our balance scales!

Marvellous medals

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Today, children in Oaks and Firs  enjoyed a lovely sunny day in Forest School…in huge contrast to the very wet day we had last week! We managed to fit lots of things into our sessions today, including…

Learning to use the hand drill…The children drilled a hole into a wood slice, then decorated it with lots of colours, before threading it with string to make a medal.  They all really enjoyed the new experience…and were very proud of their medals. We’ll continue with this next week so everyone who wants to have a go, gets the opportunity.

Looking for (and at) mini-beasts…

What fabulous interest and engagement…outdoor learning at it’s best!

We found an interesting creature today…which we didn’t recognise. A little bit of research and investigation led us to the conclusion that our mystery guest was a beetle lavae. He was great to watch!

Collecting and counting…On the way into the woods today, we found lots of catkins on the ground. We collected them and used them to count. Some children collected other things they found…and did some great counting using their fingers to help them!

 

…self selected activites-and lots of busy children.

 

Clay creatures

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Beeches worked hard this morning, to create these lovely clay creatures, inspired by the Superworm story characters.

They used natural materials and things  that we collected on our way into the woods, to make spiders, butterflies, a tadpole, a bee and a ladybird…

There was lots of interest in finding and identifying mini-beasts…we tried to remenber the names of the creatures we had identified last week. This week we managed to find a centipede-something we didn’t manage to get last time. Everyone enjoyed looking through the magnifying pot to see how it moved and what it looked like.

We also talked about Wizard Lizard’s lair in the Superworm story…and some of the class decided to make their own ‘lair’ or den. They learnt to carefully drag and then place the long sticks and branches onto the side of the den.

The mud kitchen was also a hive of activity this morning!

Insey Wincy Spider….

Thursday, 9 May 2019

It was such a wet day in Forest school this week, that we decided to use the rainwater to our advantage and enjoy some water play!

We started our session with the rhyme ‘Insey-Winsey Spider’…then had a  marvellous time washing our plastic spiders down the drainpipes and catching them again at the bottom. Great fun was had by all!

We made some pine cone spiders too and thought that they would like to try out the water ride…

We also looked at some real spiders and spider pictures then used the bug-hunting equipment to see if we could find some more mini-beasts. We loved using the magnifying glasses…and  making a special Forest School spider out of a tyre and sticks!

The rainwater came in very useful too for our floating and sinking activity. We used lots of natural objects, and enjoyed experimenting and talking about what we could see happening. We also managed to make some little boats by balancing a tiny cone on top of some bark and an acorn on a wood slice!

And as always, nothing stops Oaks and Firs from exploring and having fun, not even non-stop rain!

 

Mini-beast hunting and ID

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Today, Beeches remembered and talked about the creatures in the story of Superworm. They looked at the bug-hunting equipment, the identification charts and the mini-beast pictures and then went off to see what they could find…

Ready to start hunting!

They looked under logs…

…and closely inspected what they had found

We named all the mini-beasts we’d discovered. We found a snail, slugs, worms, beetles, millipedes, a fly, a ladybird and woodlice. When we’d finished looking, we put them all back so that they could return to their homes.

We also  enjoyed digging for worms and looking at and using some mini-beast matching cards, as well as looking closely at our special bug  collection. The spiders were the most popular!

 

Superworm

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

It’s Beeches turn for Forest School this term, and they were super excited to be out in our woods!

We started our session in the log circle with the story of Superworm. You can watch the story being read here…

After hearing the story, Beeches class looked all around the site, independently finding and naming the creatures from the story…

We gathered together and talked about the features of all the creatures. We discussed whether they had legs (and if so how many), learning that all insects have 6 legs. We talked about how they moved, who had wings, and learnt the special name for a spider-an arachnid- which we’re hoping someone might remember next week!

Then we chose a creature and worked independently or with a friend, to make these AMAZING forest art pictures. Look at how great they are…

A beautiful butterfly…

A brilliant beetle…

A super spider

More beautiful butterflies

And a spectacular spider and snail

We also found our own super worms and a flying insect-both of which seemed happy to say hello. 

 

Hapa-zome

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Hapa-zome is a Japanese word meaning ‘leaf dye’ and is given to the process of transferring the natural pigments from leaves and flowers onto fabric or paper to create an image.

Firs and Oaks really enjoyed using the hammer to create beautiful pictures made of flowers, leaves and grasses. They concentrated really well, looked carefully at what they were doing , were fascinated with the end results…and were excited to take them home to show their parents!

We also did a little bit of counting and sorting, used the ropes imaginatively, did some finding and collecting, climbed and explored, used the  hammocks, used creativity with natural resources (making a gate to enter/leave an area!) and helped our friends. All in all, a perfect Forest School day.

Rowans special treat

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

As it was the last day for Rowans class today, we had two special treats…toasting marshmallows over the fire, followed by an Easter egg hunt!

First we watched Mrs Smith build the fire, talking about all the different thicknesses and types of wood. Then we learnt how to use the fire striker…

Then Mrs Smith lit the fire and we all helped to add a stick…

Once the fire had died down, we used the embers to toast our marshmallows…

We enjoyed squashing them between two biscuits…they were delicious! Before we started our egg hunt, we put out the fire to make sure everything was left safely…

Forest Music…

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Before we headed out to the woods today, we stopped off in Butter-Bee gardens to check in on the tadpoles we discovered recently in the pond. It was very exciting to see them swimming!

Today we used natural resources to make forest school shakers. We had such fun making and playing with them

When we’d made our shakers, we hung them up…and listened to all the different sounds as we played with them.

What clever children we have! Today we saw a super climber, an adventurer, a collector and an artist.

This little man loved looking at the tadpoles…and he was really keen to see the ‘mummy frog’. Although we didn’t spot the frog…he made up for this by creating his own frog from soil, sticks stones and a leaf.

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