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Archive for the ‘Willows’ Category

A mud-making, special swinging, boat building day!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

What a brilliant time we had this week in Forest School! Firs class had a fantastic morning enjoying all sorts of fun things including trying out the pulley system, mixing and painting with mud, investigating acorns, climbing and trying out our new sideways swinging skateboard…

The children from Willows class had just as much fun in the afternoon. They started off by preparing the sail they had made last week. We threaded some string along the edge, attached it to the ‘pirate ship’ and ‘shiver me timbers’-our ship was ready to sail! Many adventures were had…the seas were rough, sharks attacked and some of the class had to walk the plank! What great imagination and super language…

In a quiet corner of our site, there was a different kind of magic going on… the discovery of some little fairy houses. After knocking on the door, having a chat and asking the fairies some lovely questions, this clever girl discovered some skeleton leaves, which we were sure were fairy wings! Maybe next week the fairies will be back?

The afternoon was full of exploratory investigation and learning. Willows really love their Wednesday afternoons.



Oaks and Willows have a wonderful Wednesday

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

This morning was the first time out in Forest School for Oaks class. As we headed out the door, one of our children remembered the tadpoles he had seen in the summer term and asked if they were still there…so we started off in our garden, and had a look in the pond. We were very lucky! After a couple of minutes we saw a big frog jump out from the side, into the pond and then swim away to hide in the reeds!

Oaks all enjoyed a lovely morning exploring the site and finding out all the different things they could do…

Willows also had a wondrful Wednesday! Last week, some of the children had played on our new pallet boat…but noticed that it didn’t have a sail. We used a tea towel last week, but this week, we set about making our own much bigger sail. We used things from our site-blackberries, elderberries and big fern leaves, to hammer and squash onto a cloth…

We were really impressed with the end result.

Also this afternoon, we’ve cooked with acorns and investigated crushing them, played lots of turn taking games and enjoyed a bit of sunshine and happiness.



First time fun for Firs and Willows

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Two new classes enjoyed the start of their Forest School sessions this week. From our youngest, newest children, to those who’ve been with us for years, everyone enjoyed exploring, investigating, discovering and learning…

Trying out the new stage… telling us the ‘Forest News’-complete with stick microphone!

Learning about capacity, counting, ordering size, investigating materials, learning about nature and wildlife…the digging pit was a hive of activity!

Using physical skills, trying out skills for the first time, perfecting balance and climbing…

Focusing attention and finding out…sharing and communicating with others…measuring, dividing, weighing…counting and matching.

Absolute joy and lots of laughter in the hammock!!

Discovering and looking closely at nature…we found fungi and this amazing earwig shedding it’s skin!

Elderflower Cordial

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Willows worked really well as a team this week, to use the elder flowers that are growing on the elder trees in Forest School…to make elderflower cordial. This is how we did it…

1- We looked closely at the elder leaves, so that everyone knew what they needed to find…we smelt the (very smelly!) leaves and the flowers

2-We looked around the site until we spotted an elder tree…then we each cut off a small head of flowers

3-We washed the flowers in warm water

4-We pulled the flowers off the stalks and popped them in a big pot

5- We looked at the Kelly Kettle…and filled it with cold water. Then Mrs Smith lit a fire and placed the  kettle on top

6-We carefully added sticks, using the fire gloves to keep us protected. The water began to get hotter.

7- When the water was boiling hot, we took the Kelly kettle off the fire and poured the water onto the flowers. We then put out the fire using cold water.

8- We added some sugar and some lemons and we left the cordial overnight.

9-The next day, we strained the liquid through a muslin-cloth, leaving us with the flowers on top and our elderflower cordial in the bowl. 

10- We gathered together at tuck time to share the special drink we had made. It was really delicious! Well done Willows!!




Sunday, 23 June 2019

This week, some of Willows children had the opportunity to practise using the fire lighters. They learnt how to hold and use them safely…and were very excited to light some tinder and start a small fire.

Success…well done Willows!

They also enjoyed hunting for mini-beasts, making mud paint and painting mini-beast pictures, cooking in the mud kitchen and playing on the swing and hammock.


Squashy Marshmallows toasted over the fire

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Acers and Willows enjoyed helping to make a fire last week, then toasting marshmallows over the embers and squashing them between two biscuits! They remembered all of the safety rules first, then took turns to use the fire striker to create a spark, to add some sticks to the fire and then to cook their marshmallow.

Christmas crafts (shhhh…it’s a bit early!)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

This morning, we had to work inside Hollies classroom…but that didn’t stop Willows having lots of Forest School related fun! Because they only have one session left this term, we started our Christmas crafts a little earlier than we usual. And what a full and busy morning we had! Look at all the different things  we made.

We used the drill to make a hole in a wood slice…then pushed a piece of fir into the hole, to make a mini Christmas tree. We decorated the tree and stamped a picture onto the wood. We hope  you enjoy displaying these when the children bring them home to you.

We also made these gorgeous clay reindeer today, using natural resources such as twigs, acorns, pine cones, beech nuts and berries. The children really enjoyed making them, and we think that they look fantastic!

We also did  some special threading using wooden beads, made from elder…and finished off our morning with a special Forest School Story book. Well done Willows!

Beautiful colours…and worms and mud!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Acers and Willows have had a lovely, and productive week out in the woods. They’ve continued their work on Autumnal colours, this time hunting for and matching different colours and shades. We hope that you enjoy looking at and discussing these with the children when they bring them home to you.

We were busy feeding the birds again too! This  week, making sticky seed filled pine cones, which are now hanging up for the birds to enjoy.

The ropes proved to be a real hit last week, so we bought them out again to see how else the children could use them. There was a huge amount of creativity, partner work, co-operation, discussion…and lots of fun going on!

Lastly, Willows worked really well together to find lots of worms in our digging pit, then made a wormery, layering mud and sand and topping off with leaves and a few drops of water. They will be watching how  the worms move through the soil over the next week. And Acers made mud paint, and decorated the trees with patterns, letters, pictures and splatters!

Colour hunts and bow saws

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

This week, the children were hunting for woodland colours. They were fabulous at this! They matched up their colour swatches to natural objects as we walked through the woods to our log circle, then later they worked together in teams to fill an egg box with a range of different greens or browns, yellows, oranges or reds.

We were also busy this week making creations with ropes and learning to use the bow saw to cut small wood cookies…we’re hoping to use these soon to make something for our families.

Another new tool for Willows and Acers

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Children in Willows and Acers were introduced to a Bit and Brace Drill this week. They listened carefully to a tool talk, learning how to hold and use the drill, then worked in pairs to drill a hole in a small wood slice.

After last week’s successful bird feeder activity, they had asked to make some more this week.  So we tried another type…a sunflower-seed filled apple, with a special perching stick at the  bottom! They were a bit more tricky to make, but we were impressed with how resilient the children were with this activity and also when working with the drill. They kept going despite it being hard work, and didn’t give up until they had completed the task. Well done to them all!