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Fire fun…

Friday, 8 July 2016

It was Maples last session this week, and they celebrated their term at Forest School with marshmallow smores cooked over a fire!

First, everyone had a turn at using the fire steel to make a spark.


Before lighting the fire, Mrs. Smith explained what a fire needs to make it work. Maples looked at and talked about tinder (which is very thin and easily lit) and kindling (thin sticks) and  Mrs. Smith showed the children the different sized sticks they would need to find to add to the fire to keep it going. Then off they all went in search of sticks! Maples were brilliant at this, finding sticks of the correct length, with a good ‘snap’ to prove they were dry and were able to sort them into the different thicknesses we needed.


The fire was lit…then everyone took turns to carefully add some sticks to it.


Once the fire had died down, we toasted marshmallows…and made smores from them by putting them between two biscuits. Yummy!


To make the fire safe, we all poured a cup of water over the embers to cool them down. As they did this, the children told us their Forest School ‘best bit’!


Lastly, everyone was awarded with their own special medal…superstar bug hunter, superstar trolley puller, superstar worm-holder to name but a few. There were big cheers and laughter as the children correctly (they clearly know one another’s skills well!) guessed which medal belonged to which child.


Maples Magic Potions

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Maples were faced with a bit of a problem this morning. Mrs.Smith, try as she might, just couldn’t get the fire steel (which we use for making a spark and lighting a fire) to work. We REALLY want to have a fire next week, so decided that we should make some magical potions…that might magic the fire steel back into action!

All round the forest, there were pots and boxes with special ingredients inside. And lots of magical water too, to help mix everything together…


Maples chose a special pot and went off to make their own magical fire potions, adding any ingredients they wanted…and choosing their own ideas too. P1130103P1130101P1130106P1130108P1130109P1130111 P1130114P1130117

When the potions were complete, everyone took turns to pour them into our big cauldron…thinking of their own magical words to say as they gave the pot a stir!P1130118P1130120P1130124P1130126P1130131

Then, as if by magic-Mrs. Smith tried the fire steel again….and this time it made a really big spark! Maples were delighted! And all had a turn at making a spark…ready for next week’s fire.


Maples-Loppers, wands blindfolds and more!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Today Maples were given the opportunity to use another tool…this time it was the loppers. The children listened carefully to a tool talk, so that they knew exactly how to hold and use the loppers safely. We also talked about Wizard Lizard’s magic flower wand and wondered if we could create something something ourselves. So off they went, taking turns to choose a special stick that they imagined would make a really good magic wand!


Once the stick was cut, the children set about turning it into a wand…


They looked great! And when we tested the magic, the wands seemed to work very well!


Aside from the magic, other exciting things were happening today…including a trust and co-operative game involving blindfolds. The children took turns to lead one another to a tree, allowing the blindfolded child to feel the tree trunk. Then they were led away by their partner, the blindfold was removed and the children then had to find which tree they had been feeling! It was much trickier than they imagined, but everyone tried very hard and enjoyed the game.


Also…this hard working group of 3 boys spent a long time working together. Apparently, they were digging through the earth to reach both Japan and New York! Unfortunately they ran out of time before reaching there…but there’s always next week!


Then there was the building brigade! An amazing house/block of flats was created from things found around the forest. The slug hidey hole we discovered was covered over again to keep them safe.




Maples make Elder worms

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Maples had a wonderful morning! They are proving to be a really hard working and enthusiastic group, who are making noticeable progress in so many areas. They are now very good at using the Forest School site independently and are remembering things they have done in previous weeks…and using them to develop their own ideas and make their own choices.

So whilst the adults were assisting the children in using tools and making Elder worms…lots of other lovely things were going on!

We looked at an Elder tree and noticed how the sticks had a soft pith in the middle. We looked at the Superworm Mrs. Smith had made, by cutting an elder stick into small pieces, poking out the soft middle, and threading the pieces onto wire.

P1120645P1120648P1120657P1120659P1120668P1120669P1120671P1120672 Then the children learnt to use the hacksaws, to cut their own sections of elder.

Once cut, the pith was carefully removed…

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Then the sections were threaded onto some wire. This proved very tricky!


But everyone persevered, concentrated hard and completed their Superworms.  Maples class were all very proud of their efforts…and couldn’t wait to take their worms home!


Whilst all this was going on, look what else the children did…                                                                                  bug hunting (and using the id chart to identify what was found), discovering (interesting mushrooms had appeared over the holiday), recreating the bucket pulley systems and a balancing game


Wow, Wow WOW!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

…is what the adults kept saying all morning, at the wonderfully creative ideas Maples class demonstrated!

Last week, while investigating with buckets and ropes during our ‘make a well’ challenge, the children showed a real interest in using the ropes. So this week, the ropes came back out, and they were given the task of creating something using both ropes and sticks. Look at all the brilliant ideas…


Hold on tight! Ready to go water skiing…without getting wet!


A weight lifting device…


Lots of fun was had, pulling this very heavy log along the forest floor…it made a great path clearer!

Here is our very own super-hero ‘spiderboy’…using his rope to swing from tree to tree and shooting spider-webs from his wrists!


Next we have Mr. Resilient…who spent almost the whole morning trying out different ways of making his zip wire work. After moving to different trees, tying the rope at different heights and trying out different seats, he finally got it working!And gave us a huge cheers from the rest of the class!


A wonderful example here of a kind caring young lady, who thought about what her classmate would like to play with. Firstly she used some sticks to bounce on the rope and sing to her friend…then added saucepans to create their own forest drum kit! The sound of sweet music could be heard from afar!



Time for a ride on the forest roller coaster!

Anyone for fishing? You catch some great things in Langley Forest School! And how about trying out the new saw…keep pulling back and forth and the tree will eventually fall down!


And last but by no means least-a lot of hard work, time and effort, resulted in this lovely campfire cooking station…with sausages and bugs ready to be fried over the fire! P1120605

What a busy morning…Maples also managed to complete their mini-beast wood cookies. They listened carefully to the tool talk, and used the drill safely and sensibly…to make a hole and thread a pipe cleaner through, ready to hang up at home.



Buckets, wells, and mini-beast wood-cookies

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Maples had a wonderful morning! They worked hard, co-operated, were very creative and produced some great work.

We started off thinking about the part of the Superworm story where Beetle falls down the well…superworm-prv-4-983743 well…and then Mrs. Smith set a challenge to make mini wells in the digging pit. The results were brilliant! But the resilience, the thinking, the trying out and the persistence in the task was even more wonderful to see. As Ruby told us…”It was really hard, but I did it!”


We also investigated with buckets…and through their play the children discovered (and really enjoyed trying out) different ways of moving the bucket up and down, how to use different speeds,  what happened when we let go of the rope, whether  being further away or closer made a difference, what happened when they added or removed heavier items to/from the buckets, how to work together to lift heavier objects


…and how to be creative and use other resources to join in and extend the game!


Lastly, we continued to learn about mini-beasts…this week choosing a mini-beast to draw onto a wood-cookie. Maples will be using a drill next week to make a hole in their wood-cookie…they are very much looking forward to this!


Maples make a wormery…and more

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Today Maples found out lots of facts about worms. You can see what they learnt here…The world of worms PDF

Outside, they worked together to create a wormery, by layering soil and sand in our special worm house.P1120345P1120349P1120361P1120368P1120388

They then found and added our very own ‘superworms’ from our digging pit…and after learning about the worm’s anatomy, some children were able to identify the head and the smooth clitellum (where baby worms are produced)  Some children were keen to hold the worms for a short time…and were quite fascinated in watching them squirm.P1120384P1120400P1120395P1120352

When the wormery was complete, we remembered to spray a little water on top to keep the soil damp and added some leaves and food scraps on top. The worms will now drag these down into the soil. We’re looking forward to watching this over the next few weeks. P1120407P1120412P1120411P1120416

Some children were very creative today. They too worked together to make some of the Superworm story characters out of natural resources from the forest floor. Look how great these ‘pictures’ are…We have a caterpillar, a worm, a butterfly, a beetle and a spider! P1120372P1120383P1120355P1120404P1120406P1120366P1120347

Maples’ mini-beasts

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Maples had a very productive morning!

While mini-beast hunting continued, salt-dough versions of the creatures we found, were made around the log circle. The children chose natural materials to give them wings, legs, eyes or antennae.


Busy, busy, busy…


Mini-beasts were also painted…the children first made mud and then added chalk (which they crushed with a stone and mixed into the mud to make different colours)


Back in Hollies…the marvellous mini-beasts were displayed for all to see…can you guess what they are?



Marvellous Maples Minibeast hunt!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Maples were fantastic today! They have been working hard learning the names of the creatures in the Superworm story. To help them to remember the names, we played a fun game at the start of the session…                                     We sang “Superworm is super long, Superworm is super strong, Find his friend -don’t get it wrong, And then we’ll sing more Superworm song!” 

Everyone took turns to listen for their name, then ran around the circle to select the creature Mrs. Smith named. (remember to click the photos to make them bigger)


Then we headed into the forest to look for real mini-beasts.


Everyone worked really hard, looking all over, under logs and on the ground


Look at some of the things we found…IMG_0393IMG_0419IMG_0403IMG_0398IMG_0404IMG_0407IMG_0416

We looked closely at a spider, discussed what an insect looked like and named lots of mini-beasts. If you would like to find out about some insects, there are some great videos here-


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

This term, it’s Maples and Willows turn to visit Forest School. We will be using the story Superworm as a starting point for our sessions. You can read the story here…

Both classes listened to the story and then explored the forest looking for all the hidden story characters- marking them off as they did so.


Then they went hunting for Superworm and found him!


P1090734P1090728 …and some of his friends too…



Willows decided to cook a meal for Superworm!