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Forest School Blog

Archive for the ‘Autumn Term 2016’ Category

Beautiful Land Art

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

It was a chilly morning, so with hats and gloves on for the first time this year, Willows headed out today to be super creative!

We decided to start off with a moving around, keeping warm kind of activity. Mrs Smith sent everyone off, searching for different natural resources from the forest floor. First everyone hunted for a green leaf, then some bark, followed by brown leaves, stones, yellow leaves, feathers then lastly sticks. The children were brilliant at this! And worked really carefully to build the circles to make this beautiful piece of forest art.


We then talked about the mud monster from our story, ‘Room on the Broom’ and decided to make a forest monster of our own. Look at how great they are! Willows worked really well together in their teams and were able to tell us all about them afterwards.



The finished Forest Monsters…Well done Willows-you were fantastic today.


Bird Feeders

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Today Willows looked at the bird from ‘Room in the Broom’…and decided that it probably wouldn’t live in Langley Forest School! So they listened to the sounds and learnt the names of some of the birds we might see.

click to hear some birdsongs

They were very good at naming the robin, blackbird and blue-tit. Willows played a game where they pretended to be one of these birds…and flew off to find lots of woolen worms that Mrs. Smith had dropped on the ground.

Willows also worked hard making pine-cone or apple bird feeders. (And played on the obstacle course, made Dragon’s breath in the cold air…and Dragon soup in the mud kitchen, and took turns on the swing and dug and had lots of fun!)



All of the feeders were hung up in our ‘Feeding Station’…we think that our birds will have a lovely week! p1140865p1140866p1140863


Viking Runes

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Cedars were faced with a new challenge today…to find hidden Viking rune-stones, to work out what letters the rune-symbols represented and then to write their own ‘rune message’.

First task-to find the stones which were hidden throughout the forest school site…


Next task-to place the rune stones next to the matching wooden symbols…then to turn the wooden symbols over to reveal which letter of the alphabet it was!


Then the exciting bit…find a way of leaving a Viking message for us to discover at the end of the lesson. Cedars were full of brilliant ideas for this task…look at what they did.


These two boys decided to make a mud stew! They used the mud to write their Viking names on a wooden board…which they placed into their Viking Longship to show which seat belonged to them. They also made their own clay runes with their initials on.


There were more signs being made over by the Longship…this time using charcoal from a previous camp-fire. The charcoal was tricky to use, but the boys were determined to keep going and were very proud of their signs…one of which said ‘Viking’ and was placed right at the front near the dragons head.


In the log circle, clay runes were constructed…one using a leaf stalk to scratch the rune initials into the clay, the other using tiny twigs pressed into the base, to spell out the whole name.


…and lastly, fabulous large scale runes were made using sticks and feathers. These runes spelled out names, initials and the word ‘Viking’.

Cedars really enjoyed sharing their ideas and work with the rest of their class, and it was lovely to hear them all congratulate and praise one another’s efforts. And after creating such great messages, Cedars were able to work out the message Mrs. Smith left for them-

Next week, would you like to make a _ _ _ _!

…can you see what it is?


Cedars-I’ve given you all a rune sheet…can you take it home and make a message with someone in your family? Please write back and tell me what word you made…

No Obstacle for Halifax Bank! (Or Willows class)

Thursday, 20 October 2016

We were very happy this week, to welcome back the team from Halifax Bank, who first came last year to offer a days help in setting up our Forest School site. This time, they helped to put together our exciting new Forest Obstacle Course!

Look at what they helped us to achieve…



The Team!

The next day, Willows class were very excited to be the first class to use the course…

Firstly, they balanced along the beams…then chose between stepping over/in the tyres or choosing the other direction and stepping over the ropes then crawling under the scramble net.


Next they went up and over the climbing frame…this was difficult. But with real determination, they made it!p1140782p1140778p1140790

Then it was on to the stepping stumps, through the enormous tractor tyre and a big climb up onto the ‘I DID IT’ winners podium! As soon as they had completed the course, they went back and did it again and again. A great time was had by all…thank-you from us all to the fabulous Halifax team!



Nests and Seeds!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

In our story, “Room on the Broom”, the witch created a ‘marvellous broomstick’ with a special nest for her friend, the bird….so we decided to help out and look after the birds at Langley too!

Mrs Smith showed us two real birds nests…one had two blue eggs inside. We looked at the shape, at how they had been made and what the birds had used.


One of our challenges today, was to make our own nest. Anyone who managed it, got to squeeze the special soft bird and listen to her singing…and of course, she visited and sat in each completed nest.

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Our other challenge was to make a bird feeder. As with the nest building, there was a huge amount of focus, concentration, co-operation and thought going on. Well done Willows! Our Forest School birds will be happy all week with their treats!

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Sailing away in our Viking Longship…

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Another fun filled and exciting morning for our Vikings in Cedars class! They worked really well together to finish their Longship and by the end of the morning it looked fantastic…and was ready to sail on it’s first adventure!


The boys made chalk paint and decorated their dragons head with it.


They also finished their sail. Once it’s dry, we will hang it up on the ship’s mast.


The seats were added, floor swept, oars found and placed ready and then Cedars set off together on a Viking raid! It was VERY noisy! And lots of fun. The children even made up their own raiding song, warning the Anglo-Saxons that they were on their way…!



I wonder if real Vikings had hot chocolate and biscuits in their Longships?!



Funny footprints!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

When Willows class arrived today, they found some strange footprints! They worked together to identify them and found that the footprints belonged to a frog, a cat and a bird…maybe the ones from our story?

As the children had so much fun last week making their own mud paint, we decided to make some more! They mixed up soil and water into a thick paste and experimented with our animal footprint sponges.


And after making lots of animal footprints, we decided to make our own too!


A Viking Longship takes shape…

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

We had a very small group today as over half of Cedars class were out playing football at Villa…but WOW-how hard these 5 boys worked! And what a lot they accomplished.

Firstly, we cut open the string that had been tied around the stones on our large piece of cloth…we had dyed it with blackberries in the previous session. The patterns were beautiful.

We’d decided last week to use different leaves, flowers and berries to add more colours to the cloth. And had decided that it should be a Viking sail! So today we learnt how to safely use a hammer…and then bashed lots of different colours and patterns into the sail.


Then we set to work on the Longship…the children had some brilliant ideas. They found a tree that would make a great mast, then worked together to clear a space around it. They carried logs and sticks together and made the shape of their ship.

More and more sticks were added to build up the sides, and a great suggestion was made- to add a dragons head to the prow (front) of the ship. Look at the fire coming out of the dragons mouth! The group decided that the head needed to be orange and next week we will make some special paint to add to their creation.

We can’t wait to show what we did to the rest of Cedars next week…and to continue to use all the children’s brilliant ideas to complete the Longship.


Willows Dig and Paint!

Friday, 30 September 2016

There was lots of learning and fun to be had out at Forest School this week with Willows class. The children chose from different activities related to our story…they enjoyed exploring the digging pit to find hidden pictures of the Room On The Broom characters. Once found, they matched them to one of 3 baseboards. Not only did they discover the witch, dragon, frog, dog and cat…but a few worms too along the way!


Also on offer, was making magical forest paint. Willows children chose something to squash (blackberries and mud made great colours!) then mixed in some water, before choosing a story picture to paint.


(Sorry-more pictures hopefully coming soon. Having a few technical hitches with the rest of the photo’s!)

Cedars- Busy with blackberries!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Last week Cedars foraged like Vikings! They picked and ate blackberries…and as we had some left over, we decided to see what else we could use them for.

Cedars learnt that Vikings used natural dyes to colour the clothes they made…so were set the challenge of finding a way to make their own dye using the blackberries (and anything else they could find from our Forest School site.)

They weren’t given any guidance…just challenged to use their own ideas and to find ways of transferring different colours onto a square of white cotton. There was lots of experimentation going on…


The children used stones, sticks, their fingers and brushes to create the dye… Some tied stones into their cloth to see what would happen…


Some children explored the site for different ways of creating colours. They were ingenious! They used tree trunks, rotting logs, mud, acorns, crushed berries, moss and leaves.


As everyone was enjoying creating colours so much, we decided to get a large sheet of cotton and do some more! We decided it would make a brilliant sail for a Viking Longship! Someone suggested placing an acorn and some leaves inside the cloth and hitting it with a stone…we made some great prints, but the children decided that it was really hard work…and a little bit dangerous for their fingers. They were all very keen to finish the sail, but decided to wait until next week, so Mrs. Smith could bring out some hammers  to bash the leaves instead of using stones.


“I know…let’s make a massive Longship in the forest” said Thomas. “It’ll take us lots of days to make it” replied Brandon…”We’ll do it as  team” suggested Anthony. “And finish the sail and put it on” said Noman. So-that’s our plan for next time!

Choice time after snack was fabulous! One team worked together to hunt for Viking treasures…and they were delighted when they found GOLD! Elsewhere there was a lot of cooperation and problem solving going on around the climbing tree…which was a little out of reach for someone…who very cleverly found a way to help himself and his friend up! And lastly, a discovery team worked together to find and identify bugs and some strange looking fungi.

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