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Archive for the ‘Beeches’ Category

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.

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…

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.

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.

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!

Gruffalo Dens

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

This week,  following on from last week’s session, Beeches stepped up their house building skills by creating a den big enough for a Gruffalo!

The children remembered what they had been taught, and carefully dragged the long branches along the ground to get them to where they were den building…or worked with a friend, each of them taking an end and working together to move it.

They balanced sticks against a tree…worked together to cover the den with a tarpaulin, then decided to add some finishing touches to the inside. Rolling the tyres was great fun!

This next group helped one another throughout-they were great at sharing the work…making sure that less mobile members of the group could fully participate.

What a colourful and fabulous creation!

This last group of clever children made a lovely wide den for their Gruffalo…complete with a roof, some seats (which were too heavy to carry, so they decided to roll them into place) and a door…which they opened up and invited all their friends into!

A lovely, busy, creative morning for all the class. Well done Beeches.

A tiny house for mouse

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Beeches were really excited today to find a trail leading them through the forest…a trail scattered with tiny seeds.

They followed it, until it led them to a tiny house…

…where they found a tiny letter waiting for them.

Everyone wanted to help the mouse to rebuild his friend’s houses…and they immediately set off to create some pretty amazing mouse homes!

Everyone worked incredibly hard. We were so proud of how much thought, time and effort went into helping the little mouse. We all really enjoyed looking at and commenting on every single mouse house…and they were described by the children as ‘amazing’ ‘fantastic’ ‘wonderful’ ‘brilliant’ ‘so clever’ and ‘fabulous’!

We even had a grand opening for this last mouse house! Jamali had made a ribbon across the entrance, which we cut after an opening speech, to lots of applause from all his friends!

 Once we’d had hot chocolate, Lee spent the rest of the session extending and improving his house…until it developed into a fantastic mouse hotel. He was very proud of his work.

Our last house was very different to the rest. It was big enough for not just a mouse, but Mr C too! We decided that even a Gruffalo would be able to fit inside. Which gave us a great idea for next week….

At the end of our session, we reflected on our morning, with our new ‘feelings pebbles’. The most popular pebbles chosen and talked about were the ‘loved it’, ‘happy’ and ‘funny’ ones. Beeches certainly did have a lot of fun.

Hide and seek…a snake and a collection for a mouse!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Beeches  had a fabulous morning- playing games, learning new skills, being very creative and best of all, using and thinking of their own ideas.

We started off (as requested by several children last week!) with a game of hide and seek. Except that our game was special…as we made it into Gruffalo hide and seek!

We divided into two groups, one group hid their eyes whilst the other group found a good place to hide. Then, the seekers called out “1,2,3 where are you?”…and the hiders answered with a previously agreed animal sound! We heard growls, barks, squeaks, hoots and hisses all around the forest! Great fun was had…and it taught us to listen carefully.

Then we talked about the animals in our story and set three challenges to choose from. For the first challenge, we discussed the snake and although we don’t have snakes in or near our site, we looked at pictures of snakes that can be found in some areas of our country. The children were challenged to work together to make a pebble snake, so they set off to find a smooth pebble, then learnt how to safely hold and use a hammer to crush chalk, make their own paint and then paint it onto their pebble.

Look at our super snake!  

The second challenge concerned the little mouse, who tricked the Gruffalo. We talked about how small the mouse was…and decided to collect 6 different ‘Tiny Treasures’ for the mouse, from around the site. The children worked brilliantly on this! They really thought about what to collect, made sure that each ‘treasure’ fit in the tiny space they had and were able to talk with interest about what they had collected.

Lastly, three very clever children took on the challenge of making their own land art. After being introduced to it only last week, they were able to create their own pictures…and were rightly VERY proud of their efforts. Look at the impressive owl, the Gruffalo face with lots of sharp teeth and the beginnings of another Gruffalo…to be completed next time!



Beeches arty morning

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Beeches had a fantastic morning in Forest School…what a hard working class they are!

We started off with a fun team activity-making mandala art using the things we found around our site. We started with the small white stone Gruffalo ‘teeth’ we found last week…we placed them in the centre and then added a circle at a time of natural resources…each time going to find something that looked like, or reminded us of a part of the Gruffalo. Lots of thinking took place and lots of lovely language…we had bumpy stones for the Gruffalo’s knobbly knees, spikey holly leaves for the prickles on his back,  toe shaped sticks and lots of orange or rounded things for his eyes.

Next we chose what we wanted to do…some children worked in small groups to make a big Gruffalo picture on the ground. Again, lots of thought was put into choosing things to represent the Gruffalo…one group managed to find a stick with some harmless jelly-ear fungus growing on it…and thought it would make a great Gruffalo ear!

Elsewhere, the little white stone teeth we found last time, were being put to good use in another activity. These children used clay, stones, leaves and sticks to make a Gruffalo face that they can keep!



Welcome to Forest School Beeches…

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

(Please click the photos to enlarge them)

Beeches class began their term of Forest School on Tuesday…and what a great morning we had!

Firstly, we looked at our Forest School Rules and discussed them.

Then we set off to explore the site, playing in different areas and talking about how to be safe whilst doing so. The children enjoyed using the digging pit, mud kitchen, obstacle course, ropes, swing and some of the children tried out our new balancing tree.

Then it was story time…Beeches listened carefully to the story of ‘The Gruffalo’. You can listen to the story here.

Mrs. Smith told us that she’d heard lots of strange animal sounds in the forest…and that she wondered if the purple things she’d spotted this morning, were in fact Gruffalo prickles! We were very excited about going on a Gruffalo prickle hunt! Everyone looked high and low until we had all got 2 purple (wool!) prickles each.

Then we chose a friend to work with. We twisted our 2 prickles together and tied them, to make  a special purple ‘Gruffalo-Gang’ Band!

After hot chocolate and a biscuit, there were lots more interesting things to discover! Rachel was really excited to have found two Gruffalo teeth in the digging pit! She showed her friends and soon there were lots of people hunting for more teeth…

Elsewhere, there were lots of meals being created in the mud kitchen…cookies for the mouse, snake stew and Gruffalo crumble!

What a lovely first session. And Beeches have come up with some great ideas for next week using the Gruffalo teeth they found. Watch this space!