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Archive for the ‘Beeches’ Category

Our beautiful butterflies fly free…

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Very exciting things have been happening at Langley School this week. The caterpillars we have been watching grow, had turned into butterflies over the weekend!

This is what they looked like on week one…

They ate lots of food, until they were much much bigger! Then a few days later, they started to crawl to the top of the pot.

The caterpillars hung off the lid forming a crysallis-they were getting ready to turn into these beautiful butterflies.

On Monday morning, Beeches, Oaks and Firs all went out into Butter-bee garden to release the butterflies, hoping they would be happy there, and enjoy our butterfly-friendly flowers. Beeches had named them Harry, Meghan, Louis, Honey and Tiger, and one by one we released them. Not all of them were ready to fly away! But as they did, we all cheered and clapped and waved them off on their way.

 

Beeches busy busy day…

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What a lot we did today! Beeches worked really hard and as always were full of enthusiasm for everything.

The first job of the day involved a lot of teamwork. The children worked together to plant a young Ash tree. We looked carefully at the grey bark, the black buds and counted 9 leaves on each of the leaf stems, then took turns to put compost into the bottom of the large hole that had been prepared beforehand. Next we carefully placed the tree into the hole and filled it with more compost. We put the grass back on top and gave the ash tree lots of water. We’re looking forward to watching how much our new tree grows and enjoys its new home.

Then, after a request from the children, we checked back on the tadpoles in our pond. We learnt that it takes 6-12 weeks for tadpoles to develop into frogs. We watched them swimming around and noticed that although they were fatter, they still hadn’t developed back legs.

Next we discussed the very exciting news that the blue-tit eggs in our birdbox had hatched this morning. The children were very excited and were keen to watch the newborn chicks on the live YouTube feed. We watched the birds collect grubs and caterpillars and feed the babies…and made sure that we were very quiet as we tip-toed past the birdbox on our way into the woods

Once in the woods, we discussed the caterpillars that Beeches have been looking after for the last couple of weeks. They have watched them grow from tiny caterpillars, to big ones and this week they curled up into a chrysalis, ready to become a butterfly. So todays choices included creating a caterpilar life cycle to show the different stages of growth so far, and making a butterfly feeder, ready for  when they emerge.

The life cycle was made by attaching a tiny sticky ‘egg’ to some wool at one end, then finding a small thin stick for the caterpillar, a bigger fatter stick to represent the caterpillar as it grew, and finally a cone wrapped up in wool for the chrysalis.

Frog life cycles…Forest School style!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The tadpoles in our pond are growing quickly…we noticed that their bodies were much fatter than when we looked last week! We scooped a few out of the pond, to have a closer look at…

Outside, we started off our very rainy session with a fun game of ‘tadpoles beware!’ We talked about which animals might try to eat the tadpoles, and decided thar cats and birds would be our ‘predators’ for the game. Everyone wriggled and pretended to swim around like tadpoles…but as soon as they heard a ‘miaow’ or ‘tweet-tweet’, the children had to quickly hide on a ‘lilly pad’ (a tyre or hoop) before the cat or bird caught them. We all had great fun playing this game, using good listening skills and helping one another to escape and keep safe.

Then we thought about what we already knew about frogs…and decided where to stand along the knowledge line. Everyone chose where to stand…depending on whether they could tell us 1-2 frog facts, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 or an impressive 9-10 things about frogs.

Next we listened to and learnt lots of things about frogs! We learnt that they are amphibians (meaning they live on land and in water) we learnt what they like to eat, their life cycle, how they move and lots more. Then we worked in 3 groups, to produce a picture on the ground of either frogspawn, a tadpole or a frog. The discussions, creativity and results were brilliant! Look at what Beeches made…

The frogspawn was made with lots of stones, gathered and placed carefully by this group. They completed it by adding little spots of mud onto the middle of the stones, to represent to eggs inside the spawn.

 

This wonderful tadpole was made by first drawing an outline in the ground with a stick, and then lining the outside of the shape with sticks, before filling the middle with leaves. Perfect!

Lastly, the frog! It started off with a green belly, then was given a lovely big body, four legs and big bulging eyes. We were very impressed with how well Beeches worked (and cooperated with one another) on this task.

We also had LOTS of fun jumping through this big muddy puddle, pretending to be a frog! Some of us didn’t mind getting  just a little bit splashed!!

At the end of the morning, we thought about how much we’d learnt, and allowed the children to decide whereabouts on the knowledge line they now were. It was great to see that all they recognised that they had moved up the line and that they could now tell us a little bit more about frogs.

 

 

Beeches Super Shelters!

Saturday, 17 March 2018

During reflection time last week, Beeches class talked about how much they’d enjoyed making their animal homes, and asked to continue with this. They also decided that they’d like to have a go at making something a bit bigger…big enough to fit themselves in! So that’s what we did this week…

This first group made a shelter big enough to fit the whole class into! They built walls, a front door, a sofa and a securely tied roof.

The next group worked really hard, arranging branches and long sticks to make this very creative rabbit home! They explained to us  how they had carefully moved the sticks, how the rabbit got into his home, where his bed was (on a ledge at the top of the shelter). They even designed a bouncing platform, for the rabbit to climb up and jump from into his house!

We were thrilled to see this young man taking part in the activities for a short time…and he loved the cheers and praise he got for helping to build this shelter.

This next group decided to make a rabbit home too. They worked beautifully as a team, praising and encouraging one another throughout their build. They made a bath for the rabbit, set the table for his lunch and even found a ball for him to play basket ball with when he woke up!

Last but not least, this threesome worked on a shelter that once again, the whole class could fit inside. They added walls and a roof and a lined the floor too.

Well done Beeches…you were ALL brilliant!

Amazing Animal Homes

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Larches and Beeches worked extremely hard this week, on these amazing animal homes.

Firstly Larches…a hole for a hedgehog,  with a carefully made stick roof, covered in leaves to keep him hidden away from predators.

 

Next, two different nests…

And  here we have a well camouflaged den for a fox.

Lovely co-operation between these two…resulting in a safe home for a rabbit.

Lastly, a spectacular home for a lucky fox! Great team work from all the groups in Larches…well done!

Beeches were just as  creative…look at all these brilliantly made homes. We were really impressed with how much time and effort the children put into their homes. Beeches are really keen to make more next week, and after a debate at the end of the session, have decided to upscale the homes next time…and make some big enough for themselves to fit in!

(please click to enlarge the photos)

BRRRRRRR!!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

It’s been a cold and snowy week in Forest School, so we made sure that we wrapped up really warm in lots of layers, some extra socks, and hats and gloves.

Larches and Beeches started their sessions discussing the animals that live in our woods, and naming their habitats. They enjoyed hunting for the hidden animals and talking about the name of the home they lived in. We were very lucky to find a real nest, a beautifully frosty spiders web and a hole leading down to a fox’s den!

We were very good at finding the different creatures around the woods…

When everyone had found all the pictures, we gathered them together to play a ‘moving about’game to keep us warm! The pictures were spread across the ground, and we listened to the descriptions, such as ‘I’m small and furry and live underground in a burrow’…’I make a leafy nest called a drey’… ‘I like to live under logs and stones’), then ran or jumped or twirled to the correct picture. We learnt lots of new words today and had lots of fun!

And of course, there’s always time to choose a  favourite thing to do in Forest School…

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.

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