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Forest School Blog

Mixing up Forest Potions!

Friday, 28 September 2018

Oaks and Firs had a busy time exploring and investigating this week.  They chose their own ‘ingredients’ (soil, acorns, petals, leaves, flowers, grasses…) and mixed them together with different coloured ‘magic’ water to make a special potion.

Some of the children chose to paint with their mixture…

…whilst others chose different activities such as using binoculars to spot birds…or investiagting filling and emptying, making mud castles, shapes and holes…or working on their climbing skills…or sharing turns on the  swing.

Farming (and a fire)

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Larches were absolutely fabulous once again this morning! Miss Corbett asked them to be Anglo Saxon farmers…and their first task was to find and gather up all of the lost animals. They were hidden all over the woods!

Then the ‘farmers’ worked together in teams to make an enclosure for their animals. It was brilliant to see so much collaboration and how much thought and care was put into the task. The farmers decided to rake a piece of land, then gathered fencing and walls. They considered how the animals would get in and out, what food they’d need and how they would  keep them safe. One  group even rigged up a fox trap to protect their flock!

This week’s fantastic fire makers were pretty amazing. They worked really hard to use the fire striker independently, and after practising by lighting a cotton wool pad, under the watchful eye of Mrs Smith, they worked together to make and light a fire of their own.  They managed to follow all the safety rules and procedures and when the fire was successfully lit, the excitement and pride these boys felt was immense. Well done boys!!

Check out this video to see how well they did.

It’s all about the birds….

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

What a lovely day in Forest School for Oaks and Firs! On our way into the woods today, we found lots of pictures of birds, hidden in lots of different places…

We were very impressed at how successfully many of the children matched their pictures to our big poster, finding the same bird and then signing, repeating, or reading the name of the bird.

We then set about filling up our bird feeders, and making our own by mixing up squashed berries and seeds…

And as always, we had lots of fun exploring and investigating today-there are so many things to discover and enjoy!

Anglo coins and crowns, berries and fire…

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Forest School is running a little differently this year…whilst small groups work with our Forest School leader, the rest of Larches enjoyed a busy morning with their class team doing lots of fabulous outdoor learning activities, all linked to their Anglo Saxon topic.

They learnt about King Alfred, then hunted in the digging pit for hidden coins with the King’s face on…they made forest style crowns, and also followed instructions to make their own paint using berries…just as the Anglo Saxons would have done.

Elsewhere, this weeks Anglo-Saxon villagers were busy learning how to make a successful fire. We started by talking about the types of wood we’d need and the 3 things a fire needs to work. We collected sticks and sorted them, then learnt how to use a fire striker. We had a wonderful group today, who with a lot of determination and patience, independently lit their ‘fairy fires’ (cotton wool).

The children then learnt how to build a fire, carefully layering the tinder, kindling and sticks. We watched as the flames turned orange, we talked about the smells and sounds, then noticed that the sticks were turning from brown to white and eventually the fire died out. We discussed why the fire had gone out and the children were able to remember that 1 of the 3 things the fire needs was missing…the fuel (or sticks). We were very careful to stand well back from the fire at a safe distance, and not to touch anything without fire gloves. We cooled the fire down using water and went away feeling very proud and happy!

First visit for Oaks and Firs

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Our youngest children in Oaks and Firs enjoyed their morning (or afternoon) in Forest School today. For many of them, it was a first visit, so we spent lots of time exploring and investigating…including balancing, playing in the digging pit, bouncing  (and laughing!) on the see-saw  plank, experimenting with the  balance scales, climbing and cooking in the mud kitchen.

We also looked for hidden ‘wriggly worms’, all independently finding and collecting a pipe cleaner ‘worm’ to take back to the log circle. We then carefully wrapped it around a special long pine cone, to make our own forest worms to take home.

Larches Brilliant Boats

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Larches are learning about Anglo Saxons this term. They had a super first session in Forest School, working together in teams to collect wood and to build boats…making them look like the boats the Anglo Saxons sailed in! Miss Corbett was very pleased with how well Larches all cooperated with one another and was very proud of the fabulous creativity and enthusiasm they demonstrated.

Elsewhere in the forest, a small group of children spent the morning also pretending to be Anglo Saxons- but this group were learning how to make fires using a flint a steel. They searched for and sorted sticks of different sizes, each lit their own small fire, then worked together to make a bigger one. We discussed the 3 elements a fire needs -heat (from the spark of the flint and steel) oxygen and fuel (from different sized sticks.) We learnt how to sort and grade sticks most importantly, we learnt how to be safe when making a fire.

Foundation Group 2

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Group 2 from Oaks and Firs really enjoyed their sunny morning in the woods this week. They concentrated hard on looking for hidden mini-beast pictures, until everyone had found one. Then they looked again to find another picture the same…

It is lovely to see how much more confident and engaged the children are becoming each week, and how they are working together more and developing their language and exploration skills.



Mini-beast hunting with Foundation Group 1

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Group 1 from Oaks and Firs had a marvellous time hunting for mini-beasts today. They found all sorts of insects and other creatures and really enjoyed looking at them closely with the magnifying glasses and special magnifying pots.

When they had identified the mini-beasts, they carefully placed them in the tray with the matching picture. The children passed around the trays once they’d  finished collecting,  and discussed things  such as how each creature moved, how many legs it had and what colour it was.

As always, everyone enjoyed choosing their own activities today. We all had a happy busy morning in Forest School.

Oaks and Firs Marvellous Musical Morning…

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Group 2 had a great time making sounds and singing in the woods this week. They started off their morning looking at and identifying acorns, conkers and fir cones..and discovered that when they were placed in a box, they made different sounds. Everyone chose a box or pot and went off to find their own ways of making a woodland shaker…

When they were all ready, we had a Forest School sing song. We also enjoyed making lots of noise beating out a rhythm with sticks. on a very large oil drum!

We made shakers too, using shells and conkers…and were very proud of the results.

Summer in Butter-Bee Garden

Friday, 8 June 2018

Summer is here and everything is growing and changing so quickly in our garden!

We had a look at the tadpoles this week, and were excited when we noticed that they had started to grow 2 back legs. They are feeding off all the plants, midges and lavae in the pond…which is also looking very healthy after all the lovely sunshine we’ve been having.  Some caterpillars were enjoying the leaves on the willow tunnel, this  too is growing lots.

The wildflowers are all emerging, looking beautiful and attracting lots more wildlife into the  area.