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Forest School Blog

Viking Dens, fire and farming…

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Another lovely morning for the fabulous Poplars, despite the chilly weather. We wrapped up really well and set off to create some Viking LongTallhouses!!  First of all, we listened to a safety talk and learnt how to carefully drag the long sticks and how to place them, after checking our friends weren’t in the way.

There was a lot of thought put into the dens, and super teamwork too.

Some groups worked on houses for themselves, whilst others made homes for their animals. They thought about how to keep their animals safe-and added fencing to keep the foxes out!

Once the dens were built, some of the children became Viking farmers. They searched in the digging pit, and dug up some carrots!

Whilst this small group took their turn this week to learn how to build and light a fire. They practised using the fire striker, lit small individual ‘fairy fires’, then worked together to collect sticks and make a bigger group fire…


Lovely leaves and lots of laughter

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

There was so much going on in Forest School today!

Autumn leaf threading…making and painting with mud, hide and seek, sorting and counting with natural objects, finding and careful handling of worms, woodlice and milipedes, weighing, digging, climbing…and as always- lots of investiagtion and exploration and appreciation of our lovely site.

What’s in here? Look a spider web…and woodlice! “look Miss…come see!”

Welcome to Forest School, Poplars!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Today, Poplars started their half-term of outdoor learning and Forest School. They were very excited to be out in the woods!

This small group spent the  morning learning how to set and light a fire. They practised using a fire striker, then helped to collect different thicknesses of sticks, before independently lighting it (under the watchful eye of Mrs Smith) and working together to add sticks to the fire.

Once we stopped adding sticks, we watched as the fire died down, discussing the changing colours and watching the embers turn into ash. The children noticed that the embers were still very warm, so helped to put out the fire safely.

Elsewhere in the woods, the rest of Poplars were having a marvellous time learning about Viking longboats. They worked in teams to make their own longships, complete with a mast, a sail, a dragon head at the front (prow) of the ship and oars to row. They even made a plank for naughty Vikings to walk off! Once they’d finished, they took turns to raid the other team’s ship and steal their treasure!

What a great morning! We talked about what had made us proud, what we had enjoyed and what we’d like to do next week. We’re all looking forward to our next Forest School adventure…



Mini-beasts and puddles!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

What an exciting time Oaks and Firs had in Forest School today! We really enjoyed exploring lots of different mini-beasts. We used magnifying glasses and magnifying pots, to look closely at them and to see how they moved. We matched the pictures to the different creatures, learning to repeat the names of each one.

Elsewhere in the woods…quiet contemplation, and an unusual visitor!

During our morning session, it started to rain…and rain! And in true Forest School style, it didn’t stop us having fun…in fact it made it more fun! Oaks loved walking through and splashing in the puddles…

 Two of our children were determined to experience the rain in their own way! Not all of us shared their enthusiasm…but this pair LOVED standing under the dripping tarp, and laughed continually as they played!

Firs had a drier afternoon…and as well as the mini-beast exploration, also enjoyed lots of different activities.

A spiky friend for Firs and Oaks

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Our youngest children concentrated really hard today, when using a hammer to tap sticks into a pumpkin, in order to make a fabulous forest hedgehog! They were very proud of their efforts…as were we.

Lots of other things were going on today, including litter picking, investigating twigs and leaves, climbing, balancing and bouncing…

And we enjoyed playing with our wood numbers-using them in counting and matching with natural objects from the  forest floor.

Saxon Stew and toasted Marshmallows

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

It was Larches last morning in Forest School today…so we celebrated our lovely half-term in the woods, by lighting another fire and cooking some delicious treats. We started off with Saxon Stew…we put some vegetables in tin foil, poured in some vegetable stock, then wrapped the foil up tight to keep all the flavours in.

Next we took turns to carefully place our stew onto the embers of the fire to cook.

When the stew was cooked, we opened up the parcels…and really enjoyed our tasty Saxon food!

Lastly, we used the sticks we’d prepared last week to toast a marshmallow…yummy!


Autumn collections

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

There are so many beautiful colours, shapes and sizes of leaves falling onto our forest floor this week. Today Oaks and Firs could choose to make a special collecting sheet by finding their favourite leaves and ‘forest finds’, and sticking them onto their card. We also found acorns, berries, feathers, sticks and bark.

Today turned out to be a bit of a climbing day, with children finding new places to experiment with, as well as familiar ones…

We also saw some co-operative den building -a first for these boys. And some wonderful investigation of a large log  whilst another group of children were playing in a different den. They were completely fascinated with the bark and how it looked and felt when pulled apart.

We saw developing independence, curiosity, engagement, organisation, developing relationships and imagination in shared play, as well as hearing some lovely speech. A perfect day for staff and children alike. We all had a super time.


Knife work with Larches…

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

A super proud day today. Larches proved how far they’ve come in their Forest School journey, by making Mrs Smith very proud of how safe, sensible and focussed they were when given the opportunity to use a knife.

Everyone listened and responded to a knife ‘tool talk’ and every child was able to show us how to sit, where to position the knife when cutting, how and where to hold it correctly, which direction to use it in and what to do with it after they had finished. Larches were able to follow all the safety rules and showed real concentration and determination. Whittling their sticks into a point wasn’t easy and it took some time. But the satisfaction of achieving a perfect point (for a marshmallow to go on next week) was great to see. Well done Larches.

Foundation Fun…

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A beautiful warm Autumnal day in Forest School, saw us exploring, learning and  having a lovely time! We were –Adventurers-balancing and climbing                        Scientists-mixing experimenting and observing changes    Mathematicians-creating numbers from natural materials    Chefs-cooking up and describing different dishes  Engineers-planning and building bridges    Environmentalists-finding out about and caring for our wildlife                                                                    Artists-creating marks on unusual surfaces!                        and at one with nature…loving being outdoors and using all our senses to learn about the world.

Take a look at our favourite Forest School day so far…we’re feeling very proud of our little superstars.


Anglo Saxon Damper Bread…

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Larches put all their good practise to work today, and successfully worked together to make a fire and cook on it.  Firstly they collected all the different  sticks they needed, thinking carefully about grading them in order of thickness.  Then they remembered and talked about the 3 elements that make a successful fire-heat, oxygen and fuel. The children built the fire, lit it, then took turns to add to it until it was hot enough to cook on.

Whilst the logs burnt down a little, we looked  at the damper bread instructions. Then everyone squashed up their flour, salt, sugar and water in a small zip-lock bag to make a bread dough…

The dough was carefully wrapped around the sticks we had prepared and cleaned last week, and the sticks were then placed over the hot embers  to cook. We needed to make sure we twistied the stick round to cook the dough evenly and watched as the dough changed colour and cooked through. We were very pleased with the results…the bread tasted lovely!