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Forest School Blog

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.  

Hungry Caterpillar fun…

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Group 1 from Oaks and Firs had a lovely morning retelling the story of The Hungry Caterpillar.

They found the hidden pictures in the woods, then helped to order them-pegging them on the line as we told the story.

Then the children chose a way to make their own caterpillar. Some made a small stick caterpillar by twisting a pipe cleaner around a stick.

Some chose to make this stone caterpillar…finished off with a leaf to munch on!

These children worked brilliantly as a team, rolling tyres and placing them on the ground for their huge caterpillar. They added a head…then enjoyed balancing along the body!

Group 1 were fantastic today! They found so many exciting, imaginative and challenging things  to do, including writing ‘beware of the caterpillar’ signs on the ground with a stick, and also using sticks to sweep and clear the paths. They balanced and climbed and made mud creations, they found worms and dug and used the swings, and had lots of fun investigating and discovering.

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.

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