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Archive for the ‘Larches’ Category

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!


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.

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!



Rune-writing and Tool work

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Today in Forest School, we learnt some new skills, including tree identification, how to use loppers and how to read Saxon Rune symbols!

Next week we want to make a fire to cook damper bread on. We want to be just like the Saxons, and forage for the sticks we will be using to twist the dough around, before it is placed over the fire. So we started off the morning with a ‘tool talk’, learning how to hold and use the loppers, enabling us to cut the sticks safely.

Then we looked closely at what a hazel tree looks like, discussing the shape of the leaves. We talked about how the hazel sticks grow very straight, so are great for cooking on.

We looked around the woods at all the different trees, trying to match up our hazel leaf picture to a real hazel leaf. After a lot of discussion and looking, we found one…

Everyone selected and cut their own stick to use next week…

Some of the children worked closely with Mrs Smith, listening to another tool talk, and learning how to strip the bark from the hazel stick using a knife. They were very sensible, listened well, worked with care and most importantly, were very proud of their efforts.

Elsewhere in the woods, there were some very clever children hard at work finding rune symbols, decoding them and then working really hard to make different rune symbol words using sticks! look at how well they did…


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.

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!

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.

Larches weave a wonderful web

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Larches were brilliant this week! They worked really well together despite the (very) wet weather, to create a huge spider web. They started off by wrapping a big ball of string around a circle of trees, practising tying knots and making sure that the string was pulled tight, before passing the string to someone else. As the web grew, passing the ball of string across the circle became more challenging!

Once the web was complete, we took turns to challenge one another to cross it…thinking of some very funny moves along the way! It was great fun.

The rain didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves at all…in fact it made our morning even more fun!


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)


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…