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Forest School Blog

Archive for the ‘Summer 2019’ Category

Butterflies and Crowns…and Tadpoles with LEGS!!!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Oaks and Firs had a busy time out in Forest School this week. After many weeks of checking on the tadpoles in our pond, we finally saw two that had grown their back legs. There was great excitement at this discovery!

After lots of discussion and interest , we headed off to the woods to create these beautiful butterfly pictures using plants from our school grounds and garden…

…and these lovely Willow crowns, using willow cut from our very own Butter-Bee Garden

All of the children have thoroughly enjoyed their Forest School sessions this year-they’ve been very lucky to have experienced our site through Autumn, Winter, Spring and now Summer. They’ve grown so much in confidence, ability, in their social skills, their independence skills and their care and understanding of nature.  Well done Oaks and Firs and have a happy summer…enjoy the outdoors as much as you can!



Hot Chocolate Fun!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Firs and Oaks have made masses of progress in Forest School this year. We’ve really noticed how having a weekly session out in the woods has helped in their confidence and independence skills. They were fabulously well behaved and sensible today, when we used the kelly kettle with them for the first time, to make hot chocolate out in the woods.

There was great excitement as we all had a turn at using the fire striker…

We filled the kettle with water…

Mrs Smith lit the fire, then put the kettle on top. We took it in turns to put a stick down the hole in the middle of the kettle, into the fire…

When the water was hot, we made our hot chocolate…

To finish off safely, we put out the fire using cold water…

What a lovely day, with super children…well done Oaks and Firs!


Elderflower Cordial

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Willows worked really well as a team this week, to use the elder flowers that are growing on the elder trees in Forest School…to make elderflower cordial. This is how we did it…

1- We looked closely at the elder leaves, so that everyone knew what they needed to find…we smelt the (very smelly!) leaves and the flowers

2-We looked around the site until we spotted an elder tree…then we each cut off a small head of flowers

3-We washed the flowers in warm water

4-We pulled the flowers off the stalks and popped them in a big pot

5- We looked at the Kelly Kettle…and filled it with cold water. Then Mrs Smith lit a fire and placed the  kettle on top

6-We carefully added sticks, using the fire gloves to keep us protected. The water began to get hotter.

7- When the water was boiling hot, we took the Kelly kettle off the fire and poured the water onto the flowers. We then put out the fire using cold water.

8- We added some sugar and some lemons and we left the cordial overnight.

9-The next day, we strained the liquid through a muslin-cloth, leaving us with the flowers on top and our elderflower cordial in the bowl. 

10- We gathered together at tuck time to share the special drink we had made. It was really delicious! Well done Willows!!



Mr Chalky Caterpillar

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Oaks and Firs worked together to make this rather fabulous caterpillar!

Mr. Chalky-Stone Caterpillar!!

First they chose a coloured piece of chalk, then carefully hammered it to make a powder…

Then they added some water and stirred to make a paint…

We also painted some butterfly mud pictures…

And enjoyed exploring all that Forest School has to offer…investigating, using and practicing physical skills, trying new things, relaxing, learning, creating, sharing and turn taking…and being engaged by and within the natural environment.

Look at the fascination on this fabulous little boy’s face! He handled a worm so gently and carefully…



Sunday, 23 June 2019

This week, some of Willows children had the opportunity to practise using the fire lighters. They learnt how to hold and use them safely…and were very excited to light some tinder and start a small fire.

Success…well done Willows!

They also enjoyed hunting for mini-beasts, making mud paint and painting mini-beast pictures, cooking in the mud kitchen and playing on the swing and hammock.


A Beautiful Butterfly

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Oaks and Firs found pictures from and helped to tell the story of The Hungry Caterpillar as we were walking into the woods this week. They enjoyed taking turns to pick up each picture and naming the days of the weeks and the food the caterpillar ate.

The children are getting really good at using the hammer now! They took turns to hammer lots of different flowers onto a large piece of cloth, to make their own beautiful butterfly…

We were really proud of how well they concentrated, and of course of their end product…

We also used these stick caterpillars…who munched their way through lots of leaves!

The digging pit was as popular as ever, with soggy mud castles being made, worms being found and tiny little seeds being discovered and collected. And there were adventures aplenty as always!


Nature and dens…

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

We’ve had such a lovely busy day in Forest School today. We started off the morning in Butter-Bee gardens…we looked at, touched and smelt the wildflowers that have grown so much over the last couple off weeks. We fed the  birds, the hedgehog that visits us, and watered the plants. We also looked at the tadpoles this afternoon and noticed how much bigger they have become…we’re still waiting to see their legs develop though!

We also spotted more changes in the natural environment when we got out into the woods. We looked closely at the ferns that were growing really tall. We noticed that the leaves started off in a circle and slowly uncurled themselves. We then spotted a beautiful ladybird, which this lovely group of children enjoyed observing…

We also had a go at working together and building dens today…and had a great time playing in them!

And look at all theother fun things Oaks and Firs did today…making music, cooking, balancing, climbing, bug hunting…and waiting patiently for a  turn on the swing!




Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Beeches worked hard today to make their own superworms to take home, using sticks that had  been cut from one of our elder trees.

They first learnt how to carefully hold and use the secateurs to cut the sticks into small pieces.

Then they used a smaller stick to poke out the soft pith from the centre of the stick…

Once the centre had been removed, the pieces of stick were threaded onto a pipe cleaner. With eyes and mouth added on, Superworm was complete!

Halfway through the morning, everything came to an abrupt halt, as Ryan spotted something very exciting in a tree directly above the den he was making! We quickly gathered together…very quietly…and looked up onto a branch, to spot this beautiful baby tawny owl looking down at us!

We abandoned the den making, so as not to disturb the owl, and kept checking back on him during the morning. He stayed there all morning…but had gone by lunchtime. We hope to see him again one day.

Also this morning, we used the Superworm book to inspire creative ideas. The children were given a box of ropes and…just like Superworm did…were asked to find different ways of using them…

The ropes became a fishing line, were tied to some trees in order to go under and over, and were also used to add another bucket to our balance scales!

Marvellous medals

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Today, children in Oaks and Firs  enjoyed a lovely sunny day in Forest School…in huge contrast to the very wet day we had last week! We managed to fit lots of things into our sessions today, including…

Learning to use the hand drill…The children drilled a hole into a wood slice, then decorated it with lots of colours, before threading it with string to make a medal.  They all really enjoyed the new experience…and were very proud of their medals. We’ll continue with this next week so everyone who wants to have a go, gets the opportunity.

Looking for (and at) mini-beasts…

What fabulous interest and engagement…outdoor learning at it’s best!

We found an interesting creature today…which we didn’t recognise. A little bit of research and investigation led us to the conclusion that our mystery guest was a beetle lavae. He was great to watch!

Collecting and counting…On the way into the woods today, we found lots of catkins on the ground. We collected them and used them to count. Some children collected other things they found…and did some great counting using their fingers to help them!


…self selected activites-and lots of busy children.


Clay creatures

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Beeches worked hard this morning, to create these lovely clay creatures, inspired by the Superworm story characters.

They used natural materials and things  that we collected on our way into the woods, to make spiders, butterflies, a tadpole, a bee and a ladybird…

There was lots of interest in finding and identifying mini-beasts…we tried to remenber the names of the creatures we had identified last week. This week we managed to find a centipede-something we didn’t manage to get last time. Everyone enjoyed looking through the magnifying pot to see how it moved and what it looked like.

We also talked about Wizard Lizard’s lair in the Superworm story…and some of the class decided to make their own ‘lair’ or den. They learnt to carefully drag and then place the long sticks and branches onto the side of the den.

The mud kitchen was also a hive of activity this morning!