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Forest School Blog

Archive for the ‘Spring Term 2020’ Category

Firs and Rowans

Friday, 13 March 2020

This week, both Firs and Rowans classes enjoyed helping with the ongoing job of moving logs from one end of the site to the other. It was such fun! A bit of effort and a lot of team work later, we had managed to move several more of the logs that the tree surgeons had removed when making safe the trees on our site.

Both classes focused very hard on their fine motor skills, by stretching small coloured bands across these Forest School-made nail boards. They also balanced and built with a range of different sized wood blocks, climbed, dug and bounced!

During the morning, Firs had a particularly ‘chilled out’ and relaxed time. It was lovely to see how calm everyone was…we’re not sure if it was the sunshine, the birdsong, or the fact that they just love Forest School that made them  seem so relaxed! But whatever the resaon, everywhere we looked we saw contented faces!

During the afternoon, Rowans were superstar litter-pickers. They were really helpful and worked well together in picking up lots of rubbish from around the field and in the woods…


Spider facts and frogspawn

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Acers started their morning with an exciting discovery today! When we looked in the pond to check on our frogs, we found that they had laid some frogspawn. Everyone was really keen to look at it, so we  took turns to kneel down and had a very close look. We could see the little black dots inside the  eggs, which will develop into tadpoles.

Acers really enjoyed the predator and prey game introduced last week, and were keen to play again today. This time, they were much quicker at reacting and at working together to keep the mouse safe from the owl!

After our game, we gathered round the log circle to discuss spiders…then everyone went looking round the site to find a special spider fact. We took the facts back to the log circle, and took turns to read them to the class.

Once we’d listened to and discussed all the spider facts (like-male spiders are smaller than female spiders, spiders have 48 knees, they have hairy legs, they have 2 body parts and 8 legs, they have eyes, a mouth and a stomach in the front body part, they make silk, which comes out of the back part of the spider…) we all stood around  the web we made last week and took turns to crawl under to take off more spider facts. We matched these with the first set, trying to remember who had got each spider fact.

Acers really enjoyed their independent choices in Forest School today. The mud kitchen was very busy producing all sorts of muddy dishes and the digging pit was a hive of activity-all on a  worm finding mission!

Rowans-Bug hunting

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Rowans started their session this week with a mini-beast picture treasure hunt. They loved looking for and finding all the pictures! We sat together in the log circle afterwards, listening to the mini-beast names as one of the children read them out for  the rest of the class to repeat.

Then we put out pots and magnifying glasses, which some of the children chose to use, with great interest and enthusiasm!

And look at all of these smiley happy faces!!

Pull and roll!!

Thursday, 5 March 2020

This week, we’ve had the tree surgeons in school and they’ve left us some big branches to use in Forest School. Oaks class were super helpful…helping to pull the heavy logs from one end of our site, down to the fire pit-where we stored them, ready to cut up and use when they are dry.

Some of the children found and decided to use our big oil drum…they had a fabulous time pushing and rolling it, balancing on it, diving over the top of it and then using it to make music!

We also had a go at making faces using natural resources and used sticks to copy and make different shapes…

Fire strikers at the ready!

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

What a fabulous example of resilience and pride in your work! Watch these videos of  two children learning to use a fire striker independently… and listen to what they say when they finally light the cotton pad   ❤️

Acers Spider Web

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Acers started off the morning being very clever! Several hands shot up when asked if they could remember the special names we used to describe some of the woodland creatures last week…and they correctly recalled the words ‘predator’ and ‘prey’. We talked about which animals belonged to each category and then introduced food chains…all helping to sort the food chain of owl-mouse-worm-leaf, from top to bottom.  (please click to enlarge the photos)

We played a  fun game, where one person stood in the middle of a circle pretending to be an owl, and the rest of the class were trees. We used a small mouse toy, and threw it from one tree to another…whilst the owl tried to intercept and eat its prey! This game was great fun..and got us all thinking carefully about where  to throw the  mouse.

Next, we looked at some pictures of spiders and webs, and learnt a few facts about spiders. Then we all worked together to make an enormous web!

We had to work as a team, share, take turns, use our problem solving skills and create a string web together…

Whilst everyone got to choose their own activities, some children took turns to practise fire lighting skills, using the flint and steel…

During reflection time at the end of the morning, everyone talked about what had made them happy. We had lots of super responses, such as ‘when I helped make that web’, ‘when I swung really high on the swing’, ‘when I lit the fire’, ‘when I made mud cakes in the mud kitchen’.

Fairy Wands

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Rowans were back in Forest School today for another half term of sessions. They were very happy to be back and settled easily back into the routines.  We started the  afternoon off  with this story about a hard-of-hearing fairy.

The story was funny as the fairy kept making the wrong spells. We thought we could have a go at making wands…hopefully they would make good magic spells! We started off by choosing a stick

Then decorated it with forest finds, and a selection of other things…

We thought the wands looked great…

Rowans also selected their own activities and judging by the smiles all round, a good time was had by all!

Signs of Spring Welly-Walk

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Firs enjoyed a walk around the school grounds today, looking for signs of better weather to come, and exploring lots of different areas. We started off by clambering up and standing on some big tree stumps. This was quite tricky as  the wood was wet and a bit slippy…

Next we explored inside a small arc of trees, that provided a place to hide and the opportunity to climb. We listened to a very noisy bird who was just above us!

Then we played trains! We all managed to fit onto a long log, and enjoyed singing and signing ‘the wheels on the train…’

As our walk continued, we looked for green leaves and had a close look at Spring flowers and some catkins we noticed hanging from a tree…

We noticed lots of leaf buds and looked at the leaves starting to uncurl. We also found a few smaller stumps  to play on and a tree that was enormous…as well as a tree that was smaller than the  children!


Predator and Prey

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Today, Acers learnt the words predator and prey, discussed what they meant and talked about  which woodland animals were predators and which were prey. They also learnt two new games that helped them to understand how smaller animals have to find ways of avoiding being caught!

First we discussed the owl and the mouse. An owl hunts at night and has very good hearing, so the mouse has to be very quiet when hunting for food. The ‘owl’ stood in the centre of our circle with a blindfold on, to recreate the dark night and the ‘mouse’ had to creep very quietly to take a pine cone for  it’s dinner. Sometimes the mice were too noisy and got caught!

Our second game, called fox and rabbits, involved a lot of running around! The rabbits moved from one side of the area to the other, eating the green grass. As soon as they heard the call ‘Run rabbits, RUN!’, they quickly ran to a mat (which we pretended was a hole into their warren). The fox ran after them…if they reached their rabbit hole they were safe, but if not, then the rabbits were eaten by the  fox! Everyone really enjoyed this game.

Next we divided in two groups. The first group worked brilliantly together, to make this land art picture of one of our predators…

With it’s big bushy tail, four legs, two pointed ears, sharp teeth and long whiskers…it’s easy to see that it’s a fox.

The second group sat in the fire circle, practicing with the fire strikers. They all had a turn at pulling up lots of strands from a cotton wool pad, and then lighting it with the flint and steel. We’ll be using these skills in the coming weeks.

Hammering Fun

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Willows loved using the hammers again this afternoon… this time to knock some nails into a plank of wood. They remembered that they needed to wear a glove on their helper hand, and all concentrated well on gently hammering the nails.

We also did a bit of ‘cooking’ and experimenting…

Bird watching proved to be popular last week, so we got the binoculars and bird ID sheets out again. This week, we looked at pictures of woodpeckers and tried really hard to spot one…we knew it was close by in our woods because we heard it lots of times today!