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Archive for November, 2016

A Very Chilly Day

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

It was freezing outside today, so we decided to start the morning inside Hollies…and what a busy morning it was! The children were very keen to help to paint the new pallet Christmas tree which Mrs. Smith made yesterday…


Special Forest School tinsel was made using small pieces of elder and fresh cranberries, which were threaded onto wire ready to hang up on the pallet tree.


Our fir tree decorations were glittered and completed, and another beautiful tree was made-this time it was a whole class effort!


Then it was time to go outside for Willows new favourite game, ‘123 where are you?’ They hid independently and are getting better and better each week at calling out ‘123 I’m here’!


We enjoyed lots of warming physical activities this morning, including balancing, climbing, see-sawing, swinging and jumping. So much so, that we were warm and toasty on our return to school, and more than ready for our lunch!

Damper bread on the fire

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A lovely morning once more for Cedars class. The hazel sticks they had recently selected, cut down and whittled were put to very good use, to cook bread dampers.

First of all, water was added to the bread mix…and the outside of the bag was squished and squashed until a dough formed!


Next, everyone rolled their ball of dough into a long sausage…then carefully wrapped it round and around their stick


Next they were heated over the hot embers of our fire. The dampers needed to be turned to make sure they were evenly cooked.


Last of all…the best bit of the morning…the dampers were drizzled with honey and eaten while they were still warm. The boys were very proud of their efforts. And the comment of the day…”That was more than 10 out of 10!”


Wonderful Willows

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

What a lovely busy morning we had today! Willows chose some great activities, all worked hard and cooperatively together…and had some very big smiles to share!

We started (and finished) the morning with a game of ‘123 where are you?’ And by the end of the morning the children were hiding and replying to the call independently. It was great fun!


There was lots of concentration in the log circle today, as the children used the drill to make a hole in their Christmas decoration.


Much fun was had with a box of rope…creations were made and Kian was fabulous at tying them to trees!p1150127p1150129p1150131p1150150 p1150143p1150155

The digging pit was also full of activity…


Well done Willows…it was a pleasure to spend the morning with you.


Tools Galore!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Cedars had a very busy morning, using a range of tools and choosing their own activities. We were all really impressed today at how independent and confident the children have become. They work together, look out for one another, cooperate very well, are creative and helpful too. And best of all, they invent great games to play together!

Aside from raking, litter picking, rope swinging, creating an enormous hole in the digging pit, making mud pies and climbing, these are some of the other things Cedars made today…

Knife skills were developed when removing the bark and whittling down the Hazel sticks we cut last week. These will be used as skewers, to cook bread dough next week.

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Conkers were requested last week- so today we enjoyed stringing them together to make various conker creationsimg_0632img_0627img_0620img_0635

The bit and brace drill was used to make a hole in a wood cookie. The children chose what to decorate their wood cookies with…they were either painted or small tacks were hammered in to help create a beautiful woolen tree. img_0641



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A little bit of magic!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

This week, Willows thought about the magic potion that the witch from ‘Room on the Broom’ made.                           They were set the challenge of collecting things from the forest to make their own magic potion…some chose to collect six different tiny things that could fit inside an egg box and others chose to collect a box containing something spikey, rounded, brown, tiny, green, hard, soft and something they liked.


When all the collecting was complete, everyone took turns to add their ingredients and to give the cauldron a good stir! Cienna thought of some magic words which we all repeated with every stir and on the very last stir, something amazing and magical happened!


The spell had worked…a packet of biscuits suddenly appeared from nowhere! Willows were very surprised and very happy! And enjoyed sharing the biscuits over hot chocolate,

During free choice, one of the activities on offer was to make a decoration…the children enjoyed using the drill for the first time, to make a hole in their wood cookie.


Loppers and Knives

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Cedars are really keen to make another fire, and next time they want to cook bread dampers. We decided last week that they should make their own skewers to wrap the bread dough around and toast over the fire. So…today they had to learn how to use some of the tools in Mrs. Smith’s big tool box! Firstly, the loppers,  to cut down a fresh stick that would make a good skewer. We talked about which wood was best for putting food on…the children suggested that it should be clean, and long so they don’t burn their hands. Both great suggestions! They learnt that Hazel is a good tree to use as the bark strips off easily, and it is safe…unlike some sticks which can have a toxic sap. They also learnt that it’s better to use freshly cut sticks that are more moist, than older dry ones, which may easily set alight.

Cedars listened intently to the ‘tool talk’, learning how to safely use the loppers. They then searched for a hazel tree, correctly identifying it by the leaves.

They were able to demonstrate how to hold, pass and cut with the loppers and made sure that they were ‘two arms and a tools width’ away from anyone before starting to cut.



Once everyone had cut a hazel stick, they listened to another tool talk…this time learning how to use a knife to strip the bark off their stick. All of the children were super sensible, safe and careful, and made a great job of making their skewers.


And while all this concentration was going on, there were lots of other things happening around the forest site!img_6085img_6086p1140998p1140999p1150002p1150012p1150025p1150028

…all finished off with a great game of ‘123 where are you’. This has to be the best hiding place ever!! p1150044

Fire, popcorn and marshmallows on a cold, but happy day!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A super exciting morning for Cedars! And a perfect chilly day to warm up around the fire…

After helping to sort the wood into piles, from thin tinder, to kindling then to gradually increasing thicknesses of sticks, Cedars talked about the 3 elements a fire needs-heat, oxygen and fuel. They all took turns to help add the sticks, until we had a lovely warm fire to warm ourselves around.


p1140922p1140925While we waited for the fire to die down a little, Jamie and Tyrese used the fire striker to independently light the kelly-kettle. We waited for the water to boil, then made some warming hot chocolate…it tasted so much better freshly made!

Once we had some lovely hot embers, we toasted marshmallows until they were sticky and warm, then squashed them between two biscuits…yummy!

p1140926p1140929p1140931p1140943 p1140946p1140947p1140950p1140951 p1140952 Then something new for us-we tried making popcorn…and were surprised and very pleased when the corn started to pop! A perfect end to a really great morning.

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Beautiful Land Art

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

It was a chilly morning, so with hats and gloves on for the first time this year, Willows headed out today to be super creative!

We decided to start off with a moving around, keeping warm kind of activity. Mrs Smith sent everyone off, searching for different natural resources from the forest floor. First everyone hunted for a green leaf, then some bark, followed by brown leaves, stones, yellow leaves, feathers then lastly sticks. The children were brilliant at this! And worked really carefully to build the circles to make this beautiful piece of forest art.


We then talked about the mud monster from our story, ‘Room on the Broom’ and decided to make a forest monster of our own. Look at how great they are! Willows worked really well together in their teams and were able to tell us all about them afterwards.



The finished Forest Monsters…Well done Willows-you were fantastic today.


Bird Feeders

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Today Willows looked at the bird from ‘Room in the Broom’…and decided that it probably wouldn’t live in Langley Forest School! So they listened to the sounds and learnt the names of some of the birds we might see.

click to hear some birdsongs

They were very good at naming the robin, blackbird and blue-tit. Willows played a game where they pretended to be one of these birds…and flew off to find lots of woolen worms that Mrs. Smith had dropped on the ground.

Willows also worked hard making pine-cone or apple bird feeders. (And played on the obstacle course, made Dragon’s breath in the cold air…and Dragon soup in the mud kitchen, and took turns on the swing and dug and had lots of fun!)



All of the feeders were hung up in our ‘Feeding Station’…we think that our birds will have a lovely week! p1140865p1140866p1140863


Viking Runes

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Cedars were faced with a new challenge today…to find hidden Viking rune-stones, to work out what letters the rune-symbols represented and then to write their own ‘rune message’.

First task-to find the stones which were hidden throughout the forest school site…


Next task-to place the rune stones next to the matching wooden symbols…then to turn the wooden symbols over to reveal which letter of the alphabet it was!


Then the exciting bit…find a way of leaving a Viking message for us to discover at the end of the lesson. Cedars were full of brilliant ideas for this task…look at what they did.


These two boys decided to make a mud stew! They used the mud to write their Viking names on a wooden board…which they placed into their Viking Longship to show which seat belonged to them. They also made their own clay runes with their initials on.


There were more signs being made over by the Longship…this time using charcoal from a previous camp-fire. The charcoal was tricky to use, but the boys were determined to keep going and were very proud of their signs…one of which said ‘Viking’ and was placed right at the front near the dragons head.


In the log circle, clay runes were constructed…one using a leaf stalk to scratch the rune initials into the clay, the other using tiny twigs pressed into the base, to spell out the whole name.


…and lastly, fabulous large scale runes were made using sticks and feathers. These runes spelled out names, initials and the word ‘Viking’.

Cedars really enjoyed sharing their ideas and work with the rest of their class, and it was lovely to hear them all congratulate and praise one another’s efforts. And after creating such great messages, Cedars were able to work out the message Mrs. Smith left for them-

Next week, would you like to make a _ _ _ _!

…can you see what it is?


Cedars-I’ve given you all a rune sheet…can you take it home and make a message with someone in your family? Please write back and tell me what word you made…