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Archive for May, 2017

Gruffalo Bottles

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Well done to Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Tsiappourdhi, Mrs. Singh…and all the children from Oaks and Firs Group 1! It looks like they had a great morning in Forest School whilst I had to attend some training. The Gruffalo sensory bottles were clearly a big success…

The children started off by looking at some of the Gruffalo characters-then decided which one they wanted to represent in their sensory bottle. They collected things from the forest floor and from a box of ‘natural resources’…tiny things for the mouse, feathers for the owl, brown things for the fox, and all sorts of spikey, warty, furry things for the Gruffalo! The bottle was filled with water…and all the contents explored as they swirled around.

As always, there was lots of choice and free play and the opportunity to discover, talk and explore together…

Gruffalo Dens

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

This week,  following on from last week’s session, Beeches stepped up their house building skills by creating a den big enough for a Gruffalo!

The children remembered what they had been taught, and carefully dragged the long branches along the ground to get them to where they were den building…or worked with a friend, each of them taking an end and working together to move it.

They balanced sticks against a tree…worked together to cover the den with a tarpaulin, then decided to add some finishing touches to the inside. Rolling the tyres was great fun!

This next group helped one another throughout-they were great at sharing the work…making sure that less mobile members of the group could fully participate.

What a colourful and fabulous creation!

This last group of clever children made a lovely wide den for their Gruffalo…complete with a roof, some seats (which were too heavy to carry, so they decided to roll them into place) and a door…which they opened up and invited all their friends into!

A lovely, busy, creative morning for all the class. Well done Beeches.

Rain, rain, mud and rain!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What a WET muddy day today! But that didn’t stop Group 2 from Oaks and Firs from having a marvellous morning in Forest School.

It’s often the simplest things that are the most fun…and today was perfect weather for problem solving, investigating and discovering how to collect water! As we sat under the log circle shelter, we noticed that water was dripping off the tarpaulin… so we felt it, watched it, listened to it…and decided to try to catch it!

We also made some Forest Sensory Bottles, by adding water, glitter and things that we found (like leaves, feathers, sticks and blossom) into a bottle. We could shake it and watch everything floating around.

We also enjoyed using the soggy mud to splash and paint with…

…and found lots more to do despite the bad weather!

There were lots of smiles to be seen today…and lots of muddy suits to clean! We loved our rainy morning…but would like a bit of sunshine next week please!

A tiny house for mouse

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Beeches were really excited today to find a trail leading them through the forest…a trail scattered with tiny seeds.

They followed it, until it led them to a tiny house…

…where they found a tiny letter waiting for them.

Everyone wanted to help the mouse to rebuild his friend’s houses…and they immediately set off to create some pretty amazing mouse homes!

Everyone worked incredibly hard. We were so proud of how much thought, time and effort went into helping the little mouse. We all really enjoyed looking at and commenting on every single mouse house…and they were described by the children as ‘amazing’ ‘fantastic’ ‘wonderful’ ‘brilliant’ ‘so clever’ and ‘fabulous’!

We even had a grand opening for this last mouse house! Jamali had made a ribbon across the entrance, which we cut after an opening speech, to lots of applause from all his friends!

 Once we’d had hot chocolate, Lee spent the rest of the session extending and improving his house…until it developed into a fantastic mouse hotel. He was very proud of his work.

Our last house was very different to the rest. It was big enough for not just a mouse, but Mr C too! We decided that even a Gruffalo would be able to fit inside. Which gave us a great idea for next week….

At the end of our session, we reflected on our morning, with our new ‘feelings pebbles’. The most popular pebbles chosen and talked about were the ‘loved it’, ‘happy’ and ‘funny’ ones. Beeches certainly did have a lot of fun.

Gruffalo mud painting with Foundation Group 1

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Group 1 from Oaks and Firs started off their morning in Forest School, with the Gruffalo story…then they went on a little adventure! In small groups, they hunted round the site to find 4 different Gruffalo colours…orange for his eyes, white for his teeth and claws, purple for his prickles and black for his long black tongue. Each colour was wrapped around a stick…

Everyone loves the digging pit…and soon after we were all finding treasures, worms, feathers and stones. We decided to try mixing some soil with a little water, to make mud…then after a lot of investigating and mixing and looking and talking about what the mud looked and felt like, we chose a Gruffalo character picture to paint. 

And with paint left, we decided to paint lots more things!

We also had a surprise visitor in the digging pit today-the first ladybird of the season! Everyone enjoyed looking at her as she sat inside a shovel and said hello to all the children in turn!

And of course, a morning in the forest isn’t complete without a go on the swing…or a chance to climb a tree!

Hide and seek…a snake and a collection for a mouse!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Beeches  had a fabulous morning- playing games, learning new skills, being very creative and best of all, using and thinking of their own ideas.

We started off (as requested by several children last week!) with a game of hide and seek. Except that our game was special…as we made it into Gruffalo hide and seek!

We divided into two groups, one group hid their eyes whilst the other group found a good place to hide. Then, the seekers called out “1,2,3 where are you?”…and the hiders answered with a previously agreed animal sound! We heard growls, barks, squeaks, hoots and hisses all around the forest! Great fun was had…and it taught us to listen carefully.

Then we talked about the animals in our story and set three challenges to choose from. For the first challenge, we discussed the snake and although we don’t have snakes in or near our site, we looked at pictures of snakes that can be found in some areas of our country. The children were challenged to work together to make a pebble snake, so they set off to find a smooth pebble, then learnt how to safely hold and use a hammer to crush chalk, make their own paint and then paint it onto their pebble.

Look at our super snake!  

The second challenge concerned the little mouse, who tricked the Gruffalo. We talked about how small the mouse was…and decided to collect 6 different ‘Tiny Treasures’ for the mouse, from around the site. The children worked brilliantly on this! They really thought about what to collect, made sure that each ‘treasure’ fit in the tiny space they had and were able to talk with interest about what they had collected.

Lastly, three very clever children took on the challenge of making their own land art. After being introduced to it only last week, they were able to create their own pictures…and were rightly VERY proud of their efforts. Look at the impressive owl, the Gruffalo face with lots of sharp teeth and the beginnings of another Gruffalo…to be completed next time!



Foundation Stage Group 2 -explore and investigate…

Thursday, 4 May 2017

On Wednesday morning Group 2 from Oaks and Firs had their first Forest School session. Take a look at how much they enjoyed exploring, touching, investigating, moving, listening, playing, looking at…and having fun!

(Please click on the photo’s to enlarge them)

A wonderful morning was had by all…finished off with a lovely birthday mud cake and a very special Forest School birthday candle!

Beeches arty morning

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Beeches had a fantastic morning in Forest School…what a hard working class they are!

We started off with a fun team activity-making mandala art using the things we found around our site. We started with the small white stone Gruffalo ‘teeth’ we found last week…we placed them in the centre and then added a circle at a time of natural resources…each time going to find something that looked like, or reminded us of a part of the Gruffalo. Lots of thinking took place and lots of lovely language…we had bumpy stones for the Gruffalo’s knobbly knees, spikey holly leaves for the prickles on his back,  toe shaped sticks and lots of orange or rounded things for his eyes.

Next we chose what we wanted to do…some children worked in small groups to make a big Gruffalo picture on the ground. Again, lots of thought was put into choosing things to represent the Gruffalo…one group managed to find a stick with some harmless jelly-ear fungus growing on it…and thought it would make a great Gruffalo ear!

Elsewhere, the little white stone teeth we found last time, were being put to good use in another activity. These children used clay, stones, leaves and sticks to make a Gruffalo face that they can keep!