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Forest School

Jan-Feb 2018.

We have been doing lots of things this half term at Forest School; most of the activities have involved a degree of mud! It’s been wet 😄

 

We have:

  • Made ice mobiles.
  • Taken part in the RSPB Big Bird Watch, looked for birds through binoculars, made nests for  ground dwelling birds and revisited the bird feeders we made last term.
  • Visted our hibernating hedgehog, the children were surprised at how long she has been asleep for.
  •  Explored the tree in the Wildlife Area that had been felled after being badly damaged in a winter storm.  We were able to examine it and see all the things that we managed to make as a result of it being chopped up. We were also able to see some of the negative effects of the tree coming down and think about how important it is to plant more trees to replace lost ones.  
  • Had a Scavenger Hunt 
  • Searched for the clothes of  ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ who seems to live near here!
  • Had a wonderfully creative morning of ‘baking’ in honour of Pancake Day and talked about why we celebrate this day. 

 

These experiences help the children learn about:

 

  • using their senses
  • being active
  • being focussed 
  • connecting with nature
  • ecology
  • species recognition
  • teamwork
  • fine motor skills
  • gross motor skills
  • communication
  • assessing and managing weather and risk
  • creativity
  • the importance of having fun!

 

 

Jan -Feb 2018 photos

Jan -Feb 2018  photos 1 Working together keeps us safe.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 2 “They’ve eaten all the food!”
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 3 The Smartest Giant in Town has been here!
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 4 The wood chips smell like “marzipan”.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 5 How old was this tree?
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 6 Our new ‘Advice from a tree’ board.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 7 Recreating the wonders of nature.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 8 Mud jumping in mole hill mud. Great fun 😄
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 9 Looking closely at a birds nest.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 10 “Binoculars are great!”
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 11 Look look!
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 12 “Wiggly worm.”
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 13 “How do birds make nests with just a beak?”
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 14 Ta Dah!
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 15 We played, ‘Go find it’, we found lots of plastic.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 16
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 17
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 18
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 19
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 20
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 21 Isaac found a small hole in the leaf.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 22 Making ice mobiles.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 23 Adding food colouring.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 24 Beautiful swirly patterns.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 25 Wait over night and -“Wow”
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 26 How beautiful is this?
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 27 Collecting nature ingredients for our pancakes.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 28 Mixing.
Jan -Feb 2018  photos 29 The next Jamie Oliver?

Today we were thinking about how animals camouflage their homes to protect them from predators. We used leaves to decorate our hedgehog box. We have put a toy hedgehog in it and will leave the box in a place the children can see so they can begin to understand how long the hibernation period is. 

 

We we looked in the allotment to see how the onions that the allotment club planted are getting on. The children had mixed opinions about the oniony smell of the leaves!

 

It was quite cold this week and we needed to run about to stay warm, We pretended to be migrating birds, flying from the cold, wintery north of the field where there is not much food, to the warm south where there is food a plenty.

 

We decided that we need to help the birds, like robins, that don't migrate by feeding them and making sure they have water to drink. We are going to make some bird feeders next week. 

Picture 1 Camouflaging the hedgehog home.
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4 A snuggly bed for Henrietta.
Picture 5 A migrating flock of birds.
Picture 6 Even the leaves smell like onions!

This week we were thinking about hedgehogs. Herietta Hedgehog talked to us about how she hibernates during the winter months.  We made warm nests for her to go to sleep in using lots of warm, dry leaves and sticks. 

 

Jack Frost had visited so we looked at the beautiful silvery, white patterns he had made.  We collected some leaves and examined them at the beginning and the end of the session to see what would happen to them over time if we put them in the warm sunshine. We discovered that the "hard, crunchy" leaves with "diamonds on" them changed and became "soft" and "watery".

 

The sunshine also gave us the opportunity to make long interesting shadows, "Is it a bird? Is it a plane?"😀

Picture 1 Jack Frosts beautiful patterns.
Picture 2 Looking closely at nature.
Picture 3 Let the experiment begin!
Picture 4 Henrietta Hedgehog told us all about hibernation.
Picture 5 "Leaves will keep them warm."
Picture 6 Making sure the house is out of the way of feet.
Picture 7 Ooh, this is very snugly!
Picture 8 Shadow figures
Picture 9 "It's melted."

On the way to Forest School, Mrs Marinova saw 17 squirrels all playing together! We decided to think about squirrels a bit more during our session but it looked like it was going to rain so the first thing we did was build a shelter to stop us getting too wet. We worked together to make a waterproof cover using taurpaulin and bungee cords - engineering in action!

 

Simon Squirrel told us how he and his friends hide their favourite food when there is a lot of food around, then go back a find it during winter when there isn't much food around.  They have to have good memories to be able to remember where they hid it.  We decided to pretend to be squirrels and hide 'food' to find at the end of the session. We didn't have any acorns so we used pine cones instead.  Each child practised their counting skills and collected 3 pine cones and went to hide them in the woodland. At the end of the morning, most children had found their 3  pine cones again, some had found more than 3, some less than 3 and a couple of children couldn't find them at all, they thought they might be very hungry little squirrels.

 

The children were very keen to go on another scavenger hunt and spotted another nest.  There were lots of suggestions as to what might live in it from a pigeon to an eagle and even that it might be the home of the kraken!

 

We looked around the fire pit for more mini beasts and some of the children spent a long time  "making a fire". There was no actual flame this time but they still managed to toast imaginary marshmallows that were delicious, apparently.

 

Some of the other children made mud faces on the silver birch trees and decorated them with leaves, it took a great deal of perseverance to make some of the mud stick but they managed and the end result was just beautiful.

Picture 1 Engineering teamwork
Picture 2 Focusing hard
Picture 3 Waterproof shelter!
Picture 4 A talk from Simon Squirrel
Picture 5 Counting out 3 pine cones
Picture 6 Hiding our 'food'
Picture 7 This worm looks like a number 6!
Picture 8 Making mud faces
Picture 9 Giving the face leaf eyebrows
Picture 10 But this tree already has its own eye!
Picture 11 Working hard on the 'camp fire'
Another lovely day at Forest School. The children were very keen to go on a nature scavenger hunt and found some amazing things. They also enjoyed doing bark rubbings to see the different patterns.  Take a look.
Picture 1 Bark rubbings.
Picture 2 "They're different"
Picture 3 Good balancing skills.
Picture 4 Nature scavenger hunt.
Picture 5 "We're trapped in jail!"
Picture 6 "Boo, I can't get out!"😄
Picture 7 Working together.
Picture 8 "Look! A slug!"
Picture 9 "What's that?!"
Picture 10 Exploring.
Picture 11 Sharing the exciting finds with friends.
Picture 12 Eagle eyes spotted a nest in the tree.
Picture 13 And tree roots.
Picture 14 "Don't worry Mr Worm."
Picture 15 "It's a Spider-Man leaf."
Picture 16 Al fresco snack time.

This week at Forest School we were learning about:

  • being independent
  • looking closely at autumn changes
  • being creative 
  • exploring the natural world

The children were all very keen to collect the beautiful autumn leaves and sing the "Autumn leaves are falling down" song again and to make more leaf kebabs.

We are very fortunate to have our own fully enclosed and secure woodland area. The children are very good at remembering the rules about where they can go and the signals to stop and return to base camp. Even so, at the moment, most of the children like to stay close to the adults and share all the fascinating things they find.  This week one or two children felt confident enough to explore  our woodland area independently in search of bears. They didn't find any but apparently they heard, "A spider spinning a web." and a "Unicorn"!

We all enjoy our 'quiet time' at Forest School, we think about how fortunate we are and take time to really listen to the natural world. The children become so relaxed as they listen to wind gently shushing us.

 

Picture 1 Looking for bears.
Picture 2 "This is lavender, it smells nice."
Picture 3 Natural creativity.
Picture 4 And relax.
Picture 5 Taking a moment to breathe.

Forest School has come to our nursery, yeah!

Every Tuesday the children will be able to enjoy learning outdoors in different areas around our school site. We are fortunate to have several outdoor areas that the children can learn from and explore.

Getting ready for Forest School is part of the learning. It can be very tempting to put the children's coats, wellies and waterproofs on for them, but by giving them time and encouragement, they can mostly manage themselves and they get a tremendous sense of satisfaction when they do, this develops confidence and self esteem as well as fine and gross motor skills and persistence to keep trying even when something is tricky.

At the beginning of Forest School we talk about what we can do to keep ourselves and each other safe outside.  This includes thinking about keeping warm, not putting anything in our mouths while we are outside, where we can and cannot go and knowing when we have to stop what we are doing and return to 'base camp'.

We will be sharing some pictures of our adventures here, we hope you enjoy them.

 

Picture 1 Getting ready for Forest School
Picture 2 "I can do it by myself."
Picture 3 "It's a bit tricky."
Picture 4 But we can help each other and it's fun!
Picture 5 Going over the rules.
Picture 6 "What are the brown bits? They're soft."
Picture 7 Looking closely at nature.
Picture 8 Setting up our tiipee.
Picture 9 Ta dah! A fun den.
Picture 10 Camp fire cooking.
Picture 11 "They are digging for worms!"
Picture 12 "I found this!"
Picture 13 Making leaf kebabs.
Picture 14 🎶 Autumn leaves are failing down 🎶
Picture 15 Ready, steady, hide!
Picture 16 Where has everyone gone?

Today was the final Forest School session for the children in class 1 and we were all feeling a bit emotional. One boy said he wanted to cry, others said things like they want to stay at Forest School forever. All the adults feel much the same. We feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to spend time outside getting to know the children, the environment and ourselves. All the children and adults have experienced things that have challenged us, delighted us, filled us with wonder and gratitude and everyone has learned lots of things while having great fun. 

The final session was the obligatory fire and marshmallows session. As with previous groups were learnt about;

  • being focused
  • developing fine motor skills 
  • responsibility
  • science - the fire triangle
  • improving our listening skills
  • improving our following instruction skills
  • assessing and managing risk

The children listened carefully to what the fire was saying when we extinguished it with water; "Help, save me." "I'm drowning." One of our parent helpers thought that the gentle sizzling at the end sounded like the fire snoring as it went to sleep. 

 

Picture 1 Sorting sticks into the correct sizes for the fire
Picture 2 Having a little break in the den.
Picture 3 'Close the door Ms Shaw, then we can stay forever!
Picture 4 'I'm flying!' 'I'm a fireman!'
Picture 5 Camp fire rules talk.
Picture 6 Laying the fire.
Picture 7 Singing to help the fire along.
Picture 8 Toasted marshmallows. Yummy.
Picture 9 Excellent toasting skills.
Picture 10 'Can we do some more?'
Picture 11
Picture 12 Using the charcoal once the fire is out.

Another sunny day at Forest School. Today we were learning about;

 

  • developing fine and gross motor skills,
  • listening carefully and following instructions,
  • connecting with nature,
  • learning about food chains,
  • assessing and managing risk,
  • being physically active,
  • being adventurous and creative.

 

We had planned on using tools to whittle some sticks and wanted to make sure everyones listening and following instruction skills were working well.  The children made up a variation

of traditional 'hide and seek', playing 'animal-camouflage-food-chain' hide and seek instead. The hiders had to adopt the pose of an animal and the seekers were other animals. Depending on whether the hider was prey or predator depended on if they were out or not.  Later we share our animals. Guessing the lady bird was hard!

We also thought about feelings and everyone made, or adopted, a facial expression and the others had to guess what it was.

The children love to explore for mini beasts and took photos of some interesting specimens. 

When we were using tools, one child expressed concern that they wouldn't be able to do it safely but wanted to have a go. After a little internal battle where they watched and questioned, they were able to pluck up the courage to have a go and was very proud of the resulting whittled stick.

Picture 1 "The birds are eating the worms"
Picture 2 "It's not a stick, it's a telescope"
Picture 3 A ladybird ... honest!
Picture 4 Making nature emojis
Picture 5 Natural emojis
Picture 6 Dead zombie emoji!
Picture 7 "The sticks are tears."
Picture 8 Developing whittling skills
Picture 9 More mini best hunting.
Picture 10 Demonstrating excellent hand eye coordination.
Picture 11 "Oo,Oo, look! What are they?"
Picture 12 Let's examine them carefully.
Picture 13 Ta dah!

What a lovely session.  Year 6 had had an overnight camp and we left a tent and hammock up for the Forest School children to explore.  They also went mini beast hunting and did some writing with the charcoal left from the camp fire.  We experimented with early face paints (aka mud!) Following on from the 'It's not a stick' story,  L came up with 10 things that his 'not a stick' could be. Very inventive!  The children remembered about keeping safe when using sharp things outside, "Everyone get in your blood bubble!" exclaimed one child.  We also met a celebrity!! Stickman, of Julia Donaldson fame, apparently lives in Stanley!

Picture 1 We love tents.
Picture 2 Time for a little snooze.
Picture 3 Exploring the properties of charcoal and mud.
Picture 4 We just love numbers.
Picture 5 Telling each other stories.
Picture 6 'It's a selfie stick!'
Picture 7 'It's an arm rest.'
Picture 8 'No, it's a drum stick.'
Picture 9 It's the real Stickman!
Picture 10 Who knew that Stickman comes from Stanley!
Picture 11 Exploring.
Picture 12 More writing.
Picture 13
Picture 14 The original face paint.
Picture 15 "My Mummy will ask where all these tigers are from

Today we played 'Go Find it', hunting for 'nature treasures' and practised tying knots to make our own picture frames. We also had great fun in the long grass, the children enjoyed camouflaging themselves in the long grass and prowling like lions before pouncing on their prey.  

Through these activities we were learning about;

  • being active
  • self relience
  • achievement
  • connecting with nature
  • improving our memory
  • focusing on a task
  • creativity and imagination 
  • maths and shape
  • developing our fine motor skills.
Picture 1 Prowling through the long grass.
Picture 2 'Roar!' A ferocious lion loose in Stanley!
Picture 3 Camouflaging ourselves in the long grass.
Picture 4 Go Find It!
Picture 5 Look at all the things we found.
Picture 6 Tying knots and making a triangular frame.
Picture 7 Ta dah! Imaginative use of natural materials.
Picture 8 Making frames.
Picture 9 What a picture.
Picture 10 Look at our creations.
Picture 11 Examining the properties of a bumpy pine cone.
Picture 12 'My frame can also be a crown!'

The new group of Forest School children started today. We all had great fun and learned lots of interesting things. The theme of our session was 'Exploring independently', but everyone was so excited about their new discoveries that they needed to share them with everyone else - immediately! 😄

During today's session we aimed to learn about;

  • being active,
  • using our senses,
  • connecting with nature,
  • communication,
  • being focused and concentrating,
  • creativity,
  • developing fine motor skills,
  • being curious and imaginative. 

The children visited the chickens and started to use the talking stick, so that everyone has the opportunity to speak and be heard. We looked at some of the plants growing around our site - and ate some of the delicious strawberries - and explored our woodland area. The children made journey sticks so that they will be able to remember their adventures today. 

Picture 1 Making our journey sticks.
Picture 2 Hunting for ripe strawberries.
Picture 3 But the mini beasts had found some before us!
Picture 4 'How may legs has it got?'
Picture 5 Washing our hands before eating our treat.
Picture 6 Journey sticks help us remember adventures.

This terms Forest School has gone so quickly. We have been learning about lots of new things from how to use tools safely, to bats and echolocation and exploring non Newtonian substances, (but we just called it corn flour gloop), and we have had such fun! 

One of the wonderful things about Forest School is that the children have the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn how to assess and manage risk in safe way.  At Forest School we work collaboratively, everyone supporting each other and everyone's voice is heard. This group of children have particularly enjoyed using the 'talking stick' to ensure eveyone has their say. We continue to be blessed by our incredibly supportive parent helpers. They enrich the Forest School experience so much and are such favourites with the children. We really can't thank them enough for all they give to the school.

 

Picture 1 Focus, problem solving and perseverance in action.
Picture 2 Assessing and managing risk.
Picture 3 Oh wow! It's solid, no it's liquid!
Picture 4 Solid!
Picture 5 Runny!
Picture 6 'Can we sleep in the raised beds?' 😄
Picture 7 Nature art.
Picture 8 Learning in action.
Picture 9 'Ta dah!'
Picture 10 Using tools to create works of art.
Picture 11 More creations.
Picture 12 Younger eyes can see really tiny mini beasts.
Picture 13 'I'm a fairy on a toadstool.'
Picture 14 Dappled sunshine and daisies.
Picture 15 Rabbit nature crowns complete with a bob tail.
Picture 16 Making resources for EarlyYears.
Picture 17 Learning how to use tools safely.
Picture 18 Enjoying a new challenge.
Picture 19 Kings and Queens all, complete with crowns.
Picture 20 Echolocation in action.
Picture 21 Concentrating and developing fine motor skills.
Picture 22 You can learn so much from building a den.
Picture 23 Making our own pegs to hold down the tarp.
Picture 24 Looking closely at nature.
Picture 25 Sharing a story. We love stories.

The new group started at Forest School today and everyone was super excited.

 Our focus was  'Exploring independently'  we were learning about;      smiley   being active       smiley  using our senses       smiley  connecting with nature    smiley  communication  smiley   being focused    smiley  creativity        smiley  using fine and gross motor skills       smiley  using our imaginations            smiley   developing our curiosity.

It turned into a team exploration as everyone was so excited by the treasures they had found, they needed to share their discoveries with the rest of the group.

LB found a flower and told everyone, 'This is a dandelion, it makes you pee your bed.' Super botanical knowledge! 

Everyone really enjoyed their time, especially the Easter egg hunt that Emma, one of the parent helpers, organised with the Easter Bunny.  DS said that it was, 'The best day ever!'  

 

 

Picture 1 Our new Forest School children.
Picture 2 'Look, look, we've found a mushroom!'
Picture 3 'I'm a gnome!' 😀
Picture 4 Nature scavenger hunt.
Picture 5 'There should be a feather on the card.' said SH
Picture 6
Picture 7 Look at our nature treasures!
Picture 8 Our first is going well.
Picture 9 Blossom on the transplanted apple tree.
Picture 10 Using the talking stick so everyone can be heard.
Picture 11 We collected litter to help look after our world.
Our final session and we had lovely weather for our camp fire. The children were keen to visit the chickens and hold them.  They also wanted to tell the final story using the puppets and the story capes. 
Picture 1 Chicken whisperer!
Picture 2
Picture 3 Ordering sticks for the camp fire
Picture 4
Picture 5 We talked about the fire triangle and fire safety.
Picture 6 Perfect day for cloud watching.
Picture 7 Cooking on the fire.
Picture 8 We love marshmallows.
Picture 9 Working together.
Picture 10 Story preparation.
Picture 11 Our conkers are growing well.
Picture 12 Everyone helped tell the story.
Picture 13 We love story time.
Picture 14 Receiving applause from an appreciative audience.
Picture 15 And taking the final bow.

A surprise meeting with a friendly mouse.

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Woodland music

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Getting ready, setting up camp, playing, planting, exploring and other adventures.

The new group of children have been having great fun this half term at Forest School. Getting ourselves prepared and looking after ourselves in all kinds of weather is an important part of what we learn at Forest School.  After some practise, everyone can put on waterproof coats and trousers and even manage to put gloves on independently!  Generally we have been lucky with the weather but have had to make a shelter to keep ourselves dry on a couple of occasions. It was fun.  We have been looking for signs of spring coming and have found so many wonderful nature treasures. The children planted some more trees to extend our woodland area and were wondering if the trees would grow as tall as them by the time they leave school. We have been making music, singing songs and meeting the local wildlife. We hope you enjoy looking at some of the pictures.

Thumbs up for Forest School from the children.

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Final Forest School session. We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever.

 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 1 What's that then?
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 2 'Oo, Oo, I know! It's to make shoes on!'
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 3 Sizing up wood for the fire.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 4 The lichen is 'beautiful'.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 5 Setting the fire.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 6 What a picture.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 7 Camp fire popcorn - nothing like it!
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 8 Except maybe toasted marshmallows.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 9 Memory games.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 10 Perfect picture fun.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 11 Forest School face paint.
 Final Forest School session.  We learned about the fire triangle, fire safety, patience and resilience when making fire in snowy weather. We used old fashioned, cast iron cobbler shoe moulds to hold up our camp fire grill and the children had great fun trying to work out what they were. We couldn't use some of the sticks for fire wood as they were covered in lichens, the children thought they were very beautiful. One of our fabulous parents made us a photo frame that we used as part of our memory games and to create our own 'live pictures''. At the very end of our session some of us mud painted our faces and we all promised to be Forest School heroes forever. 12 We are Forest School Heroes.
Picture 1 Working out the age of trees.
Picture 2 Why is there a triangle in the middle?
Picture 3 A fairy wedding cake!
Picture 4 It's not a just stick.
Picture 5 Even washing hands is a journey of discovery.
Picture 6 Learning how to use tools safely and whittle wood.
Picture 7 Look! Slug eggs.
Picture 8 Nature picture frames.

Nature art, seed pod moustaches and ice mobiles. Creative times at Forest School.

Exploring ice in the cold weather. Warm water melts the ice.

Story time at Forest School

Impromptu forest limbo!

Impromptu forest limbo! 1

What a lovely day! The children were set a challenge to get a 'fish' (it was actually a ball) across the shark infested sea (our woodland floor) to the safety of a bowl, without touching the fish.  We had plastic guttering and anything else they could find in the woodland.  They had to work together as team using their communication and problem solving skills. They spent over a hour trying to work out how to do it, only stopping for, what they described as a 'thinking snack' after about 40 minutes.  We all discussed their ideas and how well they had done up to that point; they had managed to get the fish half way to the bowl but couldn't quite figure out how to get it all the way. They had played with the guttering, rolling the ball along it to see how it moved as they lifted or tilted it, everyone contributed something and worked out how to make the 'fish swim faster and slower' along the'motorway' of black guttering. One child really thought outside the box and slid the 'fish' onto a stick (so he didn't touch it) and suggested that he flip the fish off the stick and get it into the bowl! Wow, creative thinking indeed! He couldn't quite manage to hit the target from the set distance but what problem solving skills! After having taken the time to sit and think, the answer came to them, yeah! We played a celebratory tune and a little Robin hopped onto the fence to listen.

Later we made letter shape shadows and had story time. The children were very keen to prepare stories to tell each other next week, we can't wait to hear them.

 

 

It was this groups last Forest School session. We went on a Bear Hunt and found chocolate bears! We learnt about working safely with fire, the fire triangle and how to cook on a fire. We used our maths skills to order the wood into the small, medium and large pieces, then used the smallest  pieces for tinder to get the fire going. We inspected the wood carefully to see if it was dry enough to burn.  The children talked about rubbing sticks together to create friction to get a fire started but we used the flint and steel instead and we're delighted when it worked! We thought about how much time we had for the fire and how big we should make it, how we should only use wood that has already been taken from the trees and not damage any more trees because trees are the lungs of the planet and help us to breathe. The children came up with some very sensible fire safety rules. We toasted marshmallows and made hot chocolate in the Kelly Kettle. At the end of the session we all made sure that the fire was completely extinguished before we left the site so that it is safe for other people and wild life.  What a lovely time we had. Merry Christmas everyone and a big thank you to our parent helpers.

We love toasted marshmallows!

We love toasted marshmallows! 1
We love toasted marshmallows! 2

Learning lots of things while having fun building dens. "Where shall we build it?" "Near this ivy swing!" What shape should it be? We need to learn how to tie knots to be able to secure the tarp. We needed to put a carpet on the floor of our den. We explored the hedgehog house and found huge spiders. If we get it clean and tidy for a hedgehog then we might damage the spiders homes, what should we do? Lots of things to think about and decisions to make.

Our first Forest School session and we planted our forest! We explored our woodland area, hunted for nature treasures, made a shelter and had great fun seeing if it was water proof! There was even some snow left for us to explore.

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