Elder group and I so enjoyed your visit to the woods today. We hope you had fun and enjoyed being part of it. Your children have blossomed like the woodland flowers this term! Their perseverance has led to many, many examples of individuals or groups feeling a great sense of achievement. They have also become noticeably intuitive as to the feelings of those around them. They take joy in the woodland and are full of enthusiasm for the things they discover and changes they see. I am very grateful to have been joined by them this season and very proud of their growth. Looking forward to a final week next week: the Sneezy Dragon will be in attendance!!
It was great to be back! What a beautiful day in the woods - the birds were in full song and the children were excited about choosing their hazel for their bows and arrows and making s’mores!
They remembered so much about fire-safety and collected excellent tinder and kindling.
The shooting techniques need honing so we look forward parents coming to join us for a Robin Hood style tournament next week!!
Unfortunately, I was unable to join Elder group this week but they had great fun in Chestnut Camp with the rest of their buddies from Year 4. Click on Larch group to see a few photos of the session. I look forward to seeing you all again next week.
Another beautiful day in the woods. We played bat and moth, we listened to birds. The children noticed the differences of spring and we looked closely at primroses and the clever way they have evolved to ensure they cross-pollinate.
Pictures should be up tomorrow
What a glorious morning! The sun came out for our Pre-Easter session.
Elder Group completed my "Riddle-Filled Tresure Hunt". They did BRILLIANTLY and every child fully deserved the prize of a chocolate egg kindly donated by the Co-op.
We talked about superstitions, collective nouns and what makes up the fire triangle.
We feasted on hot-cross buns, chocolate eggs and hot chocolate and enjoyed the warmth of the sun on our faces as we sat around the fire-circle.
The mud kitchen was producing some culinary delicacies, there was keen interest in bow-making. I am going to build on this after the holidays.
Check out this page tomorrow morning for a Forest School Quiz related to some of the things we have talked about over the last 3 weeks.
Week 1 - 9th March
Elder group arrived in the woods and set the place alive with joy and laughter.
First, we reviewed how they could look after themselves, each other and their environment then they were let loose to revisit their favourite places and discover new developments. The group were quick to set to work building a fort and a foreman was quickly elected. What an industrious bunch!
We listened to a happy robin "I think he may be telling us he's got a girlfriend!" "I think he won the war on who's the king robin in the wood" and "I think he's found something to eat."
So we made bird feeders from pine cones and bird seed bound together with VERY icky-sticky lard! The group were challenged to work in pairs to make the feeders and had to come up with their own methods of attaching wool or string to the pine cones so that they would be able to hang them up. No-one gave up even if the string KEPT on falling off. The group then were delighted to find ladders made by sweet chestnut group which they realised they could use to hang their bird feeders in the type of places that the birds would feel safe to stop and tuck into a fabulous feast!
The group played, worked, sung, giggled and helped each other which was summed up perfectly at the end of the session by a member of the group which went along these lines....
"I loved the way today that a little group started with a little idea that was good and then then the idea grew and our group grew into something REALLY good"
Next week, based on your ideas, I'm looking forward to looking at pulley systems, crafty cobwebs and more ways to keep our feathered friends happy.
Our final week at Forest School and again we were treated to bright, sunny weather. A carpet of fungi created a magical world for us to explore on the woodland floor and the Little Friends had left us an abundance of natural materials to use for craft activities..
Bracken and Elder Group would like to say a huge, 'Thank you!' to all our parent volunteers who have come out every week to help us at Forest School. Without their support we really could not offer Forest School to all our children so a special thank you to:
Catkin (Katy Green)
Jennie Jay (Jennie Creasy)
Frosty (Donnella Frost)
and of course Robin (Ms Starkey) and Fox (Ms Green)
What a busy morning! This week we welcomed a new volunteer, 'Frosty', to Larch Camp and introduced her to some of the rules that we have made to keep us safe when we are in the woods. We had to search for the picture cards in the woods and then explain what rule the card was illustrating. Can you guess what rules these cards are reminding us of?
Another beautiful, but very cold, autumn day in the woodland. We decided that it would be a good idea to learn how to start a fire. Fire training really tested the children's resilience -no matches allowed - as the children attempted to set the 'fairy blanket' (cotton wool) alight using a fire steel. The cotton wool was fluffed up to allow lots of air into our tinder and a blob of 'Dragon's Snot (Vaseline) was added to help get the fire going. It took a lot of perseverance to generate some sparks with the fire steel but we were very proud of ourselves when we eventually managed to light our 'fairy blankets'.
We are looking forward to having a fire next week.
I wonder if we will cook anything over it?!
Today Elder and Holly group had fun exploring the woodland together. We discovered lots of beautiful fungi. Some of them looked like magical fairy palaces!
We spent the rest of the morning playing in the mud kitchen, den building, constructing a new camp near the Troll Bridge and making bracelets and fairy wands.
Mad Hair Day BUT we didn't frighten the horse! We were excited to see a new pony in the field today but we impressed Bracken, and the landowner, with how quietly we walked through the field to the woodland.
Waiting for us on the Message Stump was a letter from the Little Friends together with some tree cookies and a pooter! Our Little Larch Friends explained that unfortunately the Sneezy Dragon had accidentally knocked everything over. They had tried to rebuild the den, and the village that we had made for them, but they needed our help with the repairs. In return for our help, they had left us some gifts; the pooters and tree cookies.
This week we got ourselves tied up in knots as we investigated the relationships between all the living things in the woodland! We thought about the plants, and the animals that depend on them as food or as somewhere to live. We then considered the predators that may feed on those animals. We created our very own tangled web of life to show how all the living things in the woodland are connected and depend on one another, just as we all depend on one another in our school community.
The autumn sun shone brightly again for us as we practised our listening skills, sitting very quietly, in our own special 'Silent Spots'.
When we played Vanish, we were able to keep so still and quiet that Bracken couldn't find us! Eventually she had to call, '1,2,3, where are you?' to bring us all back to Base Camp.
The Little Friends had left us a book called, 'Not a Stick', and this inspired us to be very creative and make lots of things out of sticks. We attempted to learn a new knot so that we could lash our sticks together. This was very hard but we kept trying.
22nd September 2016
Last week many of the children made magic wands and cast spells to bring us sunny weather. Their spells certainly worked and we all enjoyed the autumn sunshine today!
During our last session the children were all very good at using their eyes to discover the treasures of the woodland. This week we were therefore surprised to find blindfolds on the Message Stump. We decided that the Little Friends wanted us to explore the woodland using our other senses.
With a partner we took it in turns to be blindfolded. The other person acted as a guide and led us carefully to a tree by giving us clear instructions to make sure we avoided any obstacles! We explored the tree using our senses of touch and smell. Our guide then led us back to the starting point and removed our blindfolds. We then had to try and find our special tree!
16th September 2016
Elder group (Year 2) showed that despite the rain, it was still possible to have fun in the woods.
The children took part in a treasure hunt to search for signs of autumn as they explored their new woodland area.