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Sweet Chestnut

DON'T FORGET YOUR FOIL WRAPPED  SANDWICH & APPLE/BANANA THIS FRIDAY! What do you think will be the most popular filling choice!

Session 7

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This week the group:

  • turned the safety checklist into a game of Charades with some Oscar worthy performances!!!
  • hunted for hanging deadwood.
  • continued the work on their kit area wall
  • helped to demarcate the tool area
  • toasted HUMUNGOUS marshmallows (thank you Dog Rose)smiley
  • distributed the woodchip
  • finished their representations of what Forest School means to them

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Today, Chestnut group had asked to work on shelters. Some chose to continue the natural shelter they had begun the week before by adding a sitting room AND games room! Other groups wrestled with tarpaulins to create effective shelters - it was almost a shame it wasn't raining so we could test them out! A few were interested in learning how to make a tripod using a clove hitch, lashing and frapping and two girls became engrossed in some colour swatch cards and trying to match the colours with natural materials in the woods. Having talked about the procedures and safe conduct around the fire circle, the group had hoped to light a fire to make HOT chocolate as opposed to warm chocolate. However, the attempt to light a fire was thwarted by kindling and stick that were just too wet so we took the opportunity to discuss where to locate the best deadwood for fuel. Better luck next week Chestnut group! The group also learnt the responsibility of tidying away their resources - including some great evidence of resilience and teamwork.

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In this session Chestnut group tried a game with ribbons - the seemingly simple challenge was more tricky than the group had thought. We discovered that teamwork requires: sharing ideas, holding back, taking turns, trial and improvement, mutual respect. We thought about how we could adapt the game to make it easier and not get tied up in knots!

The group spent time reacquainting themselves with their favourite places and discovering new ones - who knew the holly tree hid such an amazing network of climbing branches!

A group of children were keen to improve the den that Bracken, my daughter & I had started in the holidays and another group were keen to make the dragon's nest, formed by Holly Group, even more cosy.

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Week 6

The final week of Forest School for Sweet Chestnut group - but only until the next academic year!

 

A party atmosphere was created in the wood by the beautiful bunting that the children had made and everybody  busily prepared for the arrival of their parents and teachers.

 

Fuel was gathered, a fire was lit, elder pendants were made and wonderful creations were sculpted from clay. There was great excitement when our visitors suddenly appeared, making their way towards us along Chestnut Lane. They were given a guided tour of the woods before being treated to toasted marsh mallows around the fire (after they had been tested by our expert taster!).

 

I would like to say what a pleasure it has been to work with Sweet Chestnut group. You have been a fantastic group to have as my very first ever Forest School group and it has been great fun learning along with you! A huge thank you must also go to Brown Bat together with our wonderful parent helpers, Sarah Squirrel, Baljit Badger and Jenny Jackal. Thank you everyone.

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A sling shot was made and eventually the sun returned-just as it was time to go!
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Strange creatures appeared in the woodland!
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Lengths of elder were cut to size and then fashioned into pendants and necklaces by hollowing out the pithy centres with palm drills to create beads.
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Week 5

A very soggy session in the woods this week but the rain did not dampen our spirits!The children tried out some new shelter designs and Brown Bat managed to keep a smile on her face!

Picture 1 Toasting marshmallows around the fire.
Picture 2 S'mores- we all want some more!

At the end of the afternoon we all toasted marshmallows and sandwiched them inside chocolate biscuits to make s'mores. They were delicious!

Picture 1 Artist in residence.
Picture 2 Deep concentration.
Picture 3 Waiting for inspiration!
Picture 4 Artists at work.

The Little Friends had left the children some sketch books and some of the children chose to sit and draw in the tranquility of the woods.

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Week 4

The children enjoyed playing a new game in the woods this week called, 'Hunter, mammoth, mouse', before choosing how they would like to spend the afternoon.

Many were keen to refine their shelter building skills whilst others perfected their fire lighting techniques.  

Picture 1 Our new home!
Picture 2 Enjoying snack time under cover!
Picture 1 A tent peg.
Picture 2 A mallet.
Picture 3 Making sure those tent pegs are well hammered in.
Picture 4 Cloakroom!
Picture 5 Dry and cosy inside.
Picture 6 Team work with a little help from a Knot book!

This group of children were excellent at improvising tent pegs and mallets from sticks they found in the woodland. They also created a special 'wardrobe area' for their coats and bags in the adjacent coppice stool. If only they could be so neat with their coats in the school cloakroom!

Picture 1 Spreading out the tarp.
Picture 2 Will the ropes reach the trees?
Picture 3 Finding quality seating for our new residence.
Picture 4 All safely under cover.

Week 3

With a hail storm predicted, the group hastily learn how to put up shelters this week!

Picture 1 Toasting time. Watch out for the smoke!
Picture 2 That was good!
Picture 3 Well toasted-or burnt?
Picture 4 Yummy!

After successfully lighting our first fire, we toasted marshmallows. Some of us got very sticky!

Picture 1 Pass the rope circle without letting go of hands!
Picture 2 Learning to use a fire steel.
Picture 3 Slowly adding kindling to the fire.

Week 2

 Sweet Chestnut group enjoyed some team building games before working together to collect tinder and kindling for our first fire. They were delighted to see that the 'Little Friends' had left them a reward of some toasting forks for their marshmallows.

Sweet Chestnut Group (Year 4)

Week 1

During our first week at Forest School we had fun exploring this beautiful woodland and enjoyed playing '1, 2, 3, where are you?' We discovered a letter left by our 'Little Friends' and helped them learn our names by playing an alliterative animal name game!

 

Whilst munching on biscuits around the fire circle we came up with some rules about how to keep safe around the camp fire. We can't wait until next week when we are going to have a fire!

Picture 1 Putting out our 'boundary bows'.
Picture 2 Fun with friends.
Picture 3 Forest School gets a thumbs up from me!

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