In our ‘warm-up’ starters we have been playing ‘The Pirate Game’. Miss Brimble has taught us the actions for a lot of commands – all to do with being on a pirate ship. The Pirate Captain calls out the commands and we have to do the actions as quickly as we can. We took it in turns to be Pirate Captain. This rotation started by being very windy – so much so that it was unsafe to go under the trees in the copse. We were however lucky in that we could utilise the all-weather matting on the playground which meant we could still be outside. Miss Brimble showed us how to join pieces of wood together. It’s called a lashing. The aim was to find 3 or 4 sticks that we could lash together to make a frame. It also meant we had to work together, supporting and helping each other by holding each other’s sticks, reminding ourselves of instructions and to tie the lashing as tightly as we could. It was quite tricky but we all persevered. Some of us made triangular frames and some of us made rectangular frames. We were really pleased with ourselves. We also used the secateurs to cut the sticks ourselves. Unfortunately some of our frames fell apart. When the adults showed us and we talked about why this happened, we could see that we hadn’t tied the lashing tightly enough. So, the next session we practised again. This time we used rope so we could see our ‘cross overs’ a bit easier. Again we had to work with a partner and talk each other through the process. After we had practised we had ‘building time’. In our last session, Miss Brimble showed us that she had made some Forest School Certificates for different things we do at Forest School – one of them was for being able to tie a lashing! She asked us if we had any other suggestions for certificates and we came up with some great ideas. (We won’t know it until we read this, but Miss Brimble has already made them into certificates, so at our suggestion there is now an identifying garden birds, fire safety, s’mores and creativity certificate!). In this session we all had to make an ‘x marks the spot’, which meant of course tying a lashing! We were very good at remembering the instructions. We were able to take our ‘x marks the spot’ model home. Some of us even achieved our ‘Tying a Lashing’ certificate today! We also had fun as usual in our ‘Off you go time’, going on the swings and building creatively.
In our ‘warm-up’ starters we have been playing ‘The Pirate Game’. Miss Brimble has taught us the actions for a lot of commands – all to do with being on a pirate ship. The Pirate Captain calls out the commands and we have to do the actions as quickly as we can. We took it in turns to be Pirate Captain. This rotation started by being very windy so after playing the ‘Pirate Game’ we had an indoor session. Miss Brimble reminded us how to use a vegetable peeler (this time to whittle wood), and we had various activities like 3D picture making, threading, instructional drawing, reading poems, ‘small world’ building. We swapped between the activities. Miss Brimble was impressed with our drawing skills and poetry reading. In our next session, we had some ‘new wood’ to play with as Mrs Davies had managed to get some poplar. They were large, heavy blocks and we had great fun moving them around and building. We also used the vegetable peelers again but this time for peeling carrots (which of course, we could then eat). In our last session, Miss Brimble showed us how to join pieces of wood together. It’s called a lashing. We practised by using rope so we could see our ‘cross overs’ a bit easier. We had to work with a partner and talk each other through the process, as well as help each other by holding the sticks and helping to keep the rope tight. After we had practised we had ‘building time’ and carrot peeling/eating time.
Year 2 Spring rotation 1
Just before this rotation started we had had quite a bit of rain and the copse had become very muddy. We started with collecting woodchip from the carpark area, transporting it to the copse and spreading it over some of the muddier patches. We had to work together, organise ourselves to different jobs like raking, collecting and holding bags open. It was great for our muscles and we worked really hard. We also collected some more sticks. Miss Brimble said she had heard that the Pirates of Bishop’s Hull had been looking for somewhere to hide their loot and that they might have hidden some in the copse. We discovered they weren’t very good at it because they had dropped lots of pieces in and amongst the bushes as they had been looking! We had great fun finding it! On our 2nd session we had had a ‘dusting’ of snow. It was exciting but not enough to ‘play’ with. Some of us used it during this session’s task though. Miss Brimble asked us what we might find on a treasure map. We remembered lots of things we had talked about in class and had a few more ideas. In groups we had to make our 3D treasure map inside a string shape of our choosing. We explained our maps to a partner group. We made swamps, bridges, snow volcanoes, mountains, rivers and ‘x’ marks the spot to name a few. In our last session, Miss Brimble showed us how pirates might have left trail clues for other shipmates to follow. We had a go at making our own trails using the trail markers. We shared our group trails to see if other groups could read them. We did very well.
Year 4 Spring rotation 1
This rotation we started by introducing some new equipment. We talked about how it could be used and came up with lots of great ideas. Our 4 new ‘cone shaped’ stands will allow us to explore gravity and angles/ramps but we also suggested they could be used for limbo-ing! We discovered that Ellie is currently the class champ at this for the number of different ways she can limbo! Will anyone be able to challenge her?
George, Max and Zach were busy being creative and building their own ‘apartment’, complete with (almost) flushing toilet, beds, kitchen and more. They showed us their ‘build’ and this inspired lots of creativeness in the following session which Miss Brimble was REALLY pleased with. We had a group recreating ‘Titanic’ along with a super life raft, Emlyn and Lloyd built their own gym, the original apartment was rebuilt with improvements and other groups made their own apartments too. We partnered with another group to explain and talk through our ‘builds’. This last session showed how well we CAN listen and work together to be creative and solve problems.
This rotation started with our first session being the last of 2018! As a ‘Christmas treat’, Miss Brimble set up the firepit and showed us how to toast s’mores. We were all very excited. Some of us had never had them before. We toasted a marshmallow and put them between biscuits. Most of us thought they were delicious, even if we did get a bit sticky! Our group loves making ‘traps’ so we continued this in our ‘free time’.
When we came back in January, Miss Brimble reminded us about The Great Garden Bird Watch which is at the end of January. She had hidden some pictures of garden birds around the copse and we had to see how many we could find and identify using the charts. Linking with our topic ‘Here Be Treasure’, we talked about what treasures we might find in the copse. Lots of us suggested things like gold, silver and jewels but one or two of us started to think about natural treasures and suggested the birds and plants. (We have also been looking at the spring bulbs which are starting to show through.) Some of us continued with using the flint and steel to practise our fire lighting skills on cotton wool balls. In our last session, the ‘Pirates of Bishop’s Hull’ had been looking for a good place to hide their treasure, but there was a hole in their bag! We followed the trail of treasure to try and find it, then Miss Brimble set us the task of creating a pirate ship in small groups. We talked about what we would find on a ship. We were allowed to organise our own groups, but each ship had to have a mast, a plank to walk and a sail as well as anything else we wanted to add. We had great fun and worked well in our groups. We were quite inventive making our sails, some of us even used our coats but this best bit was walking the plank! At the end of this session, Miss Brimble partnered us with another group and we had to show and explain the different parts of our ships to each other. Some of the children were in control of the iPad in the last session so some photos have been taken by them.
In order to toast s’mores with every Forest School class before Christmas, I went to Northam’s Yard (Monty’s Farm Shop) on the outskirts of Cotford St Luke to get some logs. When they heard what I was using them for, they very kindly donated some logs for us to use.
The children definitely enjoyed it.
If you find yourself in need of some logs (or eggs, seasonal veg and dare I say it . . . cider!), pop along and have a look. They are adding more all the time.
Year 1 Rotation 2
This rotation groups have been busy raking, sweeping and collecting leaves – did you know this helps us build muscles in our arms and fingers so that we find it easier to write for longer periods of time? We know because Miss Brimble keeps reminding us!! Some of us made our own bridges and acted out the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff – we took it in turns to be the three billy goats crossing the bridge and the troll.
Miss Brimble has been encouraging us to assess our risk taking and challenge ourselves but in a safe way. For example, we need to test if things like swings/bridges/ladders will take our weight before we put our full weight on them, we need to look for safe places to jump onto, take extra care if we’re walking on/jumping off a slippery surface etc. We have been lucky enough to have some new equipment too. We have been using the hand drills and conker clamps to drill holes and make nut necklaces. Some of us got to try walnuts too. Our 2nd session threatened to be wet so we had the parachute tarpaulin up which was great fun! It didn’t actually rain so we left it hanging from the tree and enjoyed going underneath it playing games. We also made ‘leaf bouquets’. As always, we have had time for exploring, choosing our own activities, having fun with the mud kitchen and of course putting up swings.
Year 3 Rotation 2
Miss Brimble has been encouraging us to assess our risk taking and challenge ourselves but in a safe way. For example, we need to test if things like swings/bridges/ladders will take our weight before we put our full weight on them, we need to look for safe places to jump onto, take extra care if we’re walking on/jumping off a slippery surface etc. We have been lucky enough to have some new equipment too. We enjoyed using the new crates to climb up and over, using our balancing skills. We used the hand drills and conker clamps to drill holes and make nut necklaces and conker people/animals. Some of us got to try walnuts too. Our 2nd session threatened to be wet so we tied up the parachute tarpaulin. This inspired some of us to have a go at putting up our own tarpaulin shelter. Our last session was very exciting. Miss Brimble reminded us about fire safety as she showed us how to use the fire steel. Some of us got to use the fire steel to light fire with cotton wool balls (those that didn’t have a go this time, will try in our next rotation).
Year 3 Rotation 2 Autumn
We have been learning how to use the fire steel to light a fire and the hand drills to make conker necklaces and people.
Year 2 and Year 4 - Rotation 1 Autumn 2018
This rotation we have been busy looking at how the copse has changed over the summer and as we move into autumn. We started to talk about how lots of creatures will soon be getting ready to hibernate over winter and what we can do to help. Lots of the bug houses in the copse have broken or rotted so we need to make new ones.
Both year groups learnt about the elder tree and how we can use it to make bug houses. We found out that the pith, which is spongy, can be poked out to make hollow tubes and we learnt how to do this.
Book Week at Forest School.
Week 2 of our rotation was in Book Week. Miss Brimble told us something rather unusual had been spotted in Bishop’s Hull over the weekend and then announced that were going on a bear hunt! It’s one of Miss Brimble’s favourite stories. Together we retold and acted out the story as we went around school. We sploshed through a river before we got stuck in thick, oozy mud near the trim trail; stumbled through the forest; went through a swirling, whirling snowstorm before tip-toeing through a cave and finding a bear (Big Ted!); then we raced back through all the obstacles to get under the tarpaulin (under the bed covers). It was great fun. We then created our own, ‘We’re going on a … hunt’.
Year 2 'We're Going on a ...... Hunt'
When Year 2 shared their work there were dragon, lion, polar bear, butterfly, chestnut, hedgehog, dragonfly and unicorn hunts, to name a few. We went over scary bridges, swung over fire larva; jumped high waterfalls; climbed tall, knobbly trees; went over sparkly, tickly rainbows; and escaped from leaf monsters, giants and much more.
Oscar P and Lacey W went on a lion hunt. They went through a long, dark tunnel; climbed a big, gloomy mountain; swung over a hot, steaming larva flow and squelched through a dark, wet forest.
Harry and Ellarie spent time making the hedgehog they were going to find. There was LOTS of amazing work going on everywhere.
Before our last session it had been quite windy so lots of the leaves were scattered around school. Some of us organised groups to go leaf collecting to put in the leaf compost bin and help tidy up around school, others helped Miss Brimble to put equipment away in our new shed in the copse. Before we filled it, we got to go inside and shut the door to see how dark it would be. We were surprised how some light glowed orange through the wood. Miss Brimble explained that was where ‘knots’ in the wood were and it was allowing some light to ‘squeeze’ through the wood.
Year 4 'We're Going on a ..... Hunt'
When Year 4 shared their work there were panda, minion, Fluffy the dog (from Harry Potter), velociraptor, unirabbit, mice and unicorn hunts to name a few.
We climbed the Great Wall of China, went through rainbow ice; around volcanoes; through the forbidden forest; avoided chomping shark doors and falling logs; used spells; went up wet, slippery hills; crawled through long, dark tunnels; climbed tall, mossy trees; used stepping stones and swung across trees; sailed across lakes; flew over mountains and much more. We were very tired after all those adventures, no wonder Max needed to make a comfy place to lie down!
As it was Charlotte’s birthday, her friends made her a lovely birthday cake, with stick candles (not candlesticks!) and used leaves to make the flames.
Foresters Garden Buildings have been this morning (16th October) to deliver and erect our new Forest School shed.
This will allow the children to be more independent with choosing equipment they want for their activities, like the mud kitchen equipment, buckets, string, rope and drain pipes which we sometimes forget to take every session!
The shed has been bought with some of the money that PTA gave last year to support Forest School. So a big thank you to PTA as well as all of you for supporting the PTA - these things really do help us in school.
Thank you also to Mr and Mrs Harraway who donated the slabs for the base.
We started to talk about how lots of creatures will soon be getting ready to hibernate over winter and what we can do to help. Lots of the bug houses in the copse have broken or rotted so we need to make new ones. Like Year 1, we learnt about the elder tree and how we can use it to make bug houses. We found out that the pith, which is spongy, can be poked out to make hollow tubes. We have used the saw, had time for exploring, choosing our own activities, having fun with the mud kitchen and of course putting up the swings.
This rotation we have been busy looking at how the copse has changed over the summer and as we move into autumn. We have been tidying up some of our planters and transplanting some of the calendula to other planters around school. The calendula we transplanted last term has done really well! We started to talk about how lots of creatures will soon be getting ready to hibernate over winter and what we can do to help. Lots of the bug houses in the copse have broken or rotted so we need to make new ones. We made twig bundles to put in our new bug houses. We have also been learning about the elder tree and how we can use it to make bug houses. We found out that the pith, which is spongy, can be poked out to make hollow tubes.
We have used the hand drill and saw, had time for exploring, choosing our own activities, having fun with the mud kitchen and of course putting up swings.
Year 1 listened to a story by Helen Cooper called ‘Deliicious’. It was about trying new things as well as eating things that are ‘nutritious’. We thought about what vegetables we could use in our own soup. The children suggested lots of vegetables such as courgettes, butternut squash, parsnips, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers.
During our 2nd session, the children prepared the vegetables but peeling, cutting, slicing, chopping and dicing. (When they weren’t preparing vegetables they were threading, finding out about capacity, building their own structures). We made the soup in our 3rd session and tasted it with some whole meal bread. Most of us preferred the blended version to the chunky veg version!
Year 1 and Year 3
We have been using our new fire pit to make toast. We talked about how the bread changes when it is cooked. It wasn’t as easy as using a toaster because we had to think about fire safety as well as not burning our toast!
Year 3 - Stone Age Art
Today we started to talk about how people in the Stone Age created art. We talked about the evidence it gives us, showing how they hunted and with what, as well as what animals they hunted.
We thought about how they would have made their paint, how they could have made different colours and what they mixed their paint with to make it 'slippy' in order to spread it better.
We enjoyed using our new fire pit so that we could have some burnt wood (to use as charcoal) to crush and add some oil to make a black paint.
As a bit of fun we tested it and ended up with our first ever Forest School tattoo!! In the time we had left but some of us had a go at drawing with the paint using sticks. Naomi's horse was fantastic! George was inspired to make his own Stone Age spear.
We will continue to make paints next week so don't forget if you have something you think you could use like blackberries you have picked or some different coloured mud/stones bring them in to make some paint.
Our new fire pit.
Year 1 were first to see our new fire pit in action (bought with money the PTA have given to Forest School).
Now the weather is turning colder, it will be great to keep us warm on chilly days, but today we were thinking more about our Fire and Ice topic (as well as reminding ourselves about our fire safety rules).
We used our senses to use different adjectives and verbs to describe how the fire looked, moved, felt and smelt. Lots of great vocabulary was used.
We talked about what the fire looked like when it started, what happened when Miss Brimble blew into it and how it changed as we added more wood.
Of course we had to have hot chocolate and biscuits around the fire before we had some exploring time.
2nd October. Ahlberg Class
We are learning how to be safe at Forest School. We practised carrying/dragging sticks safely as well as rolling tyres and balancing.
Some of us have done Forest School before and suggested making a fire. We worked together to make a big bonfire.
27th September - Year 1.
Today was our school photo morning so we needed to be smart and clean - not how I would normally describe us at Forest School! As a result, Year 1 did lots of activities inside. We learnt lots of amazing facts about hedgehogs and learnt about words such as nocturnal, hibernate, prey and predator. We learnt about hoglets (baby hedgehogs), threats to hedgehogs and how we can help them, particularly by asking adults to check any bonfires before they are lit as hedgehogs think they are a great place to hibernate.
We then used blocks to make hedgehog homes and balance trails as well as practising knot tying, peeling carrots and using lots of natural materials to make pictures.
Archaeolgists in the making!
In class, Year 3 and 4 have been learning about archaeologists. We talked about how archaeologists find out about the past and record it. The children learnt about teamwork, perseverance and patience as they did a 'dig'. They set up a grid system so they would know where they made their 'finds' and used tools such as trowels, paintbrushes and toothbrushes to find and clean them. There was lots of discussion about what the items could have been as well as how they may have been left there and who may have used/owned them.
More photos to follow.
Our first 3 week rotation for Year 1 and Year 3 started with lots of jobs we could see needed to be done. Last year we managed to get hold of some large truck tyres with the intention of using them for planters. We were excited to see that all the leaves we collected for our leaf compost bin last year have made some great leaf compost that we could fill the tyres with. We talked about how collecting the leaves have helped us in lots of ways - helping to keep School tidy and safer as the leaves can be quite slippery; saving us money as we won't have to buy compost; less 'road miles' as we have collected them on site so better for the environment as well of course as being great exercise and fun to collect!
The children decided which areas of school could do with some more colour and so 2 tyres were moved to the grass area outside the library. We were surprised how heavy the tyres were, but they were great fun to move. It took a lot of compost to fill them as we had to make sure we pushed it right into the rim of each tyre. It took several wheelbarrow loads and a few buckets to fill each one! As we were using our homemade compost quite quickly we also took the opportunity to tidy up and collect more leaves. We need to make 2 new leaf compost bins so we had to bag them and leave them in the copse until we have made them.
We were here were lucky to have several plant and bulb donations as well as some new gardening tools from parents as well as a car boot full of plants from Avery's Nursery. We are really pleased with our efforts.
Lots more photos to follow!
Year 4 have also been learning about archaeology and took part in 'a dig'.
We started to collect and tidy up lots of leaves that were starting to blow everywhere. We bagged them in the first 2 sessions, ready to put in the new leaf compost bin we made in session 3. Last year after we noticed rubbish left around school, Maddie suggested we had litter pickers. They arrived the morning of our 2nd session so some of us have been busy organising our own groups and tidying up litter. A surprising amount of rubbish was picked up! Good job everyone!
We have also been thinking about our ‘Fire and Ice’ topic. We used dragon puppets to tell stories and inspired by our Phoenix Entry Point, we worked together to make a large land art picture of a bonfire using our logs and the leaves we collected before we bagged them. Lleya suggested a dragon could have started the bonfire so she got one of the dragon puppets to blow the sparks. We sat around our bonfire pretending to toast marshmallows! Our last session was in Book Week – with the theme of dragons. We were asked to get into groups of 3 or 4. Miss Brimble gave each group a dragon. We had to fulfil a quest: name our dragon, make a lair for it and give the dragon’s lair a name and tell the group 3 interesting things about our dragon. Miss Brimble kept reminding us the lair would need to be rain proof. We wondered why she kept saying it would have to pass the test – until a watering can appeared part way through the session! We had predator traps, alliterative dragon/lair names, dragons that could fly to the moon and back in 2 seconds and dragons that could breathe fire and ice. As much as Miss Brimble loves dragons, she wasn’t too sure about the dragon that could breathe fire over 100 teachers at a time!
Thinking of buying waterproofs or wellies?
I have arranged with Mountain Warehouse (Taunton branch) for 10% off purchases. 'Vouchers' have been sent home. If you have misplaced yours, please pop into School and ask for another one.
We are really excited to be starting Forest School!!
Tomlinson and Dahl Classes have had their 'introductory' lesson.
In true fashion of Forest School our very first session with Tomlinson Class was 'rained off' in spectacular style due to thunder, lightning and torrential downpours on and off! The children were fabulous in the classroom though. They were all brave enough to take part in the 'feely bag' activity, putting their hand in, without looking to feel and describe an object. They used many different adjectives to describe their objects.
Cadie gave us a super idea for making Christmas decorations so watch this space coming up to Christmas!! (It's not that far away now!!)
Fantastic speaking and listening everyone, well done! I know they can't wait to get outside next week!
It's surprising how two days can be so different! Dahl Class were lucky enough to have a beautifully warm, sunny day for their introductory session. We went out into the copse to search for 'interesting' objects.
We have many 'eagle-eyed' children!! They found many interesting things from interesting leaves to part of a bird's egg, part of a tennis ball to burnt sticks as well as ants carrying small bugs to their nests and lots of little creatures.
Today we came back into class to talk with a partner about our objects (normally we will stay outside). Some pairs created super stories around their objects.
Clare even used her burnt stick to draw a picture! It's amazing what you can find doing Forest School!!
Watch this space - I'll upload more photos soon!!
A Grand Design - Forest School Style!
Dahl Class helped to make our first Forest School project - a leaf compost bin!
We looked around the copse for good places to make it. We had fun collecting
leaves with the help of Miss Brimble's and Miss Taylor's new 'favourite' machine - the leaf blower!
What will bring a smile to your face on a Tuesday afternoon? Make a giant leaf pile and jump in!