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Forest School-Colder Weather

Forest School Sessions September 2020

 

Sessions have had to change for a while. At the moment:

EYFS will have Forest School every Monday morning.

Year 2 will have Forest School every Tuesday morning.

Year 1 will have Forest School every Wednesday morning.

 

Children should come dressed in kit wearing school shoes with their Forest School footwear in a separate bag. They should bring school uniform to change into afterwards.

 

As the weather is turning colder and it is particularly cold in the mornings, under the trees especially when we are still and listening, lease ensure your child has lots of layers as well as a waterproof coat. Thin summer tops/leggings are not enough on their own at this time of year. Thank you.

😁 We are the 2019, Somerset County Winner of the Environmental Youth Award 

sponsored by HSBC and The Royal Bath & West of England Society.

 

 

Receiving our award at The Royal Bath and West May 2019

                Forest School 2020 - 21
                Forest School 2019 - 20

World Ocean Day 

On Monday 8th June it is World Ocean Day. Have a look at this website and learn something new about oceans. 

It's VERY important we look after our oceans and stop polluting them. What could you do to help?

Have a look on Espresso for more Ocean Day information. You will need to log in with the student number and password.

Click on the icon below to learn more about oceans and what you can do to help them.

 

30 Days Wild - The Wildlife Trusts

 

In June The Wildlife Trusts always do a 30 Days Wild Challenge. This year it may be a little bit different, but there are lots of things on their website you can do. There is an app as well as downloadable print offs. Try to have a go at something every day.

You can sign up here - or just use the activities below.

 

I have added the school pack below but there is an individual one too if you'd like to have a look. 

Act of Wildness 15-21

Here are this week's acts of wildness - days 8-14. How many will you do?

Click here to help you with act of wildness 13 - it will take you to the Wildlife Trust page with webcams where you can 'drop in' and watch some wildlife.  Remember these cameras are live so you may need to sit and watch patiently before anything appears!

 

As some of the following are 'external' links it is a good idea to ask an adult to help you with them. 

 

This 'countryliving' link will take you to their website which has links to zoo and farm attraction webcams around the world. I love watching the panda cam at Edinburgh Zoo!!

 

Essex Wildlife Trust webcams

 

Cotswold Wildlife Park meercat webcam

 

Cotswold Wildlife Park penguin webcam

The first 7 'Acts of Wildness' for 30 Days Wild

Exercise with Nature

Wildlife Yoga

Wildlife Gardening with Monty Don and Nature Writing

For more 'home-schooling' ideas from the Nature Trusts look here.

Caterpillar Identification sheet

Be a butterfly detective

Create music with nature

If you like dinosaurs and all things natural, take a look at these activities on the National History Museum website.  

There are lots of dinosaur related activities like making origami dinosaurs, how to draw them as well as a quiz and how to build a volcano but there are also activities to do with birds and gardens. Explore it and have some fun. If you make an origami dinosaur, I'd love to see it. Maybe I'll have a go in school this week!!

J2e

 

This isn't really Forest School related, it's just one of my favourite fun sites that I though I would share with you. I used to use in computing lessons. It's from the J2e site, (Just2easy). 

My favourites have always been the turtle and animate tabs. I love changing the backgrounds and characters and creating different scenes. Have a go and see what you can create.

NASA 

If you want to learn more about being an astronaut and enjoy learning about space, this site could interest you!

Join in with live Lessons from Encounter Edu!

Mrs Norrey shared this link.

I watched the lesson about soil exploration this morning. There is another broadcast for KS2 on Friday 24th April at 9.30am on 'Creative Exploration' and one on 'Habitat Exploration' on Thursday 30th April. I am really looking forward to watching them. I am going to mark them on my calendar so that I don't forget - maybe you could do the same?

 

You could join in with the 'live chat' box (check with your adult first) but remember it is for questions about the lesson. Maybe I will see you joining in! 

Each lesson also has worksheets that you can print off to join in or you could just watch and learn like I did.

 

They are available online to watch at any time after they have first aired so there are also some past ones you could catch up with, just scroll down to near the bottom of the page and look at 'past live events'

 

Nature based ideas to do inside, looking through a window and in your garden.

 

I thought you might like some 'Forest School' type ideas to help whilst you are at home, especially ones that don't involve 'screen time'. The irony is you will need screen time to look some of them up but once that is done, hopefully you can have some fun away from screens.

Just remember - nature doesn't know what's going on, the birds are singing, (at the moment!) the sun is shining, the buds are starting to bloom and spring will turn to summer.

Make a rainbow.

 

It has been lovely to see all the rainbow displays people are doing. Did you know you could have a go at creating your own 'real' rainbow?

Have a look at the sheet below. Maybe you could learn some facts about rainbows? If you have made a rainbow display at home, maybe you could turn some rainbow facts into a poster or display to go alongside it?

 

 

Make Charcoal Paint    

Years 3 and 4 this may interest you!

This term we would have been making our own paints at Forest School to do some Stone Age cave art. It may not be a good idea to make charcoal by having a fire, but maybe you have some barbeque charcoal at home that you could use?

Make a map for a micro route.

  Watch how roots grow

Make some recycled planters  

What can you do with 1 metre of string?

Can you make a water wheel?   

Make a frog and toad abode (home)

 

 

Listen to some stories with the RSPB

Try learning a poem about nature - these are poems from a book called The New Oxford Treasury of Children's Poems.

Try some yoga in your garden (or in your living room if you don't have a garden).

Make a wall hanging by finding different lengths of sticks and decorating them.

Can you make a boat using natural materials? Check to see if it floats.

Set up some 'old-fashioned' races in your garden (sack races, 3 legged races, egg and spoon - use a small ball instead of an egg, a hopping race, obstacle course) - get out your skipping rope or hula hoops if you have them!

 

Help to tidy your garden.

 

Have a tea party.

 

Dance outside.

 

Hand press a flower.

Make some 'natural art' pictures

27 March

Symmetry in nature

30 march

Making symmetrical pictures with natural materials.

Ideas from Woodland Trust:

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/03/kids-nature-activities-self-isolation/

Go on a minibeast hunt in your garden.

Do some bird watching and identification.

Make a loo roll bird feeder.

Go on a scavenger hunt.

Have a picnic in the garden.

Move like minibeasts.

Make an animal or forest out of Lego or construction materials.

Butterfly symmetry art.

Write a story about woods and trees.

 

More explanation about these activities are on the link above.

Can you spot these birds in your garden?

Make a tally of the birds you see in your garden.

Garden Birds ID Sheet

Spot these minibeasts

Minibeast hunt

Sit very still and quietly in your garden. What sounds can you hear? Try to listen for sounds in the distance. 

 

If you sit still for long enough (it may take 5 minutes or more), you will probably find that some of the wildlife starts to feel you aren't a threat. Look very carefully. What wildlife do you see?

 

Make a map/plan of your garden. 

If you could have anything you liked - what would your garden look like? Draw your ideal garden. (I always wanted a huge treehouse in and a swimming pool, oh and a tennis court and . . . !)

 

OK, so you aren't allowed to go off somewhere to go camping. What about setting the tent up in your garden and doing some 'garden camping'? If you haven't got a tent maybe you could be creative and set something up to camp in your living room for a night instead?

 

Find a stick and some things to decorate it with to make it into a wand.

 

Look at the clouds (but remember - Never look straight at the sun- it can damage your eyes). What shapes do you see? Can you make shapes out of them? I like to see if I can spot clouds that look like animals.

 

How are shadows made? Make shadow puppets out in the sunshine. Here are some ideas to get you started.

https://etc.usf.edu/clipart/galleries/266-hand-shadow-puppetry

 

Take notice of how the plants are starting to grow. Ask an adult if there is one you can dig up (a 'weed' maybe?). What parts can you see?- stem, root, leaf, flower etc. Find out about the 'job' of each part.

 

Look at the different plants in your garden. How many different types of leaves can you see? Are they all the same shape and colour? Ask an adult which ones you can touch? (Be careful, some plants can hurt us like nettles and brambles, some make our skin itch so check with an adult first.)

 

Make a picture of your favourite plant in your garden. Maybe you could make a collage of it?

Spot and name different types of cloud

How many different types of leaves can you see?

Ask an adult if they have any seeds you could plant together?

Make a bird feeder bottle.

Year 4 Jan/Feb 2020

January brings the Great Garden Bird watch, so Miss Brimble reminded us about the different birds we might see around school and in our gardens. We named some and described them, then tried to spot some. (Real ones and the cards that were placed around the copse.) We used spotter ID sheets, swatches, books and binoculars to identify birds and find out a bit about them. We talked about how it can be difficult for birds to find food at this time of year as there aren’t many berries about and lots of the insects are hibernating. We thought about what we could do to help. We made lardy pine cone feeders which was very messy but great fun! Some of us went with Mrs Turner to a quieter spot where we could sit quietly to do some bird watching and make a tally of the birds we saw. With Mrs Norrey, Y4 had already looked at a long tailed tit nest that Mrs Cooper had brought in. We were VERY excited to find we have some flying around and feeding off the fat feeders in the copse! We did some knot tying. We reminded ourselves of simple knots and also learnt how to tie a clove hitch and figure of 8 knot. Jacob showed us 2 knots he learnt at Cubs. Ruben used a clove hitch knot to tie up his own swing. We played a listening game called Master of the Keys. As our topic is ‘Wonderfully Made’ and Miss Brimble knows how much our class loves to make and build and that we are brilliant at it, she challenged us to ‘wonderfully make’ something. We had brilliant ideas. One group used previous learning and made a leaf rabbit character, another group had fun making (and using) a see-saw, we had a witch’s cave set up with a cauldron, a pizza, a bird’s nest, as well as lots of other wonderfully made ‘builds’. Wonderfully done as always Year 4!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 2 Jan/Feb 2020

 

January brings the Great Garden Bird watch, so Miss Brimble reminded us about the different birds we might see around school and in our gardens. We named some and described them, then tried to spot some. (Real ones and the cards that were placed around the copse.) We used spotter ID sheets, swatches, books and binoculars to identify birds and find out a bit about them. We talked about how it can be difficult for birds to find food at this time of year as there aren’t many berries about and lots of the insects are hibernating. We thought about what we could do to help. We made lardy pine cone feeders which was very messy but great fun! Some of us went with Mrs Turner to a quieter spot where we could sit quietly to do some bird watching and make a tally of the birds we saw. We looked at a long tailed tit nest that Mrs Cooper had brought in and learnt lots of facts about these special little birds. We were VERY excited the following week to have some flying around and feeding off the fat feeders in the copse! We did some tool work and also some knot tying. We reminded ourselves of simple knots and also learnt how to tie a figure of 8 knot. We also played a listening game called Master of the Keys. As our topic is ‘Wonderfully Made’, Miss Brimble challenged us to ‘wonderfully make’ something. We had brilliant ideas. One group made a café, complete with (muddy) ‘hot chocolate’, another made a ship, another ‘recycled’ an empty homemade bird feeder as well as lots of other ‘builds’. Wonderfully done Year 2!

Year 3 January 2020

Our 1st session was the last of 2019 so as a Christmas treat we toasted s’mores on the fire. This of course meant we reminded ourselves of our fire safety rules, how to set up the fire square and how to build a fire as well as how to toast s’mores safely. They are so delicious lots of us asked for  s’more (some more)!

January brings the Great Garden Bird watch, so Miss Brimble reminded us about the different birds we might see around school and in our gardens. We named some and described them, then tried to spot some. (Real ones and the cards that were placed around the copse.) We used spotter ID sheets, swatches, books and binoculars to identify birds and find out a bit about them, we also had some fun facts on top trump cards.  In our last session we continued the bird watching theme. Some of us went with Mrs Turner to sit quietly, spot birds and record in tallies what we saw and some of us made lardy pine cone feeders which was very messy but great fun!

 

Year 1 January 2020

Our 1st session was the last of 2019 so as a Christmas treat we toasted s’mores on the fire. This of course meant we reminded ourselves of our fire safety rules, how to set up the fire square and how to build a fire as well as how to toast s’mores safely. They are so delicious lots of us asked for  s’more (some more)!

January brings the Great Garden Bird watch, so Miss Brimble reminded us about the different birds we might see around school and in our gardens. We named some and described them, then tried to spot some. (Real ones and the cards that were placed around the copse.) Bird watching does mean we have to be still and quiet so that is something that some of us need to work on! We used spotter ID sheets, swatches, books and binoculars to identify birds and find out a bit about them. Some of us made a working team to collect leaves to put under the tyre swing.  In our last session we continued the bird watching theme. Some of us went with Mrs Turner and Will to sit quietly, spot birds and record in tallies what we saw; some of us made lardy pine cone feeders which was very messy but great fun! Some of us went with Mrs Davies to do some gardening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4 December 2019

 

In our 1st session we read a story called Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. It is a lovely story about how leaves have to go where the wind blows. We loved spotting the geographical features and animals made out of leaves as well as joining in with the repetitive phrases. It inspired us to create our own leaf characters. We had to say a little about our character and where they were going to be blown. We were very creative and made some superb leaf characters as well as adventures they could go on.  (We were going to make stories about them the following week but the leaves were too wet.)  In our 2nd session we planted some bulbs in the grass area between the hedge and the tennis court. As our last session was just before Christmas so as a Christmas treat we toasted s’mores on the fire. This of course meant we reminded ourselves of our fire safety rules, how to set up the fire square and how to build a fire as well as how to toast s’mores safely. They are so delicious lots of us asked for  s’more (some more)!  Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’.

Year 2 December 2019

In our 1st session we read a story called Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. It is a lovely story about how leaves have to go where the wind blows. We loved spotting the geographical features and animals made out of leaves as well as joining in with the repetitive phrases. It inspired us to create our own leaf characters. We had to say a little about our character and where they were going to be blown. We were very creative and made some super leaf characters as well as adventures they could go on.  (We were going to make stories about them the following week but the leaves were too wet.)

In our 2nd session we planted some bulbs in the grass area between the hedge and the tennis court. (We may (or may not) have seen a snake the size of a python (according to some) but Miss Brimble thinks it may have been a grass snake - or a very large worm! It caused lots of excitement and fun though! Will (our Forest School Young Leader) went on to find out some facts about snakes and surprised Miss Brimble by finding out there are now 4 native snakes in the UK!  In 2017, the barred grass snake was recognised as a species separated from the common grass snakes! Fantastic fact!  We also did some tool work with the bow saw and hand drills. As our last session was just before Christmas so as a Christmas treat we toasted s’mores on the fire. This of course meant we reminded ourselves of our fire safety rules, how to set up the fire square and how to build a fire as well as how to toast s’mores safely. They are so delicious lots of us asked for  s’more (some more)!  Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring, balancing and making see saws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our 1st session, we could definitely tell the temperature had dropped! We talked about what this means for the animals and the seasons. We reminded ourselves of our fire safety rules, how to set up the fire square and how to build a fire.  Our efforts were rewarded with making toast! It may seem a simple task, but there are so many safety rules to remember, especially about  how to walk around the fire pit, not touching the metal parts of the toasters, (we talked about heat conductors) and not putting our hands too close to the fire. We then buttered our toast and of course, the best bit, we got to eat it!

Next session, we quickly looked at the seedlings that have started to grow and the seeds that are still left to be scattered then we recapped on the history of Bonfire Night. Miss Brimble was ‘seriously impressed’  with how much we had remembered from our class lessons. We set up the fire square again as we talked about fireworks (and why if we have bonfires, we need to check that no hedgehogs have started to hibernate before we light it!). Some of us made ‘guys’ out of sticks and pinecones. What normally happens to the guy on Bonfire Night?  Yes, you’ve got it! If we wanted, we could put our guy on the fire! Mrs Davies took some groups to collect seeds and ‘plant’ them . Our Forest School Young Leader, Will, took some volunteers to do leaf collecting for our compost bin. If we are going to do lots more plant growing we are going to need a lot of compost! They did a great job. Not only does it mean we can make our own compost but it helps to keep our school tidy too as the leaves make a mess inside and can be quite slippery on the playground. Great teamwork  and organisation everyone!

In our last session, Miss Brimble showed us a book called ‘The Lost Words’ by Robert Macfarlane. It’s about all the nature words that are no longer being out in the Oxford English Dictionary as they are considered to be too out of date for children like us! Imagine not knowing what a conker, acorn or fern is! We are so glad we have the opportunity to use these things in Forest School and keep these words alive! We looked at some conkers and acorns and then used the hand drill to make necklaces with them. A few of us decided to plant some too, so who knows? In a few years time we may have oak trees and horse chestnuts in the copse.

Our First Forest School sessions in Year 4. There has been a lot of change to the copse over the Summer  Holidays due to new fencing as well as natural changes. We were first sent off quickly to explore and find some of the changes to report back about but we quickly moved on to building the fire square and seating as we were going to pick apples from our tree, peel, slice and cook them on the fire. We worked in pairs/threes and although we had guidance, we did this by ourselves. We wrapped the apple in foil and put it on the fire, then waited for it to bake. Most of us thought it was yummy!

Session 2 started off with downpours of rain between the sunshine. Miss Brimble though it would be good for us to practise putting up a shelter ‘quickly’. (We need to work at the ‘quickly’ bit!) We were reminded about knots, keeping our tarp tight and that the whole point was for it to keep us dry. Some shelters worked better than others but we had fun doing it. We walked around some of the shelters to talk about what worked well and how they could be improved next time.

In the last session we learnt about the ‘rebel’ Robin Hood and the ‘Major Oak’ in Sherwood Forest. We suggested ideas about how we could measure around (circumference) of our trees. We needed to work with a partner and had great fun trying to measure around the tree trunks with rope. A small group chose to collect seeds and were shown how to rake the soil and plant them in the hope of a magnificent display next year!

Ebony Mae and Keisha rapped a song that they had made about Forest School for us. Stars in the making!

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building, exploring, balancing as well as making swings and see-saws. We also had a few different photographers on the iPad—see if you can spot any of the photos you took.

 

 

Our First Forest School sessions in Year 2. There has been a lot of change to the copse over the Summer  Holidays due to new fencing as well as natural changes. We first went off to explore and find some of the changes to report back about. We talked about how we can tell the seasons are changing and the signs of autumn. One group volunteered to collect leaves for our leaf compost bin. They did an amazing job.

Session 2 started off with downpours of rain between the sunshine. Miss Brimble though it would be good for us to practise putting up a shelter ‘quickly’. (The ‘quickly’ bit didn’t happen!) We were reminded about knots, keeping our tarp tight and that the whole point was for it to keep us dry. Some shelters worked better than others but we had fun doing it. We walked around some of the shelters to talk about what worked well and how they could be improved next time.

In the last session we learnt about the ‘rebel’ Robin Hood and the ‘Major Oak’ in Sherwood Forest. We suggested ideas about how we could measure around (circumference) of our trees. We needed to work with a partner and had great fun trying to measure around the tree trunks with rope.

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building, exploring, balancing as well as making swings

Our First Forest School sessions in Year 2. There has been a lot of change to the copse over the Summer  Holidays due to new fencing as well as natural changes. We first went off to explore and find some of the changes to report back about. We talked about how we can tell the seasons are changing and the signs of autumn. One group volunteered to collect leaves for our leaf compost bin. They did an amazing job.

Session 2 started off with downpours of rain between the sunshine. Miss Brimble though it would be good for us to practise putting up a shelter ‘quickly’. (The ‘quickly’ bit didn’t happen!) We were reminded about knots, keeping our tarp tight and that the whole point was for it to keep us dry. Some shelters worked better than others but we had fun doing it. We walked around some of the shelters to talk about what worked well and how they could be improved next time.

In the last session we learnt about the ‘rebel’ Robin Hood and the ‘Major Oak’ in Sherwood Forest. We suggested ideas about how we could measure around (circumference) of our trees. We needed to work with a partner and had great fun trying to measure around the tree trunks with rope.

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building, exploring, balancing as well as making swings and see-saws.

Our First Forest School sessions in Key Stage 2.  Our 1st job before we even got into the copse, was to help roll our working blocks from the quiet area back into the copse. We worked well as a team to do this. Some of the logs are big and heavy and needed 2 people to help. There has been a lot of change to the copse over the Summer Holidays due to new fencing as well as natural changes. We had time to go off to explore and find 3 changes to report back about.

In our 2nd session, we helped picked some of the apples from our apple tree. With a partner we peeled,  cored and sliced an apple. Wrapped it in foil and put it on the fire to cook. When we opened the foil packet we could smell delicious cooked apple. We enjoyed tasting our baked apples and asked if we could do this activity every week!

In our last session, we started to think about our topic ‘Royalty and Rebels’ and learnt about the ‘rebel’ Robin Hood and the ‘Major Oak’ in Sherwood Forest. We suggested ideas about how we could measure around (circumference) of our trees. We needed to work with a partner and had great fun trying to measure around the tree trunks with rope and tape measures.

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring, balancing and making see saws.

 

 

 

 

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring.

 

Our First Forest School sessions in Year 1. There has been a lot of change to the copse over the Summer Holidays due to new fencing as well as natural changes. We first went off to explore and find 3 changes to report back about. As there are now some new patches of earth, we collected seeds to scatter in the hope we will have more flowers next year. We also learnt how we could play ‘noughts and crosses’ but Forest School style, with natural objects.  (Watch out for Sophie - She is very good at this game!) In our 2nd and 3rd sessions, we started to think about our topic ‘Royalty and Rebels’. We talked about why royals wear crowns. We made our own Forest School crowns. In the last session we learnt about the ‘rebel’ Robin Hood and the ‘Major Oak’ in Sherwood Forest. We suggested ideas about how we could measure around (circumference) of our trees. We needed to work with a partner and had great fun trying to measure around the tree trunks with rope.

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring, balancing and making see saws.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring.

Forest School in previous years.

Year 4

This rotation was sadly our last 3 Forest School sessions as we currently stop doing Forest School at the end of Year 4. Miss Brimble, Miss Grundy and Mrs Turner were keen for us to try and achieve some of our certificates to show what we can do, so in our first and last sessions of the rotation we recapped on how to use a vegetable peeler safely (preparing us for using a pen knife) and how to tie lashings but probably more excitingly, we recapped on fire safety and how to use the flint and steel (dragon’s sneeze) to light a fire.

To achieve these certificates not only did we have to show we could use the tools correctly (at least twice) but also (and perhaps more importantly) that we could do so safely.

Of course we also had ‘Off You Go! Time’, as well as making fairy soup in the mud kitchen.

In session 2 (with Mrs. Anderson), we listened to a story about ants, learnt some facts about them and did ant based activities as it linked with our assembly theme, ‘stories about perseverance’. (Sadly Miss Brimble forgot to leave the iPad so we didn’t have any photos of this session.)

 

Year 2

This rotation was our last 3 sessions in Key Stage 1! Miss Brimble and Miss Grundy were keen for us to try and achieve some of our certificates to show what we can do, so in our first session we recapped on how to use a vegetable peeler safely (preparing us for using a pen knife) and how to tie a simple knot. We also did some estimation involving capacity and thought about which containers help the least/most and how many of one container it took to fill another.

To achieve these certificates not only did we have to show we could use the tools correctly and safely.

Of course we also had ‘Off You Go! Time’.

In session 2 (with Mrs. Anderson), we listened to a story about ants, learnt some facts about them and did ant based activities as it linked with our assembly theme, ‘stories about perseverance’. (Sadly Miss Brimble forgot to leave the iPad so we didn’t have any photos of this session.)

Again, linked to our Assembly values about democracy our last session involved a vote as to whether to do a whole Forest School session or watch the Y6 performance of Treasure Island. It was a close vote and Treasure Island won. We went out for a bit to do some stick collecting on the estate ready for winter fires next school year! We had to think about suitable sizes for our 1s, 2s and 3s as well as whether the sticks were dry enough. We also found a great tree trunk to climb up and jump off. (Miss Brimble forgot the iPad again so no photos sadly!) We finished just in time to watch the performance. We were all glad in the end that this was the decision as we thought the Y6 performance was fab!

 

Year 3

 

We have continued to learn about and make habitats linked to our ‘No Place Like Home’ topic. We have also learnt about plants, how bees help to pollinate them, the jobs of the different parts of a plant and how a plant makes it’s food by using sunshine. To show the chlorophyll in the leaves, we did some ‘leaf bashing’ which is where we put our chosen leaf in between some paper and hit it with a stone or hammer to crush the leaf, but leave the leaf imprint from the chlorophyll on our sheets.

We have been getting some of our planters ready and watering our plants.

We have been investigating capacity and estimation (as well as linking our assembly theme of democracy) by voting on which containers we think will hold the most/least and how many of one container it took to fill another. We reminded ourselves of fire safety and how to set up the fire square so that we could enjoy hot chocolate for the last time at forest School this school year! Ruben was so good at using the flint and steel last time we practised, Miss Brimble asked him to light the fire for the Kelly Kettle! He is the first person to get a certificate for using the flint and steel.

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring,

not to mention a lot of fun making things in the mud kitchen!

 

Year 1

 

We have continued to learn about and make habitats linked to our ‘No Place Like Home’ topic. We have also learnt about plants, how bees help to pollinate them, the jobs of the different parts of a plant and how a plant makes it’s food by using sunshine. To show the chlorophyll in the leaves, we did some ‘leaf bashing’ which is where we put our chosen leaf in between some paper and hit it with a stone or hammer to crush the leaf, but leave the leaf imprint from the chlorophyll on our sheets.

We have been getting some of our planters ready and watering our plants.

We have been investigating capacity and estimation (as well as linking our assembly theme of democracy) by voting on which containers we think will hold the most/least and how many of one container it took to fill another. We reminded ourselves of fire safety and how to set up the fire square so that we could enjoy hot chocolate for the last time at forest School this school year!

Of course we have also enjoyed ‘Off You Go! Time’, building and exploring.

 

Year 2 and Year 4 have been learning some facts about spiders and spiderlings.

This rotation we have been thinking a lot about our new topic, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’. We have been talking and learning about different habitats, particularly the ones we have in the copse. We have been thinking about why certain habitats suit some living things more than others. We have talked about what habitats are and what they provide. Miss Brimble has reminded us about how to collect mini beasts safely and carefully in order not to injure them. We have had fun looking for and collecting mini beasts. We also made some mini beast wood cookies we can hang in the copse.

We have also been learning about plants and the different jobs each part does. We have planted some more mint in a tyre in the copse in the hope it will grow and we can use it in the mud kitchen! We have continued to use our building skills during our ‘off you go’ time and some of us have started to get a bit more adventurous on the swings, seeing if we can swing upside down! We have also made more complicated ball runs. 

In our last session (with Mrs. Anderson), we learnt some facts about spiders. (Miss Brimble had found spiderlings in her garden at the beginning of the week and there were also lots in the copse). We thought about what makes a good habitat for a spider. Mrs Anderson showed us one way we could make a spider’s web. We had to work with a partner and help each other. Afterwards we could make a spider to go on our web and find a suitable habitat to hang it in the copse.

We have also been excited to hear we have received a grant from Somerset Gardens Trust to help with our gardening and that we have won the Somerset region of the Environmental Youth Awards. We have been talking about why we like Forest School and how it is helps us with our learning.

 

This rotation we have been thinking a lot about our new topic, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’. We have been talking and learning about different habitats, particularly the ones we have in the copse. We have been thinking about why certain habitats suit some living things more than others. We have talked about what habitats are and what they provide. Miss Brimble has reminded us about how to collect mini beasts safely and carefully in order not to injure them. We have had fun looking for and collecting mini beasts. Miss Grundy even found a white spider in the copse! We thought it looked rather strange!

We have also been learning about plants and the different jobs each part does. We have continued to use our building skills during our ‘off you go’ time and enjoyed time on the swings. Some of us made more complicated ball runs.

In our last session (with Mrs. Anderson), we learnt some facts about spiders. (Miss Brimble had found spiderlings in her garden at the beginning of the week and there were also lots in the copse). We thought about what makes a good habitat for a spider. Mrs Anderson showed us one way we could make a spider’s web. We had to work with a partner and help each other. Afterwards we could make a spider to go on our web and find a suitable habitat to hang it in the copse.

We have also been excited to hear we have received a grant from Somerset Gardens Trust to help with our gardening and that we have won the Somerset region of the Environmental Youth Awards. We have been talking about why we like Forest School and how it is helps us with our learning.

 

We were lucky that our 1st session of this rotation was in the last week of term and Miss Brimble set up the fire so we could toast s’mores! What a treat—we were very excited.

Our next session was in the start of the summer term and we started our new topic, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’. We have been talking and learning about different habitats, particularly the ones we have in the copse. We have been thinking about why certain habitats suit some living things more than others. We have talked about what habitats are and what they provide. Miss Brimble has reminded us about how to collect mini beasts safely and carefully in order not to injure them. We have had fun looking for and collecting mini beasts. We found some huge worms and measured them to see which was the longest. It wasn’t easy to measure their length as they didn’t want to stay still! We also made some mini beast wood cookies that we can hang in the copse.

We have also been learning about plants and the different jobs each part does. We have been busy transplanting seedlings into planters around school in the hope we can create some new habitats for mini-beasts as well as adding more colour around the playground. We have continued to use our building skills during our ‘off you go’ time, enjoying time on the swings and making ball runs. 

We have also been excited to hear we have received a grant from Somerset Gardens Trust to help with our gardening and that we have won the Somerset region of the Environmental Youth Awards. We have been talking about why we like Forest School and how it is helps us with our learning.

 

 

 

We were lucky that our 1st session of this rotation was in the last week of term and Miss Brimble set up the fire so we could toast s’mores! What a treat—we were very excited. We also practised tying simple knots.

Our next session was in the start of the summer term and we started our new topic, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’. We have been talking and learning about different habitats, particularly the ones we have in the copse. We have been thinking about why certain habitats suit some living things more than others. We have talked about what habitats are and what they provide. Miss Brimble has reminded us about how to collect mini beasts safely and carefully in order not to injure them. We have had fun looking for and collecting mini beasts. We found lots of worms, slugs and woodlice as well as some snails, spiders, earwigs and more. 

A small group of us helped to tidy the mess in the ‘bin box’ where people haven’t been putting their rubbish in the bin. We had great fun working together with the litter pickers and didn’t need any help from the adults.

We have also been learning about plants and the different jobs each part does. We have been busy getting the planters ready by weeding them and adding fresh compost so that we can transplant seedlings into planters around school in the hope we can create some new habitats for mini-beasts as well as adding more colour around the playground. We have continued to use our building skills during our ‘off you go’ time, enjoying time on the swings and making ball runs. 

We have also been excited to hear we have received a grant from Somerset Gardens Trust to help with our gardening and that we have won the Somerset region of the Environmental Youth Awards. We have been talking about why we like Forest School and how it is helps us with our learning.

 

 

 

If you are at the show tomorrow and would like to join us to see some of our Year 5 children receiving the award, pop along for 11.45am. (Our timings are quite strict as lots of awards are taking place.) Mrs White and myself will be there a little before hand. 

 

The EYA (Environmental Youth Awards) stand is located directly beneath the main Commentary Box on the North side of the Main Show Ring (Fifth Avenue). Shown in the photo but you may need to turn it!!

 

Mabe see you there or maybe you would just like to have a quick look at the photos & PowerPoint presentation. 

 

 

Winners of the Somerset region of the Environmental Youth Award!

 

School isn’t just about sitting at a table and writing and our school is very good at recognising this. All of our staff use different and ideas and methods which enable the children to experience learning and express themselves through a multitude of ways. 

 

A couple of months ago, I was handed a letter, with a request from a Mr Paul Hillard, who represented the Environmental Youth Awards, to come and chat about our outdoor learning. He couldn’t/wouldn’t say who had nominated us, but it is lovely to think someone took time to do this and that we deserve the nomination.

 

I was able to tell him many ways our children had opportunities for this. (Not all of the ways as there are just so many and it’s hard to recall everything!)

 

I told him about residential visits in Y4 and Y6; class visits to places of interest; how we use the outdoors for drawing and making sometimes basing the work on well known artists/sculptors, sometimes for inspiration; people we have into school like artist Busylizzie Art Ltd who created our fabulous paintings now hung around school with last year’s Year 6 pupils; how we use outdoors in our curriculum areas from Maths to computing. I had a page in front of me with so many things - and I still thought of more after Mr Hillard had left. Our staff really are amazing at bringing the outdoors into learning.

 

Then of course, with my role in school, the conversation came to Forest School. Just a quick warning for you all! Don’t get me started on ‘What do you do at Forest School?’ as this is something I can talk for hours on!! Not just because I love it so much and have so many ideas, but because your children are so enthusiastic and give so many ideas! 

 

I showed Mr Hillard around, he was very impressed with all of the information and said he would report back to the other judges for them to make their decision. To be honest, I didn’t think any more about it until we had a phonecall from Mr Les Davies saying we had won the award for Somerset and now go through to the final at the Bath and West Show!

 

Last week I had the pleasure of talking to 4 judges! They were full of enthusiasm themselves and very easy to talk with. 

They wanted to talk to some of the children so I had asked the children who would like to talk to them. There were so many volunteers! The judges spoke to 27 children from Y1to Y5. We went out to the copse where 2 judges spoke with the children and 2 with me. (A nervous prospect for a teacher who then has no control over what the children were saying😉!) It was obvious the children were having fun telling them about the things we do. 

 

After the children had gone back to class, the judges were full of praise for everything we do but more importantly for me, full of praise for the children. If they told me once how fantastic they were, they told me at least 3 times. Being the parents and teachers of these children, we all know this, but isn’t it great when someone else tells you too!?

It was an hour well worth spending! 

 

The next step is a PowerPoint presentation to put together and a presentation at The Bath and a West Show on Friday 31st May to receive a certificate, a cheque and a brass hedgehog! Sadly I can only take the children who will receive the award but if anyone is going to the show and would like to come and support us that would be amazing. More details to follow.

 

Lastly, a huge thank you to all the children who volunteered and to those who spoke to the judges. Great work everyone!

Litter Picking - Tuesday 7th May 2019

Some of the Year 5 children have volunteered to give up a lunchtime in order to go litter picking around school and the local area. Today the first group went out. It was good to see that actually there wasn’t very much litter to pick up, especially after the May Fayre and a car boot sale on the field on Bank Holiday Monday. We suspect someone else may have helped tidy up too. The group were very keen and still managed to find some litter.

 

Good job everyone😃!

 

Next time I’ll try to take some better photos!

Nature Cadets

I have had lots of comments from Year 5 about how much they miss doing Forest School, which from my point of view is lovely as it means not only did they enjoy Forest School sessions but also that they are still passionate about the outdoors.

 

Some of them came to me asking if they could make a mini beast hotel in the copse. This prompted me to start a new club after school which I opened up to Year 5s only. We have called it Nature Cadets and they are going to help me with lots of ways we can encourage wildlife to our school grounds.

The first group of Nature Cadets worked hard last term to repair old ‘bug boxes’ as well as making new ones. It was surprising how long it took to do just a couple of bug boxes/ladybird houses but the group worked hard, persevered with their tasks and were pleased with their end results. Guided by me, but pretty much left to their own devices to sort their jobs out. Not to mention enjoying themselves in the process. They have come up with lots more ideas too! 

The first group finished just before we broke up for Easter. They did an amazing job.

Somerset Gardens Trust Grant

We have been lucky enough to have been awarded a grant of £350 from Somerset Gardens Trust to enable our children to do more gardening. Not only do we hope this will encourage more wildlife around school but it will also help the children learn about plants, wildlife and gardening. It will also allow us to buy some new gardening equipment and grow vegetables. 

 

Somerset Gardens Trust is a voluntary organisation and educational charity which amongst many other things, hopes to encourage the love of gardening in school children. There is no doubt that with the help of this grant, there will be lots of gardening excitement, fun and learning to be had.

 

We are very grateful to Mrs S Rabson, (Chairman of the Education Group) and her committee for awarding us the grant and very much look forward to using the money on lots of different gardening projects around school. 

 

We will keep you updated with this project in the Blue Beacon and on the Forest School webpage.

 

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.

Year 3 and Year 1 Spring rotation 1

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 3 continuing with fire lighting

Year 4 Roation 2

Rolling around!

Still image for this video

Year 2 strike a pose, building and hand drilling conker necklaces

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.

Acting out the three billy goats gruff clip, clopping over the bridge with the troll underneath.

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.  

How exciting!

 

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.

Year 3 - Rotation 1, Autumn 2018

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.

Year 1 - 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 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.

Below you will find pictures from school year, September 2017-July 2018 

Year 1 listened to a story by Helen Cooper called ‘Delicious’. 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 4 Balancing fun and using a hand drill

Year 4 shelter building

Year 4 knapping, toasting bread and making Stone Age paint

Year 3 making Stone Age paint

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Plants donated by Avery's Nursey

Year 4

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!

Year 2

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!

Great questions asked at Forest School

Is Forest School about getting your hands dirty?

Forest School Autumn Newsletter 2016

We have been learning to spot and identify some British garden birds.

Amelie brought in a bird nest for us to look at.
Bird spotting

Making decorations for our Christmas tree.

More Forest School Fun.

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!

 

Dahl Class enjoying their leaf pile.

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