Maple Class Forest School

Maple Class Forest School

It looked like rain at lunchtime, but as we headed out the wind picked up and blew it all away.

This week we learned that dandelions and daisies sometimes flower in January, even though it is the middle of winter!

The Impact of Forest School for the children is the knowledge the children have gained from the Forest School experience.

The impact of Forest School can be seen through the skills, tools used, art and craft activities, observations and knowledge of the fruit, plants trees in relation to the seasons and the skills involved in learning how to play Forest School games.

The children showed the impact of learning to use maths across the curriculum. They counted the amount of fallen trees we had seen. ‘They fell down because of the wind’

We climbed over one, saw a distant birch across the old railway line, saw an oak which had been sawn up ‘I think it was sawed by a chainsaw’ and one on a slant, ‘like a triangle shape’ in the middle of a wood. ‘That makes 4 altogether!’

The impact of the observing and experiencing the environment was evident on the children’s risk taking. They showed great personal challenge skills as they navigated styles and chose a safe path through the mud.

The children talked about how the ground felt underfoot…muddy, slippy, squelchy, soft, squidgy…negotiated who liked getting splashed with mud and who didn’t.

The children recognised that there was a new gate on our journey. They wanted to know what it said, so they showed the impact of their phonic knowledge to blend the sounds and read the sign. ‘f  oo- that is the sound this week t, that is foot’.

Using sticks the children found emerging bluebell, just peeping out under the leaf litter.

They found catkins and thought they looked like caterpillars. They used their observation skills to find as many as possible on the ground.

The impact of the children’s progress in physical challenge. Being independent on the slack line, by just using the rope and ladder to climb.

This week our topic has led us to learn about fire. We discussed fire safety before we left and the children remembered our games of ‘red dragon, green dragon’ to remind themselves how to stay safe around the fire circle.

The children showed their persevering parrot learning powers as they used the flint and steels to start the fire.

The children talked about what they had noticed, learned and enjoyed this week before heading home up a muddy track up the hill! Thanks to our volunteers for supporting the children and allowing them to directly show the impact of their learning and connection to their local environment at Forest School.

Lilac Class Forest School

Lilac Class Forest School

The Impact of Forest School for the children is the knowledge the children have gained from the Forest School experience.

It poured with rain this afternoon, so we started our session inside. The children showed the impact of their learning when they recalled how they had made rosehip syrup during their last session and all had a bit as ‘medicine’, as children would have done during WW2.

The impact of Forest School can be seen through their observations of plants and trees.

Today they all saw how much lichen was growing on the tree at the start of the railway line, showing the purity of the air.

The children were challenged to collect as much water that the rain had deposited on hedgerows and plants along the way to the woods.

They showed how they could utilise their learning powers by showing great perseverance and ingenuity with how and where they collected the water from. This included jumping in puddles and collecting the slashes, to using an upturned umbrella and catching the fallen rain from the tarpaulin over the fire!

There was time to have a hot chocolate in the woods when we arrived- fairly wet, but cheerful.

The children collated all of their caught rainwater into a bucket. It turned out that they had collected a surprising amount. (Although there was rather a lot of ‘puddle water collected’!)

The slack line was moved to a different spot and the children had a go at showing the impact of the development of their risk taking and personal challenge skills. They had to climb around and through trees and were very successful in showing their developed skills.

Well done to the children for braving the wet weather of the British Winter so well and embracing the learning and challenge opportunities of being out in it.

Forest School Well-being day

Forest School Well-being day

The whole school wet to the woods as part of our Well-being day. They spent the morning covering health, first aid, mindfulness and sensory awareness as part of our learning.

In the afternoon parents were invited to come along for the afternoon.

The slack line balancing showed the impact of the children’s confidence in taking risks and their self-belief in their climbing skills.

Bridge building was hugely popular. The children engaged for over an hour to construct a bridge and problem solve how to get themselves across the stream. They collected and measured their own wood, constructed and deconstructed it. They took turns in crossing over, trying not to wobble off. The children talked about why the wood might be slippery of why it might snap and break if it is dead.

The children continued to extend and develop the dens they had made last week. Refining their design and critical thinking skills, as well as building their negotiating and team working skills.

Den making and role-play adventures with friends.

The whole school joined in with tapping sticks, following rhythms and singing together after our arrival in the woods.

We had a huge number of parents join us for the session. It is so fantastic to have their support and participation in our school events.

The impact of Forest School can be seen through the skills learned and developed and through art and craft activities

This week the progression of skills was evident as the children showed how dextrous they were with their knot tying skills. They created Christmas decorations out of string and natural materials.

The children used trowels to dig and found some bluebell bulbs, which they remembered were used to make glue in the past.

The impact of Forest School is also evident in the observations and knowledge of the fruit, plants trees in relation to the seasons and the skills involved in learning how to play Forest School games.

This week we had a great game of 1,2,3 change tree!

There was time for a fire and a demonstration of the development of skills in fire lighting across the age ranges of the children.

They could use their practical skills for real gain today, as they warmed themselves by the fire they had made.

We talked about why we had come to Forest School and its impact on the children. The children all thought about how beneficial the different activities and experiences they have at Forest School are for their well-being. A great end to a successful day of being well.

Cherry Class Forest School

Cherry Class Forest School

A cold fog had arrived by the time we were wrapped up warm and prepared for the woods, the children showed how they had gained the skills to be increasingly independent with their self care and organisation of their belongings.

This week we spent along time engaging in activities with all of the fallen leaves. We talked about adjectives as they chatted and how they can be used to described the experience of their environment.

“ Kicking through piles of leaves is really satisfying”…….”the grass is really squidgy because of all the water…I think it is because it has rained so much”

Along the way the children demonstrated their child led imagination and creative skills as they all created something with piles of leaves. Some made nests, and some groups of children worked together to make a soft pile to jump in, or as a bed. “It isn’t really very comfy!”

The class topic is ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ this term. The children remembered the song they had all learned last session when we got to the bridge and joined in with the action song ‘Tony Chestnut’. They showed their skill at playing creatively with music as they sped the song up whist singing!

They then used their imagination to create rain, snow and leaf fall, throwing handfuls of leaves off the bridge and describing what they observed as the leaves fell down to the track below.

The children had a go at using string and tarps independently to create shelters and used their  skills at using equipment as they tied and pegged out the shelters and  came up with ideas such as selecting the right sized sticks to sweep  the leaves out of the floor of their dens and collecting moss….” To make it all nice and soft and cosy.”

The collaborative skills the children developed this week were team work in creating dens.

They demonstrated their knowledge of estimation with measurements as they selected sticks to be poles to prop up the roof of one of their dens.

We explored a fallen tree and the children were really engaged in looking at how many growth rings of the Oak tree they could count….they got to 79 and then estimated that it was over 200 years old!

Their imaginative skills came into play soon after, as they used the timber which had been chain sawed to create their own tools…saws, axes

The impact of Forest School can be seen through the skills, art and craft activities, observations and knowledge of the fruit, plants trees in relation to the seasons and the skills involved in learning how to play Forest School games.

Maple Class Forest School

Maple Class Forest School

The Impact of Forest School for the children is the knowledge the children have gained from the Forest School experience.

The impact can be seen through the skills, tools used, art and craft activities, observations and knowledge of the fruit, plants trees in relation to the seasons and the skills involved in learning how to play Forest School games.

The parents came to school to join the class for lunchtime. It was great for the children to have them there to share their lunchtime and see them in their classroom and help them to get ready and prepare to go to Forest School.

The sun shone and it was a chilly but gorgeously bright autumn day.

The children showed the impact of learning mathematical vocabulary by measuring the Wellingtonia tree. They circled it by holding hands, and looked at how high it was. They then compared the size and height of the tree to others on the journey to the woods.

It has rained so much in recent weeks, so the children had a fantastic time exploring and discussing the muddy and water sodden ground. Their enjoyment of the sensory experience of being in squidgy ground and small streams was evident in the goggles and laughing and joking about getting stuck. They talked at length to each other about how deep the water was and how there was lots of little streams that hadn’t been there last time they went to the woods.

A little robin came to watch the children as we paused for a rest along the way. The children also saw a squirrel as it scampered up a tree on one side of the railway line. They talked about how in the past, the path was a real railway line and how some of the children had been at playschool in the old station building before they came to school.

The impact of the environment was evident on the children’s risk taking and personal challenge skills as they navigated styles and clambered onto a large tree stump and gates.

The children looked at a 200 year old fallen tree at the Forest School site and noticed all of the fallen branches and sticks. They explained to their parents that they needed to collect 2 sticks to start our Forest School circle and sang them a song.

We played a game of ‘duck, duck, dragon’ to learn how to stay safe around the fire circle, before learning how to use flint and steels to light a fire to stay warm on such a cold day.

Once the fire was going the children set off to explore the woods, challenging themselves to have a go at climbing trees, swinging, taking turns and trying out the slack line.

They worked together to lift and move a log, to make a mark on the woodland floor to stay safe and wait behind as they waited for their turn on the swing.

We then went off to search out the stream and had a look at the bridges across the stream.

There was time to warm ourselves round the fire and have a little snack, learning to wash our hands in cold water outside beforehand. We thought how lucky we were with the weather, as homeward bound, the rain started to fall on us.

A massive thank you to our parents for coming to support the children during their session.

 

Lilac Class Forest School

Lilac Class Forest School

The Impact of Forest School for the children is the knowledge the children have gained from the Forest School experience.

The impact can be seen through the skills, tools used, art and craft activities, observations and knowledge of the fruit, plants trees in relation to the seasons and the skills involved in learning how to play Forest School games.

The children learned how to use palm drills to drill holes in conkers. They learned that they needed to wear protective gloves on their bracing hands.

The children then cut and threaded their conkers with string and practised their knot tying skills.

Then they played conkers with their own made conkers on strings. Some of the children used their new learned skill and came up with their own creative ideas of what to make with conkers, acorns and string.

Some children helped put the slack line up, following practical instructions and helping to use the ratchet strap to fix and tension the slack line.

They learned to play ‘Owl Eyes’ game in which they had to creep up to an ‘owl’s nest’ without being heard and Harrison taught all of the players a new game, which involved hiding and stalking skills.

Many thanks to our volunteers for supporting the children.