Goudhurst & Kilndown Church of England Primary School

Bumblebell Manor, Muddy Faces and Much, Much More


This week we were blessed with the type of wintery days that poets write about: frosty breath, bejeweled cobwebs and blue, blue skies (although as you can see, I am no poet)! 

Hazel Group stopped in our tracks on the walk down to the woods, closed our eyes, tilted our heads to the sun and just took a moment. When we discussed how it felt around the fire circle, their thoughts included: calm, happy and lucky - not a bad way to start the day!

We arrived at Forest School to re-group around our 'Gone Home' symbol from last week. Ash Group came up with actions to help Nuthatch to remember their names and both groups were brilliant at remembering all the boundaries (although 'we walk in stump central' is proving harder for some to put into practice)!

Nuthatch and Bumblebee shared more extracts from Nature Diaries including those of Denys Watkins-Pitchford - an artist, author and naturalist and Edith Holden (The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady) a teacher and illustrator who wrote her diary to encourage her pupils in Solihull to learn about nature in Edwardian times. Nuthatch also shared his own nature diary written 16 years ago whilst living in London -

12th January 2006
"Heavy frost, but much lighter morning than in the past few days - the sun was a streak in the sky. Birds started to sing around 7.10am. Most distinct were the rooks and crow and a blackbird. Also heard a Tawny Owl calling - assume on his way to bed!

...inspiring and encouraging the children of Goudhurst & Kilndown to record their nature observations in 2022!

Almost all of Ash Group spent the morning working on Bumblebell Manor - adding furniture, a mud mine to create clay to 'glue' things together, a playground and a golf course. They took reservations for rooms and gave guided tours in exchange for leaves. The creativity , ingenuity and ​camaraderie was a joy to observe!
A further duo decided to work alone creating beautiful nests and ,one of them built theirs in their favourite climbing tree and also added a characterful face whereas in Hazel Group several children were keen to use the clay to make their OWN faces very muddy! Some children were eager to learn how to tie knots & learned how to tie a clove hitch. Whilst the adults were replacing the kitchen awning a couple of the children furthered their interest & helped to secure the guy ropes with timber hitches and tension knots. They then used their knowedge to tidy away the resources and create a table, slingshot & fishing rod. Another was fascinated by the clay-based soil and worked hard on building a tunnel whilst others had a good old fashioned game of hide and seek.

Wren & Bumblebee 'spruced up' the tool area and Cuckoo begun work on a willow fence to create a natural boundary which some of the children are keen to continue developing independently. 

In the afternoon, on both days, some children chose to create walking staffs complete with welly gauge (inspired by a child who wanted to work out where it was safe to step into the stream). This required learning how to use a bow saw safely in pairs and how to whittle with a scout knife - the Hazel Group made up a chant to help them "lie, tiny tilt, stroke, lie, tiny tilt, stroke". Several children chose to work on their fire-striking skills, some furthered their knowledge of tracking symbols using stones whilst others were more interested in 'investigating' the elements of earth & water & getting VERY muddy down by the stream!

The day ended, as before by re-forming our 'Gone Home' symbol and returning to school for some reflections on our day and to think forward as to what they wanted to develop next week.