Year 6 were very busy again in the woods this week - the underlying theme was Courage and Resilience but so much more than this was achieved.
There was cooking, tool work, games, stories, poetry, fire striking, kelly kettles, bird watching, building, an obstacle course, tree climbing, free learning and lots of fun with friends.
Have a look at the video to get a taste of their adventures.
Another busy couple of days this week.
Holly Group listened to the story of 'The Little Tree' which is all about the courage of letting go, while Holly Group heard 'The Hugging Tree' which promoted a discussion about resilience and asking for and accepting help when things get tough.
Both groups played Crossing the Swamp which developed co-ordination, co-operation as well as courage. Holly Group were fortunate to have dry tree cookies whereas Chestnut Group not only had 'logodiles' and 'poisonous trees' to avoid but it was raining so their tree cookies were slippery! However, this did not deter them and they showed good resilience and perseverance. lots of fun was had and Tawny Owl saw some great team work.
They then learnt how to use a kelly kettle safely and were able to make their own hot drinks - either hot chocolate, fruit tea, or nettle tea. Some children (and an adult) bought Pot Noodles. Chestnut Group spent the short afternoon continuing their whittling projects or making and playing on a great obstacle course led by Bella and her friends. Some of Holly Group spent a quiet time drawing with charcoal.
A fabulous week again year 6.
My goodness we were blessed with good weather agin this week, in spite of the forecasts being rather grim.
The sun shone, the wind died and although not terribly warm for the time of year, everyone enjoyed themselves again. Lots of learning was achieved. Both groups were challenged, some with individual targets, while all were challenged to show kindness and courage. The adults observed much effort with all their targets.
We began with a poem or story and then played the Blindfold Caterpillar and Rope game, which the children enjoy each year. Challenges were overcome and the importance of communication realised. If Tawny Owl had to choose, Chestnut Group worked better as a team, Holly Group needing more practise in helping each other and listening to everyone's needs, while putting their own to one side for a while.
Holly Group again developed their shelter building skills, using their learning from last week to improve their design. Several children worked really hard to help saw and split wood for the log store - again realising that sometimes the greatest satisfaction comes from investing quite a lot of effort.
Chestnut Group enjoyed cooking bread over the fire which was delicious. They also spent a lot of time in the tool area - many making a Skulk of Foxes (or other woodland animals). They are really developing their knife skills and learning patience and perseverance (instant gratification is not an option).
Meanwhile the natural world continues to develop everyone's sense of awe and wonder - the buzzards (aided by the crows) always create excitement, orange tip butterflies, brimstones, milkmaids, bluebells, chiff-chaff, cuckoo, robins, tree-creeper, and many wrens; not to mention the blue-tits nesting in at least two of our birdboxes. Tawny Owl also saw several linnets at the top of the footpath by the cottages.
Our children are so fortunate to be given these experiences.
Have a look at the videos for just a taste of the fun.
Year 6 were very excited to be returning to the woods this week. Due to a technical hitch, we did not have the i-pad on Wednesday so there are no photos of Holly Group, but we will make sure there are plenty next week.
Tawny Owl had been pleased to receive an email from Siena and Ben over the holiday containing a list of the types of activities the group wanted to experience. It was interesting to note, they were keen to revisit some of the activities and games they had enjoyed in previous years.
Both groups began with poetry - Bluebells from The Lost Words; this created good discussion with both groups about the imagery used by Robert Macfarlane.
This week was spent having another attempt at fire striking and using a variety of tools.
Wren and Tawny Owl enjoyed cooking lunch over the fire for Fawn, which some of Chestnut Group also enjoyed as there was plenty to go around.
Have a look at the video to see what Chestnut Group got up to - we were very busy.
Both Groups expressed a wish to play the Blindfold Game, so we discussed how we could play the game, in order to ensure Covid regulations were followed. One of the children suggested they all bought their own blindfolds (buffs, or scarves perhaps), so don't forget them next week!! Watch out for the pics.
Both groups were clear about which activities they wished to complete next week - Holly Group wanted to make shelters and use bigger tools (bow saws), while Chestnut Group wish to continue with their whittling projects (many are making a skulk of foxes), and also to cook bread. So much to look forward to.
Year four enjoyed another 2 wonderful days in the woods this week.
What a busy time they had!
There were two noteable nature observations which caused Tawny Owl much excitement this week: on Wednesday morning, she heard her first Chiff-Chaff of the year, and on Thursday a Brimstone butterfly.
Both groups enjoyed a beautiful poem to begin their day: Hornbeam Group heard Tawny Owl reading 'Silent Song' by Roger Stevens while each holding a small, smooth pebble to help with their reflections about the poem. All participants were quite moved by the poem. Alder Group went out into the woods to find themselves a feather to hold while listening to the poem 'If you Find A Little Feather' by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (both poems taken from the Anthology 'I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree', which has a nature poem for each day of the year).
Hornbeam group then spent much of the day creating blobsters and blobster shelters.
Alder Group enjoyed playing together in small groups, creating small world scenes out of mud, moss and sticks, as well as fire striking and tool work (making Duck Callers which was a great follow up to their Science topic on Sound). It was wonderful to hear the voices of some of the children who would normally be quiet in the classroom, expressing themselves with delight and excitement.
It was a joy to see the children relaxing into the activities this week - undoubtably the warmer weather contributing to creating a more relaxed feeling to the sessions. The children moved further away from the adults, allowing them to also enjoy the activities themselves.
Thank you Cuckoo for again creating the video...and to Wren, Bumble Bee, Blossom and Nuthatch for modelling such amazing Blobsters and shelters for the children to gather ideas from.
Year four have now had a couple of days back in the woods.
They have very much enjoyed their experience. Last week, they were newly back to school after Lockdown and were so happy to be playing with their friends again. Indeed the adults heard the children on several occasions express how pleased they were to be allowed to play again. Interestingly the children stayed quite close and didn't wander too far.
However, this week, they were so settled again - they went much further away from the adults and enjoyed taking part in some of the activties on offer. They tried fire striking (and then if they were successful they toasted a marshmallow over their little fires. Some made Duck Callers out of Elder Wood.
So much learning went on; learning about the science of fire, fire safety, properties and changes in materials, identifying trees and birds.
Hornbeam group heard a poem about Wrens and Alder group had a poem about crows. Both groups discussed their emotions at the end - considering what they had enjoyed or become excited about and what might have caused them disappointment.
have a look at the video and look at the concentration and enjoyment on their faces.
It is wonderful to be back.
Thank you Cuckoo for putting the video together.
Have a look at the second instalment of the learning achieved while Year 5 have been enjoying our beautiful woods.
Here is a list of the thoughtful ideas on Gratitude:
To have people to play with
For playing with my friends and making hot chocolate
Food and family
The world around us
The robins landing in the kitchen
The forest and woodland
Family and friends
The woodland and all the animals in the Forest
Fire to make hot chocolate
The gentle breeze
The warm fire
Privilege to be me
The autumn leaves
To be here
The calmness the beauty in nature can bring us
Watching the group interact as a team playing and talking and sharing
Teamwork, togetherness and everyone round me
Have a look at the amazing learning which has been going on in the woods during the second half of the term with year 5.
Year one Bubble B have had an amazing Forest School experience this term. It has been so beneficial for everyone to be out in the woods, enjoying the fresh air and (with a few exceptions) being able to forget all the complications of life.
This group enjoyed practising their fox walking (walking around the woods without shoes and socks) which we found to be a fun experience. The most popular activity was indoubtedly the making of mud balls. The children became became prolific mud ball creators, developing their method through play and the sharing of ideas with each other as well as develping a nurturing attitude to improve the result. Even the adults became quite obsessed with it!
Greg Clark visited on Friday and talked to the children about their experiences, which they loved.
The children enjoyed some amazing hot food each lunchtime, and we saw an incredible number of butterflies on Monday - Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, White Admiral, Brimstone, Large White, Meadow Browns, and the Common Blue which was seen feeding on some ivy flowers. Beetle spotted a moth on Friday which we think may have been a cabbage moth and Tawny Owl spotted a Lime Hawkmoth caterpillar also on Friday.
The children enjoyed using tools, learnt how to tie a timber hitch and made log dogs. The 'undirected free learning time' was spent playing with mud and water, looking for slugs, making camps, playing in the stream, trying to tie different knots, climbing on the rope ladder swing, or looking at Beetles' butterfly book.
Have a look at the photos and video to see the variety of learning opportunities.
At the end of the session on Monday, the children had a wonderful surprise for Tawny Owl. They recited 'Newt' from The Lost Words as a performance poem with the whole group. Tawny Owl was very moved and impressed by their performance (if you don't know it, there are some very tricky words). Unfortunately she did not have time to record it as we had run out of time! Thank you Bubble B!
Oh my goodness, what a lot of activities we managed to fit into our last 2 days of Forest School.
The children enjoyed so many activities: stream play, using tools (palm drills and scout knives), learning to tie knots (Timber Hitch, Reef Knot and Clove Hitch), going on a Treasure Hunt, making log dogs, tree cookie name badges, as well as making mud balls!
The children developed fine motor skills, observation, patience, listening, concentration, negotiation, used positional language, descriptive and technical/scientific language, co-operation, and they all developed their gross motor skills to name but a few of the areas we covered!
The children enjoyed listening to nature poems and a story read by Tawny Owl. Badger (aka Mr Goodman) arrived with a delicious hot lunch each day, which we enjoyed in the sunshine.
The weather was wonderful; warm, but not too hot.
So much learning through play and having fun with friends.
Have a look at the photos and video to see a sample of this.