Year One enjoyed a day at school, playing a team building game and pond dipping. They learned so much while having fun!
Each group began with a time of reflection - considering how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Each thinking about something for which they are grateful.
Have a look at the video; the rest of the photos are on the class gallery.
Sorry - the video is taking a while to upload; I will try again tomorrow.
Year 2 in the Sunshine
Year 2 enjoyed their first session in the woods today. Spring has well and truly joined us – the birds were singing and the bluebells are beautiful. There is a crop of young trees growing in the fire circle – we think they are Ash but we are going to plant some up into pots and grow them on to see how they grow.
The willow which was planted by Years 3 and 4 in the Autumn Term is growing well now and hopefully will provide a good screen for the Treebog in the not too distant future.
There are Great Tits nesting in one of the boxes made by the Magpie Group and Year 5 and some Blue-tits nesting in the YR ‘Silver Birch’ nest box. We are also aware of several other nests which are appearing up in the trees.
The weather was generally better than we had expected.
Hornbeam Group spent the morning exploring the area and enjoyed picking nettles and drinking nettle tea. Alder Group were less enthusiastic about nettle tea.
Both groups found lots of minibeasts out and about. They found millipedes, woodlice, beetles, centipedes, shield bug, a beetle larva, a stripy snail and a particularly special green caterpillar which was like the Inchworm measuring one of the children’s shoulder! We also saw several butterflies: Orange Tips, and various Whites. Tawny Owl has also included a photo of a Bee Fly she spotted during the holiday in the woods.
Alder group were helpful in cutting and storing wood for the woodshed.
Both groups enjoyed Silent Spot – we heard Wrens, Chiff-Chaff, and Blue-tits.
Tawny Owl spotted a Marsh Tit while she was in the woods on her own early in the day.
Tawny Owl set up a camera trap a few weeks ago - have a look at the little clips of night life in the woods.
Tawny Owl has added the final videos for the Spring Term all in one go. There is a YR video and then some Y5 videos in this post.
Tawny Owl managed to get a little behind on the blog recently but as you can see from the following photos, we spent a valuable day harvesting our vegetables, cooking them in the new kitchen in the Sunshine Room, as well as eating them. We also helped out with a number of other gardening jobs around our Outdoor Classroom.
Hippos were pleased to be back in the woods today - Raven in particular had a huge smile on her face!
Have a look at the video for a taste of the children's learning.
We remained in school today as we had a shortage of adults to support our session in the woods.
However, this did not mean a 'quiet' time!
Tawny Owl planned some exciting activities and the children achieved lots of learning.
Have a look at the video to get a taste of what they were up to.
Year R arrived well prepared for the winter conditions this week. We were blessed with a bright, sunny start even though it was very chilly.
Wren had kindly arrived in the woods early to set everything up and when we arrived the fire was alight and the kettle was on.
The children were very respectful of the fire circle and kept themselves safe from the fire. They settled quickly to their learning and enjoyed bird watching, tree climbing, running around, playing with the snow, snowballs (after agreement about what would make a good game, and what might spoil it) building camps and even a dinosaur! The wood pile was popular again with some children.
One of the games they played involved catching snowflakes on their tongues, which was introduced by Mayfly.
Oak Group enjoyed the story of Beegu at the start of their session; the children were encouraged to think about how Beegu was feeling at different points in the story - encouraging empathy.
Beech Group began their afternoon in good spirits - they sang our Forest School Song with great gusto in the minibus on the way down to the woods, and some of them also sang it on the way back. They were very creative with their composition of lyrics.
The adults noticed this week that the children are becoming more independent, and they are becoming better at listening to and following instructions. There remain a few who still need more practise in doing up their own seat belts, but there are more children each week available to help others, which is fantastic.
Have a look at the video and photos to see the fun we had with our learning.
What a beautiful and busy day!
The sun shone, the birds were singing as if it was spring, and everyone was wrapped up warmly.
Mighty Oak joined us today and worked with a hard working team, including Moss to dismantle the large shelter – this area is now safe for everyone. The children co-operated very well and enjoyed contributing to the care of our beautiful woodland. Birch Group enjoyed the efforts of Larch Group as they were able to re-use the materials to create themselves a great new camp.
Children enjoyed birdwatching – we tried to spend an hour at the bird feeding stations watching to see which birds visited to report to the RSPB as part of the BIG Schools Birdwatch. We recorded Blackbird, Blue-tits Great-tit, Coal-tit, pigeon, crow, spotted woodpecker, robins and wren. We were also observed from the sky by several buzzards and seagulls. We also saw Fieldfare flying over and heard Goldcrest and Long Tailed Tit, but they stayed out of sight.
One group of children enjoyed a game of snowballs and there was some tree climbing.
Buzzard kindly bought bird seen and cookie cutters to make burd feeders which we will hopefully hang next week. Wren worked with a team to split enough wood to fill the wood shed.
Tawny Owl and Wren heard a couple of foxes at the far end of the wood, and Tawny Owl then spotted them trotting away silhouetted against the sky above the footpath.
A small group had another go at lighting the Kelly Kettle fires but seemed to have forgotten all about the requirements of successful fire lighting, so it was decided to have a session next week devoted to fire lighting.
Birch Group began the afternoon with a Silent Spot session which calmed everyone and allowed us to reach a place ready for woodland learning. Larch Group have asked to have a Silent Spot session next week as we seem to have been so busy that we haven’t managed it recently.
We had a beautiful day today for Forest School; the sun shone and everyone was relaxed.
Each group began with a game of Palm Tag – interestingly, Willow Group really entered into the spirit of the game, while Field Maple Group seemed a little bit weary and less enthusiastic.
As we held Forest School on the school site again today, there was a choice of activities to participate in. We had a group making another willow woven tipi with mud walls, while others had a go at leaf sewing and made some mobiles. Cuckoo and Wren led very successful plant printing sessions – do have a look at the photos to see the results. We will be displaying them in school in the near future, so keep an eye open. The children found Mountain Ash berries, Blackberries, Dogwood berries as well as leaves to brighten up their printing.
Again, Wren worked her magic in the garden with the children, clearing more of the raised beds ready for autumn planting. Lots of invertebrates were found in the soil: worms, centipedes, woodlice, ants, slugs etc. She noted how gentle the children were with the creatures, which was lovely to observe. Be sure to notice the changes to the gardens as we go into the autumn, and appreciate the hard work which is going into providing lots of interest. They also planted some carrot seed in tubs in the green house to watch alongside the Radishes planted by year 4 yesterday.
The learning today was amazing. The children had to be vigilant and agile to be successful at Palm Tag, and patient and resilient while making the woven tipi. There was also some excellent team work and children were seen and heard helping each other. Many in the group learned that if things do not go right the first time of trying, then having another go often results in success.
Noah and Evie earned themselves Environmental stickers for spontaneously collecting litter while we were outside.
Everyone was pleased with their creations and several children experienced getting their hands muddy for the first time. Some really enjoyed it while others weren’t too sure.
We hope to be in the woods next week, but we will let everyone know.
There are more photos on the website in the Year 3 Gallery.
Our Forest School is evolving. We are endeavouring to increase the variety of learning this year (First Class Opportunities to Respond to and Explore our Surroundings Together). Time in the woods encompassing the Forest School ethos will be at the core of our sessions, but we are now aiming to include a wider variety of settings and learning to complement our curriculum.
Following a fun, warm up game of Beetle Tag, year 6 began their term’s sessions with a busy and sometimes challenging set of activities – they began the huge task of preparing our raised beds for some serious autumn/winter vegetable gardening, willow weaving, litter picking, weeding and tidying the Peace Garden. They all took part with enthusiasm and several children realised how satisfying and calming gardening can be. It encouraged teamwork, and perseverance as well as providing an ideal opportunity to learn about plant structure and propagation.
Take a look at the class gallery page for more pictures of our busy day.