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Final Week of Outdoor Learning at Home

Submitted by tawnyowl on Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 09:35

My goodness, everyone has been so busy with their outdoor activity.

Here are the final few photos taken from Google Classroom - I have included as many as I was able; some of your class teachers have been very keen and already archived your class folders, so I was unable to get at some of them.

Have a look at the photo of the Goldfinch Chick which Emily rescued. They took it Folly Wildlife Rescue in Tunbridge Wells, who say it is making good progress. This is an amazing local charity to support. Well done Emily!

You have seen snakes, Cinnibar Moth caterpillars on Ragwort, and used the outdoors to provide a stimulus for some great art, well done!

You have been so busy, looking at some amazing wild life (and being able to get so close), as well as getting out on foot and on the water. Have a great holiday, and see you next term (I hope to see some of you on Monday and Tuesday next week). Tawny Owl.

Fox Walking, Log Dogs and Mud Balls

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 15:35

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!



Log Dogs, Treasure Hunts and Tree Cookies

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - 11:26

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. 


Being Adventurous Together

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 10:19

Year one Bubble B enjoyed 2 amazing days in the woods on Friday and Monday.

We played games, built dens, made name badges (using palm drills and scout knives), went on an adventure walk, climbed trees, had delicious fish and chips on Friday and jacket potatoes with cheese and beans on Monday, played in the stream (and got very wet and muddy), went on bug hunts, played on the rope ladder, and lots more!

Watch the video to see what they have been up to.


Stream Antics!

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 11:51

Another fabulous day in the woods for Bubble A today.

The children enjoyed playing a game where they worked together to identify and find the leaves of six of our trees in the woodland: Oak, Holly, Hazel, Field Maple, Hawthorn and Hornbeam. Some of these were tricky to find but most groups managed to collect 4 of the leaves. Hawthorn was the one they found the most tricky but possibly because they had to venture further into the woods, and it seemed quite dark in contrast to the beautiful sunshine!

Their Free Learning was spent playing on the Rope Ladder swing again, climbing trees, birdwatching and playing imaginary games involving dogs (after a short length of rope was found which became a lead). There was also a group which spent much time collecting leaves, lining them up and counting them. Lots of number work came out of this activity and the children amazed Tawny Owl at their knowledge of counting and number bonds to 100 and more! It also reinforced the learning previously covered in identifying tree leaves. Ratty enjoyed creating a beautiful piece of artwork generated using the shadow from the Horse Chestnut tree. She used charcoal and ground up chalk. The children dropped in occasionally on their way past to have a look. Wilf decided he would like to have a go with the charcoal but found it a little tricky.

Before lunch the children listened to the Poem ‘Willow’ taken from The Lost Words, read by Tawny Owl. The whole group then went on a walk to the other end of the woods looking for different types of willow. On the way, the children found lots of new things to do – a neat stack of wood became a cage, while a fallen tree was ridden by most of the children. We then discovered the stream at he Northerly end of the wood, which the children enjoyed playing in for a while.

Butterfly led us back to the Forest School Fire Circle area and the children washing their hands for lunch before sitting around the circle and listening to Willow from Spell Songs. Mr Goodman then arrived with lunch (Pizza and potato wedges followed by an apple) which the children devoured in record time!

After lunch, the children played in the stream. We then enjoyed a peaceful time sitting silently on our sit spots, drawing, listening to the birds, and the wind in the trees. Tawny Owl especially loves this part of the day.

The children had another short time for free learning and then it was time to wash hands again and return to the drive for the pick-up. The children were quite tired by this time and becoming rather grumpy little woodland pixies – Tawny Owl used this opportunity to talk about how we need to think about how we are feeling and then applying that to how others may be feeling; working hard to be kind to each other. Tawny Owl was really impressed because she heard no more ‘grumpy woodland pixies’.


Back in the Woods!

Submitted by tawnyowl on Sunday, June 21, 2020 - 10:45

The photos of all the home learning from Years 2,3,4 and 5 are also part of my blog this week and this is what all you have been up to! 

Eddie and his mum and sister went for a walk in Challock woods at the weekend. They spotted lots of insects, an ant’s nest, a woodland dor beetle, scotch broom and ferns. They also found some amazing rope swings.

It reminded Eddie of the fun we have at forest school. The weekend before last on their walk Eddie had so much fun making a den. Eddie also wanted to share his sunflower he has been growing. It is now taller than him, and he is so proud of it. Well done Eddie and Evie (and Mum).

Joseph and Evie enjoyed making face masks from yoghurt. mint, nasturtium leaves and dendelion. They have also been busy making nests, watching caterpillars change into butterflies, making beautiful suncatchers. elderflower cordial and learning about sharks. Joseph also made a wormery.

Tilly has been watching the bumble bees in her nest box, and Rowan has been watching the badger hole in his garden (he's not seen the badger yet...but will kerp watching).

Blythe has been watching badgers in her garden and Esme is lucky enough to see hedgehogs. Some of the children have been doing some super writing about their Wildlife Watching this week too.

Well done everyone for all your outdoor learning adventures. Keep watching for almost daily 30 Days Wild Activities - now I am in the woods, they may not be daily but if you look back in the Class Stream, you will find plenty of ideas to try. Have a look at the photos to see what everyone has been up to.


Tawny Owl returned to the woods this week to begin preparing for our Year One sessions which began on Friday. She opened the shed to have a little sort out and put a few things away, only to discover that in our absence wasps had decided that this was a lovely space to build a nest!

It was very beautifully made but not in a good place for us, so we organised for Paul Marshall to come and remove it for us. Have a look at the pictures to see what he was wearing to protect himself from being stung. Thankfully, we are now safe from stings in this particular place.

The woodland is looking very beautiful and it was very peaceful without the children!

Tawny Owl spotted that Bumble Bees are nesting in the Silver Birch Bird box by  the tree bog - have a look at the video from our year one visit to watch them. 


Great excitement for year one this week as we went back to the woods!

Bubble A enjoyed their first day in the woods on Friday. We had a lovely, relaxing day and had so much fun with our learning. We spent the day acclimatising and getting to know each other again. Tawny Owl really enjoyed watching the children and planning the next few sessions from her observations.

We all enjoyed a Fish and Chip lunch, and even danced along with the rest of the school/s in the Federation Funk (see the newsletter and the Forest School video below). We had lovely weather and lots of fun. Have a look at the video below to see what they got up to.




Wildlife Watching and Art

Submitted by tawnyowl on Friday, June 12, 2020 - 15:54

The children have been busy again this week, taking part in 30 Days Wild.

Louis, Rowan, Ollie, Beau and Evie created some beautiful pieces of artwork from natural materials and Amelia C made some delicious looking Elderflower Cordial. Joseph, Evelyn-Rose and Freddie looked at some webcams to observe sea birds, Roseate Terns and Osprey. Finley also enjoyed watching the starlings in his garden eating the bird picnic he had made for them. Hollie's plants are growing well, and Zachary found a beautiful toad.

I think you'll agree that we have very talented children in our school.

Next week, Year One (Miss Wilford's Bubble) will be returning to Forest School on Friday. I am so excited, as I know many of the children are too, so I look forward to sharing true Forest School activities with you next weekend.

30 Days Wild

Submitted by tawnyowl on Friday, June 5, 2020 - 10:42

What a busy week! We have been taking part in the Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild this week. The children have been exploring grass, sand and mud in bare feet, searching for creepy crawlies, making daisy chains and cloud watching.

In Science, they have been exploring Colour In Nature - learning about how we see colour and how plants and animals use colour to benefit them. Some children continue to keep Tawny Owl in touch with how their gardens are coming on.

Tawny Owl visited our Forest School area yesterday and was delighted to find many exciting things - not least that although we have really missed being in the woods, the wood has really benefitted from Lockdown and has become an even better habitat for wild things while we have been away. She spotted blue-tits and great-tits nesting, as well as wrens, pigeons, and magpies. There were various species of bee buzzing in the buttercups and foxgloves, and the nettles were also busy with invertebrates. Squirrels pottered about (seemingly unbothered by her presence). All was quiet (apart from the noise of birds and insects), and Tawny Owl found it an amazing and healing experience.

Have a look at the amazing record of everyone's learning in the photos as well as a short video of Tawny Owl's visit to the woods. There is also a video which James made of his Colours in Nature Learning.

Hollie has made a beautiful and very interesting Nature Table today for #30dayswild.



Magic Wands and Nests

Submitted by tawnyowl on Friday, May 15, 2020 - 09:35

Another week of fabulous outdoor learning.

Tawny Owl set 2 new challenges this week for Forest School and the children have enjoyed making magic wands as well completing previous suggested activities such as shelters and nests. Many of the children have been again looking closely at the habitats in their gardens and have created some amazing maps. Some children are really enjoying their bird watching too. The nature rainbows continue to arrive too - indeed we had a fruit rainbow this week! Delicious!

Emily has also been foraging and making delicious wild garlic pesto.

Nests and Rainbows

Submitted by tawnyowl on Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 11:38

Great learning in the outdoors again this week.

The younger children have been creating natural rainbows and shelters, while children across the school have been looking at their outdoor spaces and the habitats that are there.

There has been more bird watching, and research into the animals they find as well as shelter building and also lots of gardening.

In between repsonding to your posts on Google Classroom, Tawny Owl has also been closely watching the blue-tits in her nest box (7 out of 8 hatched at the weekend and the parent birds are busy feeding). She has created a hedgehog house in her garden and has been visiting school during the evenings with Clive to do some renovation on our beautiful but very elderly willow structure. 

Well done everyone for continuing to enjoy the great outdoors.


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