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Newburn Manor Primary School

Learning together, growing together

Group 1

“Slip Sliding Away” in the Dene 08/06/2022


The Heavens opened this morning. I wondered what sort of a session we would have. We will always try and get out, the only weather we can not manage is when it is very windy. I took a long an extra tarpaulin just in case.

By the time I had made sure that everyone had good water proof clothes on the rain had stopped and so we actually had a pretty dry session. I did put up a shelter, just in case. We had a lovely time walking down to the dene, playing with ‘sticky jack’, finding snails and investigating what is inside cuckoo spit. It was very interesting to find the wee beetle inside all that spit. We became very good at spotting more.

When we got to the dene some children went on a short cut to get to the bridge, others walked the long way but were soon playing on the bank side. It is great to run down, you go very fast. Instead of staying in one spot, today we walked further into the dene looking for fairy doors. We found several one was big enough that I could fit inside. Throwing stones into the swollen stream was also good fun. There was a lot of water in it so it made a very satisfying plop noise that sometimes managed to splash everyone.

After a warming drink and a snack, we thought about the things that we had been doing over the last few weeks. Then we headed off through the puddles arriving back to school just in time for our lunch.

Adventures in the Dene 25/05/22

What a start to the day. I looked inside a boot and saw a small ball. Wht is that? I picked it out and to my surprise a wasp had started to make her nest inside a boot. Well of course we had to have a look. The nest broke as soon as I touched it but inside was the brood chamber with the grubs and some cells with caps on. Would you believe the grubs were still moving! I guess they were hungry. We looked inside one of the closed cells and could see a young wasp, not quite ready to hatch. The queen must have been away foraging for food. When she sees her nest gone she will find a better nest site than a boot! I found the whole experience incredible; being able to look inside a wasp nest and not get stung.

This week we were off to the dene. I love the walk down there and this week was no exception. We found sticky jack (cleavers) which we had great fun trying to stick on each other. We saw some horses but they didn’t come and say hello. Everyone was very good at taking turns pulling the trolley.

In the dene we set up a rope for a rope adventure down a slope. Children could choose this or have a swing in the hammocks. Of course, we had some drink and a snack. There was also time to listen to all the birds around us and the stream passing by. We had to duck under cover when it started to rain but it soon cleared up so we tidied up and left for school. The children we very quick at getting back so we had time to have a game of cherry tree tag before needing to get changed for dinner.

Inside a Wasp Nest

Still image for this video
This very small nest was started by a queen wasp inside a boot. None of her larva have hatched yet. She will start a new nest, hopefully in a better place.

May Blossom 18/05/22

What a glorious day to be outside. I can feel the power in the sunshine now, so include some sun cream in your Forest School pack so everyone is kept sun safe. We used the sun to make rainbows. They worked much better than I imagined and we were able to spot the different colours. To our surprise there wasn’t any pink in the rainbow!

We then went and looked at the Forest school area. It is looking fabulous. It is difficult to believe that just five years ago there were only twigs planted. Now the children can hide under the trees. We played a game where the children had to stop the bird from getting to the cherries. We found that the bark on the cherry tree has lines that go across and the bark is quite smooth.

As there was so much blossom on the hawthorn (may blossom) we were able to cut a little to make May crowns so that we could sing a May song and have May kings and queens. I think they looked great but some of them were a bit spikey.

I went an put up some hammock in the cool wood. There are some good climbing trees there too, so some children came and had fun playing in that area. We swung, hung out, made stick art and climbed until it was time to finish our session with some singing and playing circle games. Mr. Pickup was able to come out and join us too, which was nice.

Exploring the Forest School Site 04/05/22

What an adventure we went on today. The children discovered many things around our Forest School site. For a start there were the rabbits. Sometimes we can see the rabbits in the field but today, despite looking in some good rabbit hiding spots, we could only find the evidence of rabbits. Where there are rabbits there is bound to be foxes. Sure enough, we found the very smelly evidence that a fox had been in the field. We could even see that the fox had been eating something with fur on!

We split into two groups one had a go under the trees in the hammock whilst the other group worked with me. The children who were with me did several jobs. The grass needed to be tidied up, a den had to be built and some flower hats got made. You can see that everyone kept very busy so after a bit we had to stop to get our breath back. That is always a good time for some lovely hot chocolate and a biscuit, it certainly gets me through the day. Of course, after that we swapped over groups. This time the children wanted to do something a bit different so we got some hammers out and did some nailing together of wood – watch you don’t hit the wrong nail!

Can you believe on top of all this we learnt a Forest School song, and played a game of ‘Oggle Poggle’!