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Newburn Manor Primary School

Learning together, growing together

group 1

Down a Hole 19/10/22

We set off in good time today on our last trip to the dene. I was a bit worried about the grey sky but most of the rain had passed by the time we were venturing out. We found a huge hunting spider before we left so needed to find a good spot for him to hide in.

On the way down to the dene there is a field with a lot of bracken in that makes a great spot for hiding children in. I had hoped that the nettles would have died off a bit to let the children play hunting spider (hide and seek) amongst the bracken. Unfortunately, there was just too much and we had to abandon that game. This did give us a bit more time to investigate the badger set to the left of the path down to the dene. On previous occasions we have found evidence of badgers living there. We looked into the main hole and it does look freshly used but we didn’t find and fur around the set this time.

When we got to the dene we put up some hammocks while others went to play rope adventure. Inspired by the badger set we played a game where the children had to work in pairs to lead each other around the dene. One would be blind folded and the other child would have to guide their partner. It was a good game for building trust and co-operation.

After our hot chocolate we played another badger game where the badger had to find some worms to eat. One child was in the middle of the circle blindfolded they then had to try and identify the ‘worm’ they caught by just feel alone.

I like the way that in Forest School the games that we play often reflect on the things of interest that we have found that session.

We finished the day with a quite reflection. To breath in and relax in our lovely dene is always a treat. One child noticed that the birds had stopped singing. What a thoughtful observation and a good sign of the season to come.

Mud Adventures 05/10/22

With the coming of October we could definitely feel a change in the weather. It had rained in the night and all the berries looked bright and fresh. We found rosehips, hawthorn and some cultivar of rowan which were especially bright. They make a dramatic contrast to the fading leaves that are becoming more prevalent as the season progresses. We se this change as we walk past the oak trees on the way to the dene. Instead of many green acorns now most are brown and have lost their caps.

After a muddy walk down to the Forest School site we had a great game of Fox and Chicken. We use this to help identify the different trees I the dene. This week we were (unsurprisingly,) looking at oak trees with their crinkled bark. It was a great game and we changed it several times to make it even more exciting.

The muddy bank was a big draw to some children so they took some ropes and had great fun sliding and climbing. I was very excited by all the acorns and had brought some hacksaws and palm drills to see what we could make. I could only think to create a man, as usual the children out shone my creativity and came up with ideas to make bees, dogs and whole raft of ideas.

It was still quite rainy so sometimes we had to shelter under the tarp rather than sit on it! Instead of having our quite reflection time I thought that it would be better to play some circle games and keep warm.

The school has bought some new water-proof trousers as sometimes it does get very muddy when we go on adventures. I like the way that the trousers started out so bright but within just a couple of hours they had turned quite a different colour. Please make sure that your child has old clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy when they come to Forest School.

Acorn People Everywhere 28/09/22

It was our first trip to the dene today. I wondered how wet it was gong to be but of course it turned out lovely. We go to Forest School no matter what the weather so a change of clothes and wellie boots are essential.

We practiced ‘dog angels’ before we went and it was a good job that we had as we met several dogs upon the way, one was a very sniffy labrador but every child stood in dog angels perfectly and the dog soon moved on.

We passed an oak tree and underneath we piles and piles of acorns, some of them still had their hats on and were green. These make excellent craft material so we scooped a lot up and put them away for later.

It took us a good while to get to our Forest School spot. I get easily distracted by all the things we can see the walk down. The ivy is just beginning to flower so was alive with all manner of flies, wasps and bees. We spent time looking at the different insects.

When we got to our Forest School site some children wanted to play with the ropes whilst others wanted to craft their acorn people. I thought they looked great. Right at the end I remembered that I had packed the palm drills but there was no more time left to see what we could do with them, maybe next week.

We finished the session with some quite reflection. When everyone is still and quite the natural sounds of the dene become much more noticeable and as the quite descends a peace surrounds us all. I must admit to the reflective time being one of my favourite activities we do at Forest School.

Nature Walk 21/09/22


I was quite excited today as we found evidence of more animals than the usual rabbits. We used our powers of observation looking for evidence and signs, the biggest clue was the toilet litter. The children came up trumps with evidence of foxes and hedgehogs. I have seen foxes about and the odd tuft of fur where they had last had their meal but hedgehogs are new to me. They have rapidly declined in population over the last few years. With the loss of habitat and food source some estimates suggest that their numbers might have declined by 75%! I guess with the improving habitat that we have been creating more worms, slugs and snails will have stated coming onto the school site, that is what might be bringing the hedgehogs back.

On our walk we found some shaggy ink cap mushrooms. Although edible thy are much more fun if you smoosh them up and make ink out of them. We tried to find more but unfortunately there was just the one. It only made a little black stain so we got out the paints instead. We used the wood to make all sorts of things and then paint them in bright colours. They should be ready to come home soon, as soon as they are dry.

We still had time for a drink and a snack before we played a game of Oggle Poggle and sung the Forest school song. We sung it again as though we were cats, then again as though we were penguins and yet again as though we were rabbits. We have a lot of fun at Forest school.

Jamming at Newburn 14/09/22

It was good to be taking a group out to Forest School after the summer break. This week I wanted to see if we could use up some of the blackberries, it has been such a bumper year it seemed a shame not to. We picked lots and lots; enough to make three jars of delicious blackberry jam. We used one jar to make sandwiches to have at snack time. Even those children who were reticent to try the jam said it was tasty.

We had some blackberries left so made some cool pirate flags with them. Other children went to play in the trees with the hammocks whilst another group did some hammering. What a busy group of children.

I think we will spend next week on the school site. We will probably do more painting with blackberries. Please could children ware clothes that no one minds getting blackberry stains on.