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Newburn Manor Primary School

Learning together, growing together

Group 1

A Lucky Find 11/10/23

As I was looking for some resources last night I found a whole bunch of wooden skewers and some cotton wool discs. That got me thinking that I have not had a toasted marshmallow in quite a while and so I visited the shop in preparation for today.

Early this morning, I spotted a fox cub darting into one of the bushes in our Forest School site. I was curious was it a fox cub or was it a cat. Unfortunately, it was too quick to spot but when we went out as a group we had an explore into the bushes. We had to put our hoods up to protect ourselves from the brambles and twigs. The evidence was inconclusive as although we could follow the path quite away it did not lead to a burrow.

When we got to the Forest School centre we split into two groups. One went off exploring with Miss Luke, whilst the other group stayed with me to make a fire. Using fire steels is very hard and small fires a difficult to get going but most children did get to make some lovely sparks. When the fire was going everyone put on fire gloves and waited their turn to toast the marshmallow. A lot of the mallows were burnt rather than toasted, they still got eaten any way. There were enough left over to plonk one in our hot drinks for those who wanted one.

There was even time for a bit of hammering before we absolutely had to go in for dinner.

Epic Adventure Time 04/10/23

I would like to say a big thanks to our student photographer today, they did a great job getting a lot of interesting photos of all the things we were doing.

I have not been down to the bottom of the field for a long time. We decided it was time for an adventure. We set off full of hope but the brambles fought us back. Not to be thwarted we went to get the sticks that we started last week. These proved to be excellent at whacking brambles out of the way. We had to watch out for boa constrictors, hostile tribes and jungle swamps. We all made it to the mountain slope. Luckily, we found some rope that we could use to climb the slope. It was hard but we all survived.

When we were back at our camp some of us wanted to make our sticks awesome. The sticks needed to be sanded smooth. We got the paint and glitter out and decorated them to make them look fabulous. Other children wanted to go adventuring again. You would not think it was possible in our small school site but we got totally lost and climbed the wrong mountain slope. We had some good navigators in our expedition and they got us home.

Would you believe we still had time for tree climbing, hammock time and finding fox scat! Everyone enjoyed a drink and a snack or two, to keep us going. The sticks are drying but should be ready to take home next week.

Willow Sticks 27/09/2023

We are lucky that about 10 years ago the school parent association planted out a lot of willow trees. Now we have a huge supply of sticks to cut and work with. What is good about willow is that as long as we never take too much the willow will keep on growing giving us more branches that are perfect for cutting and turning into interesting things.

I have made myself a walking staff, which I enjoy taking to Forest School with me some of the children like having a go with it too. 15 children waiting to have a go one staff is a bit boring so we decided to make a staff for those who wanted a go. You can’t just cut out the thick bit so the bendy part at the top could also be turned into bows. You can see the size of the branches that the children could cut down - they were huge!

I love peeling the bark off willow it comes off in very satisfying strips. If you are careful you can turn this into cordage. We had some backup string just in case. Whilst some children wanted to work on their sticks, others were happy to play on the trim trail or go on the hammocks. The branches were so huge that some children liked the experience of trying to carry the thing upright. It was great to then let them swoosh down to the ground. This became a game to see if you could catch another branch under yours. I like the way that activities can evolve from one thing to another.

We still had time for a drink and snack as well as finishing the session with some circle games.

Leaf Print Making 20/09/23

I looked towards the east and the day looked lovely but then I turned to the west and there was a very ominous sky. I decided to put the tarp up just in case. It was lovely under the tarp as you could see all the imprints of the leaves. This gave me an idea.

We got some rollers, paint, brushes and some paper. We collected different leaves form all the trees, painted the leaf and then rolled the leaf under some paper. The prints turned out great but you had to be careful not to roll the paper everywhere.

I put up some hammocks under the old trees. It was sheltered there even if it rained. We met the forest animal puppets there too. Renard the fox was very naughty and wanted to chase around. The children helped sort things out so that the other animals were safe. The old trees are also great for having a climb on.

Add in some snacks and drink and time for circle games you can see that we had a busy morning. Do you know what it only rained hard as we were going in to have our lunch.

A Sticky Session 13/09/23

We had a lovely start to our first session at forest school. It was good to see that the children came prepared for the day. We did loan out some boots as although it turned out to be a lovely day at the start, the grass on the field was incredibly wet. Boots also make a tremendous stomp in the wooden classroom where we get changed so we did spend a bit of time being dinosaurs.

It seems to have been a great year for blackberries. I guess a combination of lots of rain and warm weather has led to lots of plump berries. What better way to use them than make some Jam to try and share. Everyone helped in in picking them, some manged to bring back more than others as quite a few got eaten between the bush and the pot! We got enough, however, to make 5 jars of jam. We also tried to make some blackberry jelly, but that didn’t goa s well. When we tried to strain the mush from the juice it spilt everywhere. This attracted a few wasps so after eating our jam sandwiches we went out to climb on the trim trail and balance on the low rope.

We still had time at the end of the session to play some circle games and sing our Forest School song. I wonder what the children will want to do next week. Let us hope there are fewer wasps.