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Newburn Manor Primary School

Learning together, growing together

Group 1

Wild Times 14/02/24

Oh no our last session! How did that happen? Although it has been wet I would call the weather low cloud rather than actual rain. It was wet enough to stop us playing the fox and chicken game as the ground was saturated.

When we got to the Forest School site we went on a rope adventure. We were on a search for wild garlic. I did not want to pick much but was keen to get some well away from any footpaths so the leaves would be edible with minimal preparation. We learnt the identifying features of the leaf and went off exploring. We had impossible slopes to climb, raging ravines to cross and I am sure I might have seen a bear we had to avoid. We arrived at a suitable site and picked a dozen leaves for our recipe.

Back at the Forest School site we mushy mushied the leaves with some soft cheese to make a garlic cheese and put the paste inside a pita bread. Whilst some children did that others were busy making a fire. When we make fires in the dene we are very careful to follow our Forest School rules so that everyone and the forest is safe. We toasted the pitta bread to make a lovely hot snack to have with our drink.

We made sure that there was enough time to reflect upon our Forest School sessions. It is lovely to see the children being able to breath slowly within the dene and take time to appreciate the environment that they are in.

What a Fungi! 07/02/24

A cold start today so we made sure everyone had gloves and a hat before we stepped out. On the way we said hello to the horses, they seem to like having a sniff at us all. Since it was so cold we were able to have a play in the bracken. (It is reliant on the cold weather as once it starts getting warm nettles and brambles start to grow through the undergrowth.) It makes a great environment to play fox and rabbits.

We made it down to the Forest School site where we all started to make wooden sticks. I was surprised I thought the children would want to do a variety of activities. We all got into carving the sticks. Some were made into people, others into musical instruments and then some made great magical wands. We got to use the drill and the bow saw.

Luckily Mrs. Heslop was keeping an eye on the time as I got totally absorbed in the fixing and decorating that was going on. There was time for a hot drink and a snack. Whilst we were looking after our Forest School site I found some cool fungus; I call it Giants Snot! I think it might be called Jelly roll fungus. Check out the photos as it looks totally disgusting but apparently you can eat it – no thanks.

After we found one fungus we found more. The next one was a Jelly Ear. I made sure that it was growing on an older elder tree as then I knew that this one was good eating too. When you dry it out you can add it to soups and noodles to add a lovely deep flavour. The last fungus we found was a King Alfred's Cakes. The story is that they look like the cakes that King Alfred burnt whilst hiding from the Vikings. This fungus went into my pocket too as it makes an excellent fire starter as it catches a flame well.

“If you Go Down to the Woods Today……” 31/01/23

What a lovely start to the day. I was always told that if it was a red morning then the shepherds should take warning. Not this morning at any rate.

We made pretty good time down to the dene where we met the scurrilous Renard. He is a fox who was on the look out to eat some forest animals. Luckily the children helped the animals to escape there were some great hiding places with all the animals hidden in suitable spots: A squirrel in a tree, a rabbit and a mole in a hole and some hedgehogs hiding in leaves. I wonder if you can spot them in our photos?

Whilst some children had a swing in the hammocks and others played with the rope I chose to use the drill to make some holes in branches. I love using the drill, I never know what it will turn into. This time it became a stick man. I if we will get to use the saw next week.

We were able to have a lovely quite time before we came back to school with each child going to a spot by themselves. We spent about 5 minutes just listening to the Forest and thinking about all the things that we had done.

Windy Escalation 24/01/24

With an amber warning out for wind and the storms that we have had recently there was no way we could venture into the dene. It is likely that many trees will have been weakened by the strong winds and with more due we could not take the risk of falling branches. That applies to our school site too. I could easily become despondent but after walking the site and feeling the force of the wind I had a couple of ideas.

The first thing we did was put our coats over our heads and held them up to feel the wind, that was good fun but….. I got the tarps out and tried to hold those up. They flapped and pulled against us, that was great fun but…….. I then tied some rope around the corners of the tarps to make parachutes and with those you could really feel the wind pull. I wondered if anyone could take off!

When the wind died down a bit we split the children into two groups. One group followed me into the invention shed whilst the other enjoyed making kites with Mrs. Heslop.

In the invention shed we did a lot of hammering, some sawing and even fitted in some drilling. The children like creating with the wood. One child was surprised that she started to make one thing but by the time it was finished it was something completely different. It is this development of a project that I appreciate in the Invention shed. Instead of trying to create a given object the imagination is allowed to run and fantastic things emerge from wood, plastic and metal.

When we had finished it was time for a hot drink. On the way back to the science room the other group were out flying their kites. They looked great and some flew really well. We swapped groups so that everyone got a turn, but that left little time for other games. It turned out to be a fantastic morning with lots of great outdoor fun.

Mud Fest 10/01/2024

When we started off out of the school the sun came out and the path did not look too bad. As we adventured further into the dene the mud just got more and more sticky. I suppose all that rain over the holidays has just saturated the ground. Even the horse that we met looked wet through but they still wanted to come over to say hello.

That water did make for some tremendous slides. I thought them to be much too slippy but the children found ingenious ways to travel around. When we reached the centre, we had a game that allowed the children to explore the area and get a feel for the boundaries of the places that they could go to. It started to rain again so while the children played the game again I put up a quick shelter then too escape the rain we had our hot drink and snack early.

This left time for use to then do some more shelter making and rope adventures. One of the tarps looked as though it had been rolled in mud so we thought a pig might like it so the shelters became pig houses. I wanted to play the three pigs and the wolf but to my great surprise we had run out of time! Well almost as I had spotted some very interesting scat from a roe deer. I was surprised to find the scat so close to where we make our base and wondered if we were close to where the deer hide during the day. We didn’t have time to investigate further – maybe on the 24th when we next have Forest School.