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Newburn Manor Primary School

Learning together, growing together

Group 2

Final Harrah for Dog Logs 19/04/23

The week before the Easter break the children had said that they felt that there was not enough time to finish their dog logs. We made a special effort this week to make sure that everyone who wanted to make a dog log got the chance.

We all rushed down to the dene only stopping to make crowns out of ‘Sticky Jack’ and to play ‘Sticky Jack Attack’. We arrived with over an hour to get everything done. I showed the children the bow saw and went through a tool talk to make sure that it would be used correctly and the children would be safely positioned. We don’t use play tools so it is vital that the tools are treated with respect. Gosh there was a lot of sawing!

Instead of drilling holes, this week we tried to nail the wheels to the wood. I thought this might work better and be a bit easier than drilling, which is hard with hand tools. I am not sure it was a great success, but it was easier.

There was still some time to tackle the mighty slope of DOOOOOOOM! It was pretty scary but all who wanted to have a go did and everyone lived to tell the tale.

Forest School Trumpet Band

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Taking the Shortcut

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Wild with Garlic 29/03/23

I could not ignore the smell of garlic in the dene anymore so this week we were going to use some. We travelled to our Forest School site as quickly as we could although the emergence of Cleavers (Sticky Jack) slowed us down as we made a few tails and hats.

We did not want any garlic where dogs walk so we had to cross over the stream and walk up the bank to find a patch of fresh wild garlic. Being careful not to stray from a narrow path we climbed into a huge bunch and carefully picked a few leaves from each stem. We placed these into a bag. We have not been into this area before so we spent some time exploring.

When we got back to our site we made some wild garlic pesto. I wanted to put a little squeeze of lemon juice in, the children liked smashing and smooshing the ingredients too much so a whole lemon got smooshed up. It made the dip very tart indeed. We had a drink and double snack to help get the taste out of our mouths.

Thankyou to Mrs. Heslop for taking 100 pictures this week!

Fun in the Sun 22/03/23

What a lovely day. We spent a long time walking down into the dene today. It was so lovely to feel the warmth of the spring equinox that we lingered playing Fox and chickens in the bracken longer than we usually do. In the end we broke away, mainly because I wanted to do some sawing.

Once we had ran down the breathless hill, looked into the badger’s set and slipped down sliding slope we arrived at the Forest School site. We set up the hammocks in the sun so that we could have a chill and a swing. Once that was done I was able to get the saw out in case anyone wanted to do some sawing. There were some children who wanted too so we made some dog logs. The children were very imaginative in their creations. I think there might be more made next week.

After a drink and snack we had our quite time sitting in a sun spot and let the dene talk to us of spring time and warmer days to come. I am so pleased that our frost wands worked so well.

Frost Wands for Warm Weather 14/03/23

Another cold start, or so I thought. The sun came out and warmed the day. It almost felt spring like. I packed the hammocks and the crafting things as the day felt warmer than it was supposed to. We stopped by Bonny (the horse) and found out that her friend had spent the night in the stables. We watched as they were reintroduced to each other and ran around their field. They were pleased to be back together again.

When we were in the dene we could not believe what had happened to the stream. It had changed colour. We could not see the bottom of the water as there was so much sediment stirred up after all the rain the previous day. I was pleased we had a bridge to cross otherwise we would have been stuck.

At the Forest School site, we looked at the sticks we had collected for our spring wands. The children cleaned off the bark and decorated them ready to make a spring spell, as we are all fed up of Jack Frost nipping at our toes and pinching our noses. They turned out really well with lots of different designs.

Whilst the children were working with Mrs. Heslop I put up some hammocks to play in. I have to test them to see if they can hold my weight, I was not having a little rest myself – honest. I then got the rope out just in case any child wanted to play ‘rope adventure’.

On the way back to school everyone had great fun in the puddles. The best puddle was the last one it was huge and made a great big splash when you ran through it.

What happened to the Wishing Tree? 08/03/23

On a day when Jack Frost is nipping at our fingers and toes, it is important for everyone to keep moving as much as possible. I changed the plans completely and left the hammocks and crafting materials behind and made sure that we had plenty of rope, snacks and hot drinks for we were going adventuring.

First stop the frozen puddles of the Millfield Lane. They have not been full before as when we have had cold weather it had not rained in while, this time they were perfect. Great big puddles to slide and dance on. Where they cracked we moved to a shallower part. The ice was so slippy it was great fun.

Next was a quick game of chickens and fox in the bracken. It was really too cold for a hiding game but a child really wanted to play it so we changed the rules a bit so you could move around a bit. There are so many good hiding places that the fox did not always win. I was not very good as my feet kept poking out.

Down into the dene and after having some running about along the shortcut we had an early hot drink and snack so that we would have something warm inside us. It was then off to the wishing tree to try and banish Jack Frost. It is quite a climb and scramble. I was surprised to see how many trees had fallen to block the path. Saddest of all the Wishing Tree had fallen down so we could not make our wish. However, the tree is a great big beech tree and it made a fantastic climbing tree to scramble all over.

By the time we had climbed back down the bank to the trolley it was just about time to come back to school. We did not go to our quite spots today as sitting still for 5 minutes would have been freezing, so we reviewed all the things that we had done today in a circle before singing the Forest School song.

Woodland Animal Shelters 01/03/23

A new group is always exciting to take down to the dene as one never knows exactly how the pupils are gong to react. I know that the children are always going to bring their own interests to Forest School but often they are very diverse.

This week we did not stop at the horses or call to the dogs and because of the weather we did not play in the bracken. We walked straight to the dene. We did have time to play on the mud slope short cut and we did find some burrows that looked interesting.

Whilst I put up a shelter Mrs. Heslop played a game that some of the children had remembered from last year. It got everyone warm pretty quickly. The shelter was up just in time for the rain to start again so we got out the woodland puppets and told stories and just as the stories stopped so did the rain. That was great timing as the children then set about making hiding places for the animals so that the naughty fox (Renard) could not put them in his pot! The rabbit found a wooden shelter, squirrel climbed high in a tree, Hedgehog built a wall of stones and logs and the mole used camouflage to hide behind some prickly holly. That time the fox went hungry, although I think he stole a snack from me as I only had one to eat.

After a hot drink and our snack there was just time for quiet reflection and a circle game before we had to come home. Splashing in all the puddles was great fun.