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Newburn Manor Primary School

Learning together, growing together

Group 2

Camping in the Cold 06/12/23

My weather app said that it would be mild and misty today, how wrong could it be. If anything, I am sure that it was colder than last week and with this in mind we made the decision to keep on site. By doing so if any child became super chilled we could com into school to keep warm.

I wanted to make some pine cone christmas decorations so the first job was to go and look for some pine cones. We then went to get some good long branches as it was so cold we thought we might need to make some extra shelter.

When we got back to the outside classroom we put up some extra shelters. There was some great team work with children helping each other. In amongst the tarps some spiders had tried to find a quite place to spend the winter. One was huge! We put that one back behind a cardboard box in the other room, I hope it doesn’t climb into the welly boots.

After a hot drink and a snack in our shelter we started to make our decorations. There was some great creativity with lots of use of glitter. They were not dry at the end of the session but will be ready by Thursday.

That was the last Forest School session for year 1 so we came in a bit early to reflect upon al the things that we had done. A thing that really struck me is how quickly we go from late summer to winter. When we started Forest School there were green leaves on the trees!

Tree Climbing and Fairy Doors 29/11/23

Brrrr. A cold morning for our Forest School session today. I was pleased to see children coming with hats and gloves. I put on two pairs of socks to try and keep my feet warm in my wellies. I find that wellies are great at keeping feet dry but rubbish at keeping them warm. I could tell that some children found this to be true too. To keep everyone moving about we tried different things today.

To start our session, we went up to the climbing tree. I love the dene but because there are a lot of mature trees there, there are not a lot to climb on. As well as the climb tree we set up a swing and had a great time playing skittles with people.

After we ran down the bank, climbed up the shortcut and slid down the slope by the time we reached the Forest School area it was time to get a hot drink and a snack. It was lovely to sit in the woods and have a drink to warm us up.

We carried on further into the dene. I had heard that there might be a fairy door or two to find. We had to cross several bridges but we found a huge door that we could fit inside. The door even had mushrooms inside. If only we had remembered to bring some ash keys we might have been able to unlock the fairy door – how cool would that have been?

When we got back to school we saw an amazing site. A goshawk had just caught a pigeon! We are so lucky to have nature like this in our own field. We had to be super quiet so we did not disturb the raptor as there were many magpies and a crow lining up to pounce down. We crept past. Mrs. Heslop said that the goshawk was still feeding nearly an hour later!

Finding a Tree in a Forest 22/11/23

I am beginning to wonder when the cold weather is going to arrive. I know I should be happy with the mild weather but at the moment it just seems everything is a soggy mush. We do get very muddy.

This week the horses were not in the field so no stop to say hello. We still seemed to take a good while to get to our Forest School site. It must have been all the crazy fun we were having running down slopes and then trying to climb back up.

When we got the site, I thought it would be fun to try and use senses other than sight to find different trees. We got into pairs, with one person putting on a blindfold the other person led their partner to a tree then led them back to the start. The blindfolded person then had to take off the blindfold and try and identify the tree. It was great to see the different things that led the children to find their tree. It was also good to see how the children looked after each other so that no one tripped or fell.

After a snack and drink we split into groups with some people crafting with Mrs. Heslop, others playing with the rope, some making leaf angels and a couple who wanted to chill in the hammocks. All too soon it was time to stop and have our reflective time. The dene is a beautiful place to be quite and listen. Unfortunately, we had had such a good time that we had to rush back to school so that we were not too late for our lunch.

High Water 15/11/23

It was so nice to see blue sky this morning rather than the grey that we have been getting for the last few weeks. Mind you the path down to the dene was very muddy and the ground in the Dene was soaked through.

We had a lovely walk into the dene and met some new friends. There were a group of ponies in a field that came to say hello to us. We went to say hello to them. There was a foal and some tiny Shetland ponies there. They looked quite soggy.

When we got to the dene I was amazed by the force of the stream it was a raging torrent. Normally we go and throw stones or sticks in but it was running far to quickly for that. We did go and look at the damn, though. It was at the far bridge. The water was nearly overflowing the bridge on one side whilst the other side was at a normal level. It is astonishing how a few branches can cause such a blockage.

We were able to put out some hammocks today and the children enjoyed playing in them. Other children wanted to lay on the steep slope with the rope. That was great fun as the slope was incredibly slidey which led to much laughter and slipping. I liked how the leaves had turned into an amazing array of gold and brown and wanted to do some more leaf art, some of the children joined in and we made a sun, then a fish and finally a duck picture.

After a drink and a snack, we had time to have some quite reflection in the peace of the woods. Each child found a spot the could sit quietly in and we spent about five minutes listening to the sound of the wood. I was delighted to se some tree creepers bobbing up a trunk.

Dene Adventures 08/11/23

It was time to step out from the school grounds and explore other sites we can use for Forest School. The dene provides a fantastic environment with a lot of materials at hand if we want to use them. This week it was enough to find a new Forest School site and explore it fully.

I love the walk down to the site and it provides a great opportunity for casual learning. We stopped at the ash tree to throw ash key helicopters. We wondered why there were so many on the tree. Other trees still had leaves on, why were those shiny? You can imagine that such a walk might take longer than you would think.

Going into the dene we made sure that we had a lot of practice running down slopes. We tested to see how easy it was to stop. It is hard when you are speeding down a hill to stop straight away. Luckily there are some great helpers in the group that stopped people from speeding away too much.

When we arrived at the Forest School site we played some hide and seek games, climbing and camp craft skills. The later was important as it started to rain so we had to quickly put or tarp shelter. This provided a great place to have our hot drink and snack. There was just time for some circle games and a song before we had to pull the trolley all the way back to school.

Many children love splashing in the puddles. With all the rain we have been having there were plenty about. The school lent some sock to those that forgot to pack spares. Please make sure that your child has a full replacement kit for Forest School days as we do go out in nearly every type of weather.

Welcome to Forest School 25/10/23


It is always a pleasure to start Forest School with a new group. One of the first tasks is to remind everyone about the Forest School rules, there are only three; look after yourself, look after each other and look after the forest. With that discussed we set out for an explore around the site. You would not believe how many adventures you can have within the school fence. I am sure that there might have been boa constrictors in the trees or though it might have been just a bit of trippy bramble trying to catch me out. Part of the adventure was to climb up a bank, we had to use rope to get up the tricky bit.

Can you believe all of that was before we even got to the Forest School site!  When we got there, we looked at ways to join wood. Most of the children chose to use some nails. There were many different nails to choose from, the best to use seemed to be the smaller ones as they went in much easier than the big or thicker ones.

Whilst some children were making, others were having fun climbing trees and using the hammocks. After we had swapped around so everyone got a turn it seemed like a good idea to have a break for a snack and a drink. The children decided that they would like to go on the explorer’s trail again. Now that they new the way they were could explore more by themselves. Some children managed to go by me twice before it was time to pack up and sing our Forest School song.