The Long March 4/12/19
The last time for this group in Forest School. I had a lot of different activities planned and hoped to get to our Forest School centre with all haste. Interesting things and games got in the way; who would have guessed we would find a horses toe nail, ear fungus and a place to play wold and chickens all on the walk down.
Mrs. Hesslop had pushed the boat out with the hot chocolate today and the children could choose to add mini marshmallows and whipped cream if they wanted! After that you can imagine that there wasn't much time left for making, however we did get a chance to saw some logs and decorate the trees with clay and leaves.
The way that the children have grown in confidence and their willingness to have a go has made the last 6 weeks go far to quickly and I look forward to see the children again in year 2.
Slugs and Puppets 27/11/19
It was very hard pulling the trolly through the mud today, but eventually we made it to our base in the dene after our customary stop to play wolf and chickens in the bracken.
The children were interested in making some Forest School puppets. We had a wide variety of creations. I liked the ones where the children had used the tape to decorate the puppet. Other children wanted to finish carving some sticks so we got some tools out and the safety gloves. While we were there we got out the bow saw to cut some larger logs up. These make great circles that can be used to make all sorts of things. I think we might carry on with this next week.
I put some hammocks and although the day was misty it was still nice to have a sit in one and look at all the activity. It was so nice in fact that I thought it would be nice to finish our session by trying to just listen to the sounds of our wonderful Forest School dene.
Clay Creations 20/11/19
“Its the not the Destination, It's the journey.” I have found out that was written by an American called Ralph Waldo Emerson. I think that this is very apt for our trip to the dene for Forest School. The children are so engaged in the environment that we often find lots of things to do even before we get to our space n the dene. On our walk down to the dene this week we had; looked for apples, found 'frog eyes', watched a horse, played hungry wolf and the chickens, kicked leaves, jumped in leaves, used some rope, thought about making fences, jumped the highest ,taken a long short cut and then made some fantastic leaf angels. The way that Forest School allows time for children to explore their own imagination is certainly one of the highlights for me.
When we did get to our space we used clay to make tree decorations. Others worked on making big leaf patterns. After a while the clay got slippy and wet. It feels lovely molding wet clay so children started to use the it to make small models. When these are a bit more dry the children will be able to take them home.
After hot chocolate and a snack the pens were brought out for anyone who wanted to make a 'Mr. Leaf'.
With two more sessions left it is great to see how the children are enjoying their time in the woods.
Dens and Nests 13/11/19
For the first time we found ice on the puddles today, not much but enough to pick up. It was fun looking through the ice. The mud was almost frozen so it made pushing the trolley very difficult but with good team work the children managed it. With the hard frost the ticks that might live in the bracken will have died so we were able to use the area for a great game of hide and seek.
When we were walking down to the dene there were lots and lots of leaves so all the children worked to collect as many as they could and made a huge pile of leaves that they could then jump into. One of the children commented that it was like a huge nest.
When we got to the Forest School site we did some nest building for ourselves. We had some furry soft toy birds and made lots of different kinds of nests for them and even a great big feeding station. Look at the variety of 'nests' that the children came up with in the pictures; it was fantastic.
Arty Leaves 06/10/19
Autumn has definitely shifted up a gear. I could feel a definite nip in the air this morning. The leaves in the dene are now spectacular; rich golds, burnt browns and even some pale green leaves left.
After a very muddy walk down and a quick detour to see a water fall we arrived at out Forest School site inspired by all the colours. I thought it would be nice to make some colour sticks using all the different leaves, some children made some great Forest School sticks. Others though got inspired in a different way. They cleared a patch around a tree and then started to use the leaves to make intricate patterns.
To make the sticks the children needed to have their first experience of using tools. At Forest School tool use is an important part of the pupil’s learning. The children had to prepare their sticks using a bark peeler. They had to make sure that they wore a glove on the correct hand, held the tool in the right manner and they had to make sure they were a safe distance away from other tool users. It was a good working session.
Buzzards Abound 23/10/19
What a great first day at Forest School for the new group; the sun came out, there was lots of things to do and everyone had a smashing time.
We had a pleasant walk down to the dene collecting bits and pieces as I thought it would be nice to use some of the lovely coloured leaves to make some things. We had to clear a large branch out of the way so that the trolley could get down the path. Just as we came to the camp area we heard a screech from above. The children thought it might be an owl but I recognised the sound and sure enough flying above the trees was a huge buzzard. We tried to call to it like another buzzard and would you believe we got an answer, not from just the one but in the end there were 4 of them! I understand that buzzards will often feed of carrion. One of the children had a plan to go and try and find what the birds were feeding of. We set of on an adventure.
We climbed a hill and found an old fallen tree, it was full of amazing jelly fungus. It was just like squishy jelly it felt very slimy. The birds wouldn’t feed of the fungus so we travelled further up the hill where there were more fallen logs. These had lots of woodlice and slugs inside them. We never did find what the birds were feeding on as it was then time to have a drink, biscuit and come back to school.