Forest School

Year 2 Forest School

Year 2’s experience of forest school took place in the second half of the Spring term, it included lots of exploring and collecting as well as contending with a variety of weather conditions.

Everyone loved looking under logs for mini-beasts, we found plenty of woodlice but wondered whether there might be different creatures to find at another time of year.

We enjoyed listening to the story Otto Blotter Bird Spotter, following on from this children were build nests  using natural materials. Some children enjoyed the additional challenge of trying to build their nests in the trees.

Using our construction skills next we moved on to making look out towers.

In maths we had been learning about pictograms so after collecting some data we again used natural materials to create pictograms.

One week we learnt all about hedgehogs and thought about their habitats. We then got very muddy creating our own hedgehog family using mud and sticks.  Some of us made some mud faces as well !

In the final sessions we learnt what type of sticks are useful for making a fire and found out how to safely add the sticks to the fire. Once we’d mastered this we were able to make a fire and use it to cook marshmallows which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Year 1’s Forest School Adventure January and February 2022

Since Christmas, Year 1  had a wonderful time at Forest School. They had to contend with some quite chilly weather and more layers of clothing gradually appeared each week. They had lots of interesting activities to do which kept them busy though and most sessions flew by.  

The children have thoroughly enjoyed their time outside and everyone threw themselves fully into each different activity.  

Here are a few highlights of our time outside.  

Lots of time was spent simply exploring the area – hunting for hidden objects, signs of Spring and materials to use.  

We also had a ‘vocabulary hunt’ – looking for items to match words on cards.  

The children learnt to tie some different knots, although this was a bit frustrating at first the children soon got the hang of it in the end and were then able to their skills in subsequent sessions. Tying a granny knot was particularly useful for making hedgehogs!  

The children were introduced to some basic tools, secateurs and hand trowels. They used secateurs to cut lengths of willow from which they made hoops for games. We had a very muddy session making imaginary creatures after digging up some mud and mixing it with water.   

The children thoroughly enjoyed a competition to see which team could make the longest leaf snake – difficult to decide the ultimate winner!  

We enjoyed a couple of sessions where we had a fire, everyone got involved collecting suitable sticks to burn. The popcorn was a particular hit, everyone agreed it was very tasty and liked eating it warm.  

We spent one session hunting for mini-beasts. Children found woodlice, centipedes, millipedes and worms. We’re hoping to return when the weather is warmer and see if we can find any other interesting creatures.  

There’s always something to do with a stick at Forest School and we have used them to make stick men and to build animal homes.  

Year 6’s Forest School Experience – November and December 2021  

During the second half of the Autumn Term Year 6 have been enjoying their Forest School time. We have been incredibly lucky and only had one afternoon where we had Storm Barra to contend with.  

As the autumn colours were so stunning the children collected some leaves and then invented an interesting variety of new colour names, partly inspired by a B and Q shade card ! Some children also created some pictures, including an amazing bird using the leaves.  

The following week we planted an array of daffodil bulbs throughout the Forest School area, let’s hope we’ll see these appearing in the spring. Children learnt about the elements need to make fire and enjoyed a tasty hot chocolate whilst singing a few songs. 

I was very impressed with the children’s team work when getting to grips with the bow saw, we soon had everyone supplied with a tree cookie and managed to cut some fire wood as well.  

 We found out the challenging way, that drilling holes in slightly damp wood is not easy ! With great perseverance using palm drills, gimlets and hand drills we eventually made some holes in the tree cookies and came up with some imaginative decorations for them.  

Having mastered various other tools it was time to have a try at whittling using a sheath knife. After cutting willow sticks using secateurs children created stick people and mice amongst other things.  

As it was getting close to Christmas and being thwarted by storm Barra, we spent a session inside making a beautiful array of Christmas decorations.  

As a finale to the sessions this half term we  celebrated with a banana feast. After stoking up a nice hot fire with plenty of embers we played a few games whilst the chocolate melted inside our bananas. A very tasty end to a fabulous few weeks with Year 6. I have been so impressed by how well they have tackled all the different activities and their creativity has been a pleasure to see.  

We have had a thoroughly enjoyable time outside together.  

Where My Wellies Take Me?

Year 5’s Forest School Adventure

Year 5 have thoroughly enjoyed their first half term of Forest School. We started by finding out who else lives in the woodland and then creating a few new additions out of clay. Of course these new invertebrates needed a shelter so these were constructed too.

The children have learned to use some tools including secateurs, a bow saw and a sheath knife for whittling. The bow saw was used to cut firewood but some children decided they would like a souvenir and took to cutting tree cookies instead – great teamwork involved in using this fearsome looking tool.

They were taught some knots including a slip knot; a little practise still required here!

A highlight of their time outside was making a fire and using it to cook baked apples – yum!

Some children developed their culinary skills further and created an Indian banquet on the mud kitchen, it looked spectacular.

The children enjoyed getting muddy and making mysterious mud faces on the trees.

They also played lots of outdoor games – ‘Vanish’ being a favourite. They enjoyed learning the traditional song – In and Out The Dusty Bluebells, getting in a bit of a tangle with the actions.

All in all we have had great time enjoying being outside, discovering our natural environment and learning new skills. Thank you Year 5 for joining in so well and giving everything a try.