Forest School 2021 - 2022
Robins and Fledglings this year will be enjoying weekly, afternoon Forest School sessions. This involves interaction with each other where communication is learnt and confidence gained.
Robins were spending time exploring flowers, leaves, textures and beauty whilst setting their items out on the flower press's ready to press them for at least 3 weeks.
Pressing Flora and Fauna
This afternoon was a revisit to the pond and free play.
Fledglings at play
Fledglings enjoyed their pond dipping experience today.
Fledglings Pond Dipping
During the session today Robins were looking at habitats - pond and reproduction. The children discovered lots of different pond life.
Each group, after dipping and discovering their pond finds, spent a further 5 minutes drawing what was special to them. A collective picture of all their art work is at the end of the slide show.
After fun with the parachute playing 'Catch the Mouse' and 'Run With Your Colour', the children decided a tea party would be a great idea!
Parachute and Tea Party
Worms, worms everywhere. The warmth in the sun for a few days had brought them closer to the surface of the soil. It was great fun measuring them as well.
What's Under Your Feet?
The wind tried to disrupt these activities but we managed to succeed in completing the jigsaw run and holding on tight to the parachute.
Parachute and drawing
This was the follow on activity from last week's soil exploration.
Making a worm home
As you can see from the gallery some of the children enjoyed breaking down a 30cm x 30cm square of soil to find out who's home it could be. To our surprise, a few worms, an earwig, a centipede, 2 beetles, and a spider lived in this small section of the playing field. The longest worm measured 13cm.
What's Under Your Feet?
Robins enjoyed building nests using only tweezers as the tool for transporting their materials. The sizes varied depending on the type of bird the nest was to accommodate.
Bird Nests - Robins Class
Our challenge today is to build a bird nest using only tweezers similar to a bird's beak. One of the children discovered our first Ladybird of the year as well. What a treat although it didn't stay long and soon flew away.
Today, due to very strong winds we held our Forest School session inside. The Fledglings each decorated kitchen paper and then on a makeshift line became the droplets of rain which slowly loosened the water-based colours and allowed them to bleed into each other creating some stunning images. Enjoy.
Robins had an exhausting session working out how to keep the tennis ball in the guttering whilst transporting it from one part of the field to another.
Firstly they used the ground for balance but if the team weren't quick enough and the ball hit the grass they had to start again from the beginning.
Once this was mastered the next objective was to hold the guttering and use their hands to balance /project the ball forward.
Finally, the class joined forces and together they managed to move the ball, using any method so they would end back at the start.
Brilliant teamwork and perseverance were evident this afternoon.
Fledglings started their afternoon by working out how to transport cuddly toys using a crate and three tubes.
"We need more tubes."
After much discussion and practice, the trains started to move along the playground with each group only requiring 3 tubes each. As you can see, the children even took turns and sat in the crate so they could have a ride as well. Great perseverance and thinking skills were evident today.
A moving train
Have you looked closely at nature during the coldest days of winter? Do you think of only brown and dull green?
I asked the Robins class to look for colour in their watercolours and WOW! Fabulous efforts with super concentration which provided very interesting but recognisable paintings of various parts of the school grounds.
Outdoor Watercolour Painting
Fledglings spent time creating potions and when they had finished it was time for creative play. Balancing on the plank, attempting to throw a hoop onto a low branch (which they managed to achieve), pretending to be a cat, making a trail with wool and the favourites climbing the tree and having turns on the seesaw.
Potions and Play
Robins spent this session rebuilding jigsaws linked to their topic 'Space' and then enjoyed making smelly potions. some sweet, some sour.
Potions and Jigsaw Run
Fledglings received a letter with clues today - Help! I'm lost and can't find my way home.
One of the Three Little Pigs had gone missing so using the clues and punch trail we set off to see if we could find him before dark. Thankfully we did, high in a tree.
We wondered how he got there? One of the children thought he had needed to climb high to see his way home.
We decided a final game of 'What's The Time Mr Wolf' would be a perfect end to our afternoon.
Punch Trail to find lost Little Pig
Robins spent time watching, listening and spotting any birds that flew across the school area so they could add them to their RSPB check lists. Some children brought binoculars into school today to help with this task.
RSPB Big School Birdwatch
Fledglings became very involved in first, mixing the mixture to the correct consistency and then using the mud for creating pig faces on any suitable tree. Following this they designed a path suitable for any little pig that might be passing by. Even decorating it by weaving colourful wool so it would be visible and guide them to safety from any hungry wolf. Of course, after any hard work you have to have a playtime and this the fledglings did in their usual way. Clambering in the trees and using the interesting seesaw.
Little Pig Faces and Path
Last week we replaced and added new bird boxes.This week was spent orienteering around the school sight, using mapping skills, with the aim of unscrambling letters to learn more of the names of our local bird population. This is in readiness for our RSPB Big School Bird Watch next week. the link below is for the
What a beautiful, frosty afternoon. The sun has produced rainbow arcs on some of the pictures as you will see below. It was interesting to watch the children working out the best way to build a stick house for the little pig but they used perseverance and a good mallet to anchor their sticks into the ground. Once this had been achieved they walked over the rickety bridge (where the Troll who lived there could have jumped out at them any time) to get to the other side. It was amazing to watch them balance or crawl with such enthusiasm. Finally some children even had time on the impromptu seesaw before we packed away for today.
The Three Little Pigs and other tales
Today, we placed our 6 Bird Boxes in position in the Forest School area. The children decided which trees would be suitable and marked them with chalk. These beautifully designed boxes have been given to us from the RSPB and they will provide suitable homes for a variety of our native birds. Two of our older bird boxes had old nests in which the children thought might have belonged to Blue Tits as there was lots of moss, lichen and feathers. The nest in the classroom was an old Blackbirds nest, found in a lean to, amongst seed trays.
Fledglings found great enjoyment looking for a variety of surfaces they could tackle to create a multi patterned design which they later used for selecting their preferred pattern section. Even an adults trainer came under scrutiny as you will notice on the images. Once each child had made their choice of pattern, it was cut to shape, followed by building their own, unique badge. They were all very proud of their finished items but also marvelled at the way the badge seemed to disappear before reappearing complete. Just like magic!
Rubbings to Badge Making
Robins enjoyed sawing and drilling their tree cookies in the wet, rather muddy forest school area. Next week will be decoration time.
Once the festive season is over, spring will soon follow so today in Forest School Fledglings and Robins class each made a 'Two For One' table decoration. After the 6th of January remove all the top layer, add some water then wait for the next surprise which will be the spring bulbs producing flowers if placed on a window sill.
Don't forget to recycle all the items and remember to plant the spent bulbs in the ground so next year they can grow again.
Two for One
Fledglings were eager to try to not knock off the stick and most of those participating managed to crawl under the lowest bar. It was also difficult to walk and balance on an oval log and strange shaped piece of wood but persistence, eventually paid off.
Balancing and How low can you go
Trust is a big thing if you are relying on a partner because you have a blindfold on. Robins today proved they could be trusted and made the obstacle course the success it was.
Robins were busy making seed balls and a seed perch for the local bird population. Whilst we were busy outside we noticed and heard ROBIN, BLUETIT, PIGEON AND SPARROW. They were keeping a beady eye on the surplus seed that had scattered into the grass and would I'm sure be waiting to eat them when we departed.
Robins today made a damper bread mix and toasted it on the camp fire.
YUMMY! Especially when topped with Jam.
Fledglings enjoyed the parachute games and leaf tossing today. They tried to catch the mouse and escape from the shark infested sea then finally needed a wash in the spin drier!
Fledglings - parachute fun and leaf tossing
Robins really enjoyed building a fire, melting marshmallows and then eating them squashed between a biscuit. Great fun!
Fire building and marshmallow toasting
Bubbles, bubbles everywhere! Fledglings were experimenting with different shapes to see which were the best bubbles that could be blown. We also found some 'Candlesnuff' fungus on a rotting tree root. When you find the picture you will understand why it has its name.
This afternoon, after playing in glorious autumn leaves, Robins children had fun using their mapping skills to find letters that make a name linked to autumn on a variety of mapping sheets.
Fledglings were hoping to find mini creatures in the old mound of soil that we were moving. What a disappointment we had when very little was discovered. Two worms, 1 red ant and an assortment of garden spring bulbs. It was fun to look, though we did get rather dirty.
Is anybody home?
Robins had a fun time imprinting leaf patterns on material then attaching it to create a colourful flag.
During this session it was pointed out that a spider had decided to use our manmade web from two weeks ago . Can you can spot it?
Flag making with nature.
Fledglings were experimenting with natural colours to decorate on the large sheet. Once finished, they decided that spiders webs could go anywhere as you will notice from the images below. Two girls decided they were laser beams and enjoyed creeping under the wool trying not to touch it.
Fledglings painting with natural material
Robins, after watching a video on how a spider weaves its web, had a go at making their own. What a success. Ask them about the game 'To catch a fly'.
Fledglings decided to part fill a ring habitat with soil and twigs whilst the other ring was filled with leaves. A great deal of time was also spent exploring, hammering and cutting twigs.
Armed with empty plastic bottles, the children in Robins filled them with twigs, branches and leaves, making sure they were so full and tight that nothing could be shook out and scattered on the floor. They were hung among the trees and we hope that small invertebrates might use them for over wintering. We also had time to refurnish the hibernaculum so newts, frogs, woodlouse, possible a hedgehog might like to stay a while during long, cold, winter days.
What wonderful comfy homes our soft toys enjoyed staying in.
"This is like a wheelchair." Said another child as he rolled forward on the spool.
Homes For Soft Toy's
Forest school for Robins involved building a home that would stop the wind from blowing it away and rain penetrating the roof. After much conversation and experimenting with straw, sticks and mud balls the children decided the mud structures were the strongest as they withstood the wind ( A flapping piece of plastic) and the rain ( a converted milk bottle). A small plastic pot was positioned inside the constructions to collect any drips.
Magic wands and smelly potions. Abracadabra ...
Fledglings Wands and Fun
Magic wands and potions
Fledglings enjoyed whittling and used their social skills to piece together a jigsaw.
Fledglings Whittling and Jigsaw Run
Robins were busy cutting willow and whittling away the bark.
Fledglings enjoyed filling their masks with leaves, twigs and berries.
Fledglings Dinosaur masks
These dinosaurs look very fierce. ROAR!!
Fledglings enjoyed parachute games.
Fledglings Forest School 2021 - 2022
Robins were tasked to place as many items as they could into a little pot. Have a go at home and see if you could beat the challenge of 100 or more?