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Forest School 2023 - 2024 -Sept - Dec

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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 gain.

Fledglings enjoyed decorating willow wreaths to take home. At times it was tricky squeezing the foliage into the tight gaps but they succeeded with the help of a bodger which teased open the wrapped willow and then clamped tight on the foliage when the bodger was removed.   Excellent results from everyone.

Wreath Decorations

 

This afternoon the children were busy putting the Two For One  festive/spring containers together.  First a little compost followed by 4 spring bulbs, more compost, a candle fringed with foliage then decorated by pretend snow and glitter which was finally wrapped in a decorative band.  These will make fabulous table decorations but also will produce spring flowers. Don't forget to water the container after everything has been used for the festive season.

Two for One Activity

 

 

Our afternoon became rather wet with the water chute construction but perseverance won the day. We also tried a log roll which partly worked and being dung beetles by rolling dung (mud) to try to experience how difficult a task it is to be a Dung Beetle.

Water chute construction

 

A great use of maps was observed during the orienteering today as the children were looking for letters that would give them the name of the bird on the sheet.  

Orienteering bird names

 

After burying a deceased hedgehog found on the school field lunchtime Fledglings gave him a quiet send off in the forest school area with a few special words from a child to send it on its way. Mud was the focus of the group today as they  paddled and slid around in water and leaves.

Before re-entering school, a roll on the wet grass removed some of the excess mud that clung to their outdoor clothes. 

Mud Glorious Mud

 

Torrential rain gave us an opportunity to paint Autumn indoors today.  During a walk earlier that morning I had collected a wide variety of  plants from the hedgerows to share with the children this afternoon.  The focus from the children was lovely to observe. I hope you enjoyed the paintings that came home. 

Autumn painting on a rainy day

 

Armed with sugar paper and chalk, the children were asked to find as many different textures as they could outside to cover their sheets. By using different colours they created unusual, abstract effects. 

Rubbings

 

Our session today started with lard in a bag being squeezed to warm it up ready to accept the bird seeds.  Following this the seeds were pushed gently into the lard until it was all absorbed and coated with fat. The next part became sticky but the children with adult help were able to transfer a seed ball into a pot ready to hang on a tree at home for the birds to enjoy.  The final activity was an A-Z  Welly Wander around the school grounds. 

Bird Seed Balls

 

After explaining to the children how best to use the mud to make a face they all embraced this activity with enthusiasm and interesting vocal noises as the mud squelched in their hands. Encouraged to be adventurous with adding the features, their faces started to take shape and show different characters.

A few of the children enjoyed the hedgehog making whilst others filled the wire baskets with leaves to offer a home for any small insects wanting to evade the colder weather.

A great afternoon with lots of laughter.  

Mud Faces / Hedgehogs/Habitats

 

Our session today was rather sticky and very muddy. The children were asked to create mud faces on a tree which they did really convincingly followed by making an animal. The hedgehog was a popular choice as you will see below and again we had some fabulous results. Lots of free expression after the main activity from exploring the flora and fauna to building a home, resting in the beech tree, fire pit building and slug play.    

Mud Activity

 

Part of our focus today was looking at numbers with the game 'What's the time Mr Wolf', followed by looking at the number 11. The children were asked to collect any small treasure to place in a tiny pot. No more than 11 items. We then counted them out and borrowed from a small pile on the table if each child   hadn't enough to make the required number in their pots.

The rest of the session was free play and great fun was had in the make shift water slide, climbing trees and using our pencil pole as a seesaw. 

11 Pieces of Treasure

 

Today, Robins and Fledglings shared a forest school afternoon outside. It was great to observe the Yr2 children demonstrating how best to make the run work.  We had three teams with a mixture of each year group, lots of enthusiasm, which was very competitive at times, but each goal set was achieved by each of the three groups. 

 Free play followed in the forest school area and what fun the leaves offered a group today. They really were well hidden. You have to look close to spot a child in two of the images below. One child told me she looked like a scarecrow with the leaves still in her hair. Another group spent time looking for insects in the rotting wood whilst others dismantled a den to create a pretend bonfire.

Lots of activity with a large amount of laughter thrown in.  

Gutter Run and Leaf Play

 

Fledglings enjoyed foraging for leaves and berries that would fit on their crowns followed by free play in the  forest school area. During this session a group of children took it in turns to try to hide their classmates in a pile of leaves. A lovely afternoon where the children demonstrated good social skills and interaction with their peers and the adults present.

Crown of leaves

 

Everything started well  with the children collecting leaves from a variety of trees and bushes they had identified the previous session. They then secured them onto the sticky tape. Unfortunately rain created a problem near the end of this activity where the tape wouldn't hold the dampened leaves. At this point it was decided the children could finish this activity at home if they wished. We finished today with parachute games. Great fun and good co-operation was evident amongst the class.

Crown of Leaves

 

This session today was based around Autumn. We often miss what's right in front of us because we are too busy doing other things but today the children were asked to use their eyes to spot leaves and autumn seeds by using the check list provided. Following this we looked at little treasures where the children were asked to collect pinches of items to see how much would fit into a small container. The maximum today was 56 items. Finally, to link in with the flight theme in Robins a jigsaw run on rebuilding jigsaws commenced.  Great results and good perseverance by everyone.  

Autumn Recognition

 

Part of the session today required Fledglings to find leaves and sticks which they could paint and then press on to the paper provided. The results were interesting and the colours they used gave a very autumnal feel to their finished work.

Printing Leaves and Twigs

 

Autumn.  Robins went in search of anything they felt said Autumn to them and then settled down to paint their chosen view.  As you will see below we have lots of detailed, interesting paintings. 

Autumn in watercolour

 

Our session started today with looking at seeds you might find at home or out walking. Conker's and  acorns I introduced to them and these they used to play a game 'Catch the Seed In the Tin'. also a few of the children buried them in the ground in the hope they will eventually grow into a tree.  The rest of our afternoon involved habitat  creations to hang in the trees, turn taking using mallets to build structures with a swimming pool and free play which involved the tunnel turning into a car wash. At first it was washed with leaves but as you will see from the images it went wrong and sent everything out dirtier than when it went in. Lots of fun and laughter today.

Autumn Seeds and Habitats

 

Robins re-watched an orb spider as it weaved a spectacular web. Their challenge was to see if they could do something similar in the forest school area. A central ring of willow was issued to each group and from this they weaved their fabulous creations. Finally, using their webs, a game called 'Catch the Fly'  followed.    Free play was personal discovery time for the children which involved  decorating the webs if they wished or in some cases enlarging its structure. For other children, slug, spider and worm detection was a must but a few decided to also soup making. 

How hard is it to create a spiders web?

 

Using a map with clues, the children had to discover hidden boxes which held a clip punch for them to use on their cards. Finally, they found the treasure.

Finding Treasure

 

How good are you at answering riddles? Robins did really well today. The objectives for today were map reading, attempting the riddles and clipping your card before moving on to the next consecutive number where the process was repeated. 

Just a couple of the riddles to have a go at;

Twit, twit, Twoo? Can you name me?

I'm as long as your finger, always hungry and enjoy munching through lots of leaves. Who am I?

Answers below slide show.

Orienteering with riddles

 Owl  and Caterpillar

Fledglings enjoyed a sunny afternoon for their  creation of Autumn palettes of colour. As a class they also played 'What's the time Mr Wolf' followed by free time in the forest school area. 

Fledglings - Autumn of colour

 

At first, the rain tried to spoil this activity but the resilience of the children were not a match for the rain. Using the front of the school to explore the foliage the children were able to fulfill the activity. We even found ripe raspberries to enjoy. 

Autumn palettes of colour

 

Fledglings and Magic Wands

 

Robins and Fledglings were asked to create a magic wand from natural materials and to persevere whilst adding the items and rotating the thread to secure them. Well done to everyone for producing very individual wands which all had a magical smell when finished.

Nature is wonderful as it gives us so many different perfumes!

Magic Wand Creation

 

Fledglings, spent this session discovering the forest school area and found the  best tree for climbing, went to a shop on a tanker with the milk they had made, enjoyed the makeshift seesaw  and experienced parachute fun.  

Exploring the Forest School Area

 This was the first session of Forest school for Robins this year. It was an enjoyable afternoon with parachute games followed by water play, climbing, building a car park, potion creating and generally enjoying themselves. 

Welcome back Robins.