What a beautiful and busy day!
The sun shone, the birds were singing as if it was spring, and everyone was wrapped up warmly.
Mighty Oak joined us today and worked with a hard working team, including Moss to dismantle the large shelter – this area is now safe for everyone. The children co-operated very well and enjoyed contributing to the care of our beautiful woodland. Birch Group enjoyed the efforts of Larch Group as they were able to re-use the materials to create themselves a great new camp.
Children enjoyed birdwatching – we tried to spend an hour at the bird feeding stations watching to see which birds visited to report to the RSPB as part of the BIG Schools Birdwatch. We recorded Blackbird, Blue-tits Great-tit, Coal-tit, pigeon, crow, spotted woodpecker, robins and wren. We were also observed from the sky by several buzzards and seagulls. We also saw Fieldfare flying over and heard Goldcrest and Long Tailed Tit, but they stayed out of sight.
One group of children enjoyed a game of snowballs and there was some tree climbing.
Buzzard kindly bought bird seen and cookie cutters to make burd feeders which we will hopefully hang next week. Wren worked with a team to split enough wood to fill the wood shed.
Tawny Owl and Wren heard a couple of foxes at the far end of the wood, and Tawny Owl then spotted them trotting away silhouetted against the sky above the footpath.
A small group had another go at lighting the Kelly Kettle fires but seemed to have forgotten all about the requirements of successful fire lighting, so it was decided to have a session next week devoted to fire lighting.
Birch Group began the afternoon with a Silent Spot session which calmed everyone and allowed us to reach a place ready for woodland learning. Larch Group have asked to have a Silent Spot session next week as we seem to have been so busy that we haven’t managed it recently.
Year 5 enjoyed a very busy day in the woods today. The weather was the coldest so far this year, but most were wrapped up warmly and really didn’t notice the cold.
The first task involved co-operation, patience, perseverance and communication. One group helped Wren light the main fire while the rest organised themselves to light Kelly kettles. Between them, they recalled the advice and instructions from last week: gathering and organising fuel, setting up the fire site and filling the kettles. However, before filling the kettles, the group had to solve the problem of the frozen water tap.
Each group worked really hard to light their Kelly kettle. They persisted with the task...and Mayfly also had a go. One group was finally successful; boiling a kettle full of water. Two other groups transferred their kettles to the first fire bowl so we ended up with plenty of hot water.
Meanwhile a small but determined team cleared the pile of brash from behind the kitchen area and added it to the deadwood hedge.
The children were rewarded with hot chocolate and a biscuit for their efforts.
Birch group also enjoyed hot drinks while they spent time making camps at opposite ends of the woods.
The children are becoming noticeably more independent and adventurous and are rapidly developing their risk assessment skills; they are also more able to make the correct behaviour choices and becoming better at self-regulation.
Tawny Owl is encouraging all groups to become increasingly independent in their choice of activity and in the running of their sessions; we are therefore moving away from set times for refreshment and the children are deciding for themselves when they stop for drinks. When/if they do, they are managing this with little adult help (there is always adult supervision for the handling of boiling water/kettles).
Hippos enjoyed a wonderful day in the woods again today. The weather was chilly but everyone wrapped up warmly and as a result everyone had fun.
We began with a story, then went on a a wormhunt, climbed, ran, jumped and laughed.
Have a look at the photos and video to see what they have been learning.
Hippos had a great first session in the woods on Thursday. Have a look at the video and the photos and see what they were up to.
Year 5 enjoyed a fun-filled and busy session today.
Have a look at the video and photos to see what they were up to.
What a fantastic last session for year 4 today. The weather was dry and bright and everyone enjoyed their time in the woods. Both groups enjoyed their last game of ‘Seeker’ and demonstrated that lessons had been learned in previous sessions meaning the children were much more successful in finding their way to the ‘target’.
The mud slide was revisited, and although it was drier, the children enjoyed their time finding different ways to get to the bottom. Again we transported quite a lot of mud back to school, but the children (most of them anyway) were very good at changing out of their muddy waterproofs and putting everything into bags.
Dragonfly and Wren made some delicious Christmas damper bread dough (flavoured with mixed spice, crystallised ginger and sultanas) which some of the children cooked over the fire.
At the end of the morning session, Chestnut Group enjoyed a last ‘Sitting Spot’ while Holly Group spent some time reflecting peacefully on their time in the woods and each person expressed one thing for which they were grateful.
The session provided opportunities for developing:
- Communication skills (verbal and non-verbal)
- Physical strength and co-ordination
- Problem Solving
- Mindfulness practises
- Listening skills
- Empathy (kindness)
Tawny Owl put together a video but will upload it tomorrow as she left her power cable at school. Watch this space!
Year 3 were unable to visit the woods today as it was so windy. However, they had a busy time, tidying up the creative play resources, playing a game (Seeker) and gardening.
They enjoyed a great time at lunch break creating and playing on a mud slide as they were almost the only children in school who had the correct clothing to play on the grass area. Each group were really helpful in the activities; Field Maple tidied, while Willow group helped create a 'fence' around the really muddy area to allow the grass to recover.
At the end of the afternoon, Willow group harvested some of the vegetables and enjoyed trying new flavours.
In spite of the damp today, year 4 had a wonderful time in the woods again.
Have a look at the video showing what fun was had, particularly with the game of Seeker. The children realised how important it is to be able to filter out excess noise and focus on one thing at a time. They also realised how important it was to plan carefully, and to ensure they kept their robot safe (from a distance, which was a challenge).
The children worked in teams of three to retrieve a pebble which Tawny Owl had placed in the woods. One of the team was the 'robot' (blindfolded and not knowing where the pebble had been placed), who had to follow instructions from the 'guardians' to get to the pebble before the other teams. The catch was, they were only allowed to use sounds, not words! With four/five groups all making a variety of different sounds, it became quite noisy.
Year 4 enjoyed time gardening and playing in the woods during this session.
Have a look and see what they were up to.
Have a look at what we got up to on our recent visit to the woods. Apologies for the mistake on the last page!