Year R arrived well prepared for the winter conditions this week. We were blessed with a bright, sunny start even though it was very chilly.
Wren had kindly arrived in the woods early to set everything up and when we arrived the fire was alight and the kettle was on.
The children were very respectful of the fire circle and kept themselves safe from the fire. They settled quickly to their learning and enjoyed bird watching, tree climbing, running around, playing with the snow, snowballs (after agreement about what would make a good game, and what might spoil it) building camps and even a dinosaur! The wood pile was popular again with some children.
One of the games they played involved catching snowflakes on their tongues, which was introduced by Mayfly.
Oak Group enjoyed the story of Beegu at the start of their session; the children were encouraged to think about how Beegu was feeling at different points in the story - encouraging empathy.
Beech Group began their afternoon in good spirits - they sang our Forest School Song with great gusto in the minibus on the way down to the woods, and some of them also sang it on the way back. They were very creative with their composition of lyrics.
The adults noticed this week that the children are becoming more independent, and they are becoming better at listening to and following instructions. There remain a few who still need more practise in doing up their own seat belts, but there are more children each week available to help others, which is fantastic.
Have a look at the video and photos to see the fun we had with our learning.
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.
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.
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!
Southern Water Achiever Awards
Pools and clubs are invited to nominate a child who has overcome a difficulty in learning to swim, whether it is a fear of water or a disability.
There are two Achiever Awards events (one in Kent and one in Hampshire) to celebrate these children’s efforts and recognise the dedication and commitment of their parents and instructors.
Achievers receive their medals from Southern Water’s Learn to Swim ambassadors; Olympic Gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE and Invictus Games Gold medallist Mike Goody.
Farah’s swim teacher says “for some time Farah struggled with confidence and self-belief. She has overcome hardships and challenges through swimming each week and in the past 12 months has developed in to a really strong swimmer, moving fast to level 7 with good attention and mental attitude. She is a pleasure to teach, I look forward to our lessons and I am proud of her achievements. She deserves recognition for all her hard work.”
Kent School Games Basketball
On Tuesday 20th a squad of children from year 5 and 6 competed in the Kent School Games Basketball competition at Cranbrook Grammar School.
The games were all played fast and furious and with lots of intent and aggression. I suspect the children came home with a fair few cuts and bruises. Our team played brilliantly, winning every game but one. All should be commended for their excellent play but special mention to Oscar as top scorer, Naomi for continuing to play despite a nasty fall and Finley for doggedly defending against an Amazonian year six girl who must have been about 5’7”!!!!
Thank you once again to Boris’ grandma and little brother Leon for accompanying us on the minibus. Remember we cannot take the minibus without an extra adult on board.
Well done to Oscar, Boris, William, Kudzai, Finley, Naomi, Daniella and Gracie.
Apologies for lack of pictures.
Kent Junior Schools Cross Country Championships.
On Saturday 17th November a squad of children from year 3 to year 6 took part in the Kent Junior Schools Cross Country Championships at the Kent Showground in Detling.
Each race had upwards of 100 children taking part. I am waiting for results to come through but I believe that all our competitors finished in the top 20. It is a hard course and the children showed great determination and resilience in getting around.
Special mentions to Luke Draper and Poppy Hensey who came 5th and 3rd in their races and have therefore qualified to be part of the Kent Cross Country team who will compete in Loughborough at the National Finals in the Spring.
Thank you to all the parents for supporting their children and ensuring that they were in the right place at the right time!
Well done to Eva Weeks, Monty Tatnell, Bella Barstow, Violet Gilder, Leon Sherwin, Luke Draper, Tommy Gilder, Oli and Jack Liversedge and Poppy Hensey.
Have a look at what we got up to on our recent visit to the woods. Apologies for the mistake on the last page!
Year 3 achieved a lot of learning in the woods today. We had negotiation, creation, laughter, challenges, successes and a few tears. Everyone had a great time.
Have a look at the photos and video for a tase of their day.