A free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler
Children love to ask questions, and lots of them. They are naturally inquisitive about the world around them and delight in learning how it all works.
But how do we answer questions about topics such as death, or decay? How do we help children to understand our interconnectedness with the natural world, and about the grand cycle of life? Read these unique insights from Dr Claire Warden of Auchlone Nature Kindergarten in Scotland.
Indeed, another good reason for why we are proud to be a Forest school. Twany Owl's response to the article was:
"I now feel pleased we have talked about the dead squirrels, small fox and the odd dead bird we have found during our FS journey! I am, however, quite pleased our children have not (yet) asked to find out what's inside a dead animal!"
Thursday 7th November was National Outdoor Classroom Day and it was a delight to watch all the children have the opportunity to take their learning outside. A recent article in the Guardian makes an interesting read and confirms that our commitment to Forest School, Creative Play and Outdoor Learning is key to improving our children's wellbeing.
Following a picnic lunch, the school then opened its' classroom doors and parents were warmly invited to experience an afternoon in the life of Goudhurst & Kilndown pupil. There was a real buzz throughout the school and lots of parents commented on how it had been a wonderful day, just perfect!
Have a look at the video for a tase of what year one have been learning in the last couple of weeks.
Year 6 chose to have a whole day in the woods today.
Wren provided a shuttle to run the children to the wood in 2 groups.
It was not a usual Forest School session because there were 28 children to support.
They began with a game of Beetle Tag, after a small group had chosen an area to play. The children played with enthusiasm and good humour (although Tawny Owl began to feel that she was being caught an awful lot, however, she quite enjoyed lying on the ground with her arms and legs waving in the air)!
After this game, the children separated into groups to carry out activities. As there were so many children Tawny Owl requested that all the children needed to participate in 2 of the activities. Sadly, some of the group decided that this instruction didn't apply to them; not good team work.
However, many children enjoyed the activities on offer: cooking (menu below), making fire sticks, cutting and splitting wood, carrying out a bioblitz (results in the photos), finishing off obstacle course activities.
Trout cooked in newspaper
Chocolate dipped fruit
The day was over before we knew it! There was a lot of equipment to carry, but we managed to get everything back to the minibus/cars in good time.
Tawny Owl would especailly like to thank Mouse who gives up her valuable time volutarily. Thank you Mouse.
Thank you Mr Price for some of the trout!
Thank you also to Wren who works so hard to support Tawny Owl with her hare-brained ideas!
Thank you everyone! Remember all you have learned year 6, and good luck in your new schools.
Have a look at the main set of photos on the class gallery.
Year one took advantage of the lovely weather this week to enjoy a variety of Outdoor Learning opportunities.
It began on Tuesday morning following some very heavy overnight rain, and an enormous puddle in the playground.
Mrs Stanford allowed her ‘inner child’ to take control (remembering a favourite childhood activity), and we all went out onto the playground. Everyone removed their shoes and socks (and left them in a beautifully neat line – a future Maths activity?)
The children were then reminded about Fox Walking which we had tried last year in the woods – each foot is placed gently into the ground to check for dangers before placing the whole weight of the foot; avoiding sure feet.
We then thoroughly enjoyed paddling in the puddle!
The learning opportunities were grasped with both hands (or feet):
- Science – feeling the difference in temperature in different parts of the puddle (due to depth, shadow, warmth from the warm playground), realising that the water felt warm on our feet because our feet were slightly chilly, but the same water feeling cold on our hands which were warm. Drying our feet on the warm playground. Floating and sinking
- Maths – depth measurement, why it was deeper in some parts and shallow in other parts
- Geography – silt/mud and how it affects the cloudiness of the water, and what happened after we stopped disturbing it.
- PSHE – we discussed self-regulation and controlling the urge to splash.
- Repetition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Splishy Splashy
We then went on to continue our Maths on measurement – investigating the statement Tall Trees Have Bigger Leaves.
Our Science later in the day involved investigating separating materials which we did on the playground.
Our learning in the woods involved making jam (‘Bella Campfire Jam’), toasting muffins, and of course eating our muffins with ‘Bella Campfire Jam’. Playing with friends on a mud slide, making shelters, using tools, bug hunting. We also enjoyed a game of Palm Tag.
Phew! No wonder everyone was tired after all this BIG brain work and fresh air!
Have a look at the video to see the learning being achieved.
Year One enjoyed a day at school, playing a team building game and pond dipping. They learned so much while having fun!
Each group began with a time of reflection - considering how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Each thinking about something for which they are grateful.
Have a look at the video; the rest of the photos are on the class gallery.
Sorry - the video is taking a while to upload; I will try again tomorrow.
Year 2 enjoyed a beautiful day in the woods today. We were joined by Sparrow (Mrs Benson) for the day, which was lovely for the children.
They helped to pick nettles to make nettle crisps and nettle tea. Most of the children tried the nettle crisps, and agreed they were quite tasty - and crispy, as well as slightly bristly!
Both groups enjoyed a game of Blindfold Caterpillar. They learned from last week the importance of communication and both groups demonstrated much better communication today, resulting in greater confidence and a sense of trust among the group.
A brown caterpillar joined Alice during Silent Spot. Tawny Owl has failed to identify it...at the time of writing. Can anyone help? Alice was sat under an Oak tree (with a lime tree above that).
We watched the Blut-tits working very hard to keep their babies fed. Sadly at lunchtime we found a baby Coal-tit which had been injured. It was quite lively so Tawny Owl placed it carefully under the nearest hedge, hoping the parents might visit it and keep feeding it. Sadly later in the day we found it dead.
Hornbeam Group had time for a wonderful Silent Spot and really enjoyed a time of sitting silently in the sunshine. They were quite reluctant to return to the fire circle and remained calm until we returned to school.
Included here is also a photo of a piece of writing done by Alice about last week's session.
Year 2 had a great day in the woods last week. Have a look at the video to see what they were up to.