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Science

Helping children to explore nature's difficult questions.

Submitted by headteacher on Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 18:29

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!"

Outdoor Learning

Submitted by headteacher on Monday, November 11, 2019 - 00:49

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.

Children should spend an hour a day in wild, says Wildlife Trusts

Government urged to create spaces where young people can connect with natural world

Primary schoolchildren should spend at least one hour a day learning and playing in wild places to help improve their wellbeing and confidence, a leading conservation organisation has said.

The Wildlife Trusts, which represents 46 local organisations and 2,300 nature reserves in the UK, has called on the next government to create a network of wild spaces where young people are free to climb trees, learn about wildlife and connect with the natural world while at school.

'It's given the children a love of wildlife': the schools letting nature in

Outdoor teaching in the UK should be used to help children develop a personal connection with nature and pursue their own passions, whether it be searching for frog spawn, building dens or climbing trees, according the the organisation.

 

The recommendations follow a study for the trust by the Institute of Education, part of University College London (UCL), which found strong positive benefits for the self-worth and confidence of primary schoolchildren after taking part in activities in wild places.

The conservation organisation said an hour a day outdoors for all British children aged four to 11 would help re-establish the connection between young people and nature in the UK.

In 2015, a YouGov survey for the trust found less than one in 10 British children have access to natural areas compared to 40% of adults when they were younger. Only half of children said their school had an outdoor nature area, 37% had never seen a hedgehog and most children surveyed had never found frog spawn in a pond.

 

For the study, UCL researchers found the overwhelming majority of children surveyed had learned something about the natural world, felt more confident and had better relationships with their classmates after spending time outdoors.

The academics surveyed 451 children in 12 areas across England before and after participating in activities ran by a wildlife trust like identifying plants and trees, also interviewing teachers and Wildlife Trust educators.

Of the children interviewed, 79% said the experience could help their school work, 84% felt they were capable of doing new things and 79% reported feeling more confident.

 

Nigel Doar, the Wildlife Trusts’ director of strategy, said: “This research shows that children experience profound and diverse benefits through regular contact with nature. Contact with the wild improves children’s wellbeing, motivation and confidence. The data also highlights how children’s experiences in and around the natural world led to better relationships with their teachers and classmates.

“The Wildlife Trusts believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in daily life and we’re calling on government to recognise the multiple benefits of nature for children – and ensure that at least one hour per school day is spent outdoors learning and playing in wild places.”

Prof Michael Reiss, Institute of Education, UCL, said: “Each generation seems to have less contact with the outdoors than the preceding one. We owe it to all young people to reverse this trend – for their sakes, for our sakes and for nature’s sake.”

Our Amazing School

Submitted by headteacher on Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 23:28
Wow! What another very busy and successful school year we have had and last Friday was a shining example of the day in the life of our wonderful school. It started at about 6.30am with parents and staff together setting up for sportsday! Mr & Mrs Stanford even arrived with bacon sandwiches which were appreciated very much. Indeed it was a fabulous morning enjoyed by everyone. Well done to all the children but particularly those in Scotney who won both the KS1 and KS2 sports cup. Thank you to Mrs Mileham for organising the event, which as ever ran very smoothly. Thank you to the PTFA for providing refreshments and of course to you the parents, families and friends for all your support.

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!

Year One Last Sessions

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 21:20

Have a look at the video for a tase of what year one have been learning in the last couple of weeks.

 

Year 6's final session in the woods

Submitted by tawnyowl on Monday, July 1, 2019 - 19:22

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.

Today's Menu:

Pizza Calzone

Vegetable kebabs

Nettle Crisps

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.

 

A Week of Outdoor Learning

Submitted by class1 on Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 20:43

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.

Forest School

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.

 

Hungry Crocodiles and Pond Dipping

Submitted by tawnyowl on Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 17:41

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.

Nettles

Submitted by tawnyowl on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 20:20

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.

Bugs and Blindfold Caterpillars

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 16:57

Year 2 had a great day in the woods last week. Have a look at the video to see what they were up to.

 

Having Fun in the Forest - 16th May 2019

Submitted by tawnyowl on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 13:57

Year one each wrote a sentence about their session in the woods. As you can see, the dead squirrel was quite important in the day's activities!

I made a xylophone out of wood.

India and I made a den called Bumblebell Den and we went to sleep on our coats in the den.

I was digging a big hole.

I enjoyed pretending to plant seeds.

I happily waited for my turn for the fairy furniture.

Charlie, Noah and I played wood cutters.

Lucy and Pheobe and I were searching for worms.

Sebastian, twin Eveleyn and I found a dead squirrel and we dug a hole for the dead squirrel.

I finished off my den.

We started to make a xylophone and it was extremely fun.

We picked up a dead squirrel and we made a grave for the squirrel.

Ford and I cut down a dead tree.

Eevelyn and I were looking for bugs.

We found a dead squirrel and dug a hole in the ground.

I dug holes for sticks to go in.

I was smiling at the camera - cheese!

We made a caterpillar.

We had fun in the forest and we tried to take a small dead tree down . The sawdust got in my eye!

Jesse and I sharpened wood.

I loved getting the sawdust off the tree.

At the bird watching area, I watched Greta-Tits, Robins, Blue-tits and sparrows eat the bird feed from the feeder.

I made a den called Hazel with Flo, Tara and India.

I made a face of me on a keyring.

I added more fairy furniture for the fairies.

Joseph, Leonie, Rupert and I were bird watching in the bird watching area and we saw a Blue-tit and a Great-tit.

Leonie, Freddie and I were  bird watching near the bird area.

We found a dead squirrel and we buried it.

I went in my den with Amelia and Molly.

Charlie, Leon and I played pirates.

We listened to Tawny Owl.

Harrison, leinie and I made a den and sticks for a fire.

I liked exploring because I found lots of bugs.

Flo, Amelia, Amelia and I enjoyed making a den.

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