Rabbit joined the children in the woods today. She had a lovely time. Indeed Rabbit commented, “ It was wonderful to watch and listen to the children immersed in their activities. There was so much learning taking place without the children even realising it.”
The children enjoyed helping with topping up the woodshed. Look at the dragonfly they found!
Tawny Owl was lucky to be attending a Forest School Conference in West Sussex. She also learned much, and has returned with more ideas for our Forest School. She also made a platter/basket which she plans to try doing with the older children and adults.
What a very busy day today!
Larch group began by gathering timber for cutting and splitting to put in the woodshed. They worked incredibly hard to find appropriate wood - even pushing down a couple of small dead but standing trees! Not only that but then gathering a team of people to carry it back to the Forest School area for cutting.
They then willingly cut the timber and split it. Meanwhile another group were emptying the woodshed so that it could be sorted and restacked.
Everyone worked incredibly hard.
When they weren't helping with this task, they played in the hammocks, or built amazing shelters, climbed trees, or sat and did some weaving. Tawny Owl had bought a couple of Bushcraft magazines and a story 'Weslandia' (which she read to Larch group), which some of the children had a look at.
Birch group did not need to gather timber, but still enjoyed working hard to help prepare it for the woodshed.
This group enjoyed the hammocks, as well as composing some woodland music; watch this space, as they proclaimed they would be making an album!
Tawny Owl is in the process of putting together a video of the day; she will let you know when it appears on this blog.
Meanwhile have a look at the photos below; there will be more on the class 4 gallery.
The sun shone again today.
The woods were fully clothed in their spring green, hawthorn and elder was blooming, the birds were singing and we felt it would be a great day.
Tawny Owl lit the fire, so we could have hot drinks and toast 'smores'.
The hammocks were put up, and the children really enjoyed playing in these.
Tawny Owl took some of the children to find and cut hazel to make cooking sticks, and a small group were very patient, listening to how we can use knives safely. Henry and Rowan then had time to have a go at making their own cooking sticks. Sadly time ran out, but Tawny Owl promised the children could have another go next week.
Hornbeam group helped pick nettles to make nettle tea; several children tried it and thoroughly enjoyed it, deciding it smelled and tasted of runner beans. Some children enjoyed fruit tea, while others had water - they were all thirsty after their smores! Then, just as we were finishing refreshments, Kingfisher appeared having made some delicious nettle pancakes!
Alder group were all rather sleepy this afternoon, but enjoyed playing in the hammocks. Kingfisher worked with a group making friendship bracelets, trees were climbed and lots of fun was had. It was decided to wait for 'smores' until the children have their first session in the morning so they can harvest the hazel, make their cooking sticks and cook without a rush.
We also decided we should have a go at making nettle pancakes in the woods before the end of the term.
The adult noticed a few children becoming really mature in the way they approach the activities and were also really impressed with the children who carried the equipment to the woods - some of it is quite heavy but we observed some amazing teamwork today. Well done everybody.
Have a look at the class gallery for more photos of the activities.
What a busy day today!
The sun shone which allowed Tawny Owl to dry some of the equipment which became so wet yesterday. The birds sang, and Willow group were able to do some tracking on their way to the Forest School area. We spotted deer footprints in the mud on the footpath, and also talked about rivers as the heavy rain yesterday had left a dry river bed on the footpath.
We began to create Woodland Journals today - each child created a leaf print and a bark rubbing to help learn how to identify some of the variety of trees on our woodland.
The children were keen to make bows and arrows like year 4, so Goldcrest helped some of them learn how to ties a clove hitch by using the story: make a fishy, then a dishy; place the fishy on the dishy.
The mud created after the rain was just the right consistency to make mud ice-creams.
The music tripod os also coming along and several children enjoyed creating melodies, while nearby others hunted for worms, centipedes and woodlice under the sitting logs.
One boy from Willow group also continued the work year 6 had begun on making a bridge.
Look at the class gallery for more photos.
Year 4 had a very wet day today. Mrs Omer (aka Beetle) joined us today; she seemed to really enjoy spending time outside with her class, even though it was very wet all day.
It was Goldcrest's birthday and therefore Larch group had Peach pudding, which seemed to go down really well; there wasn't much left!
Tawny Owl worked with a group of children making bows and arrows. They were taught how to tie a clove-hitch (which we linked with handwriting a double 'e'), and reminded how to use knives safely to make a point on their arrows; they had progressed from using scout knives to larger Mora knives as their hands are larger this year. They then chose something to write on their arrows linked with forgiveness.
Bumble bee was sporting a spectacular dressing on her finger as a reminder of how we should take our time when using knives!
Birch group arrived in a particularly heavy downpour and it was decided to not try cooking as time was short. Several children arrived dressed inappropriately for the weather (no waterproofs, and/or not enough warm layers), so we went for a tree adventure to keep everyone warm. Tawny Owl showed the group some trees and talked a little bit about each one and how to identify them. We looked at Horse Chestnut, Hornbeam, Beech, Holly, Rowan, Oak and Cherry. One of the most exciting observations was a pool of foam at the bottom of a cherry tree. We traced it to water running down the trunk from the canopy and mixing with alkalis on the way down causing the foam.
When we returned to Stump Central the children noticed the same thing happening on a Hornbeam.
Here are a few photos - have a look at the class gallery for more.
What a wonderful day with year 4 today!
It is over 18 months since this group were in the woods, but an independent observer wouldn’t have known this.
Following an excellent period of time around the fire circle, when both groups explained the safety boundaries quickly and efficiently, and an explanation about how the ‘new’ hand washing facilities work, the children settled to learning remarkably quickly.
Within a short time, we saw some amazing creations being developed in the woodland.
The children demonstrated their ability to learn independently, with little or no adult input. Some amazing shelters were built, a zip-wire put up, role play began, lashings and knots were learned, music was played and one group enjoyed our very simple mud kitchen for a short while.
At the end of each session we had a period of time to think about learning; and what a variety of points were discussed!
Amongst all participants (adults and children) we learned how:
- To tie knots
- To put up a tarp successfully
- Working as a team, speeds up a task, and helps everyone learn new skills
- To resolve disputes
- Consideration of others
- Tidying up can be as entertaining as the activity
- That rope can burn skin
It was true April weather with sunshine and showers, but a beautiful spring day in the woodland.
This was the first session that this group of children had had since Spring Term 2017, so all the children found it tricky to remember the boundaries. However, they soon entered into the spirit and began to acclimatise to the wonderful spring woodland.
Both groups played beautifully - climbing trees (which showed how much they had grown), running around, playing hide and seek, making shelters as well as water play (making the most wonderful concoctions).
We heard a buzzard, wrens, and possibly a black cap; saw lots of bumblebees (and talked about where they nest, etc.) and orange tip butterflies.
The children were all happy and relaxed and returned to school already looking forward to next week.
Hornbeam Group had time for silent spot at the end, which they found a little tricky with their wriggly legs, but we thought we should persevere and have another go next week. Unfortunately Alder Group ran out of time, but we will begin with Silent Spot next week.
Here are a few photos - have a look on the class gallery for more photos.
Almost year 6's last ever Forest School Session.
They planted tree seeds for their buddies - the idea being that the seeds will be germinated and growing before the end of the year, when year 6 will hand them on to their buddies in YR, who will then nurture them throughout their time at Goudhurst and Kilndown; planting out when large enough.
'Poetree' was composed, practised and performed. Friendship and teamwork was a key theme to today's sessions.
Leon and Jack were noticed especially for all their hard work in composing, practising and performing their poem as well as finding and transporting LARGE pieces of timber for cutting for the fire. Well done boys!
Look at the year 6 gallery for more photos, and watch this space for a video of their poetry.
Today Elephants started off by talking about where they might find magnets in their homes, and how magnets are all around us. Afterwards, we tried lots of different activites and games using magnets, we even drew a story map and used magnets to move a tiger across the page and told stories about where our tiger had been. We also painted pictures with coins, screws and pipecleaners, drew mazes, fished for sea creatures and tried to get pipecleaners out of a bottle. All using magnets!
The sun shone for our wee hippos today!
We enjoyed a book about 'Yucky Worms' which introduced lots of new vocabulary, some maths and a worm search. We found a dead blue-tit which provoked lots of discussion and engendered much gentleness. Ladybirds were out, owing to the warmer weather and Hazel group enjoyed an adventure - visiting the other end of the wood. Time was spent trying to attract pheasants - Joseph W impressed us all with his pheasant impression!
There was a lot of running today, and the children arrived back at school tired but having learned so much.
Have a look at the video for a snapshot. There are also more photos in the YR gallery.