Sunshine, popcorn, chickens and wood working!

Above are the monday children really enjoying feeding the sheep and chickens – the sheep LOVED the popcorn!We made name discs by sawing green wood with a bow saw, drilling a hole in it with a bit and brace drill and then decorated them with a design. The children were excellent at listening to the safety instructions and following them, there was great teamwork too.

What a great bunch the Tuesday children are! They embraced the forest school flow and were very kind and helpful towards each other. The children hugely enjoyed using the tools to make a wooden name disc and feeding the sheep and chickens with lettuce and popcorn!

Our Wednesday groups were delighted to use the tools to make wooden necklaces. We all enjoyed the conkers to play a marbles style game, as well as traditional conkers. We are also trying to lkearn the names of some of the trees in the studio garden. Today we looked at the Horse Chestnut, Silver Birch and Willow.

Welcome to Forest School Year 3!

We were thrilled to introduce our Year three children to the wonder and joy of forest school this week. It was an exciting first session to share fire building and lighting, cooking toast over the campfire, using loppers to cut willow, digging a big mud pit, using clay to make creatures, feeding the animals and using the mud kitchen. The children’s enthusiasm and joyfuness was very special to see.

Below are the photos from our Tuesday class.

Below are Wednesday’s class enjoying forest school

Final farewell to our fabulous Year Fours

Above are our resilient Monday class. The morning started with wild winds of gusts up to 45 MPH and torrential rain so we abandoned our planned ideas and got dressed up in full waterproofs and spent the morning in the small park and on the school site doing a team-building string challenge, flying kites, lighting Kelly Kettles, and digging in the mud! Lots of fun but no pictures. In the afternoon we were treated to some sunshine and we built dens, made leaf rubbings, played games and picked yet more blackberries! Such a fun time.

These are the very resilient Tuesday class and they are survived and thrived during two unscheduled heavy downpours today! Thank goodness they are such good shelter builders! What a brilliant bunch they are.

Above are the Wednesday children, enjoying the warm sunshine and making the delicious Bronze Age bread dough.

Pond dipping and hot dogs

We have had a fabulous week at forest school with the Y4 children. It has been a fun week of bug hunting, pond dipping, erecting our new shelters, new nature games and perfecting our tipi fire building. The wind was a challenge with the shelters on Monday and the lack of wind on Tuesday made keeping the fire hot enough for cooking a challenge! Our cooking over the fire this week was puff pastry on a stick with hot dogs – absolutely delicious!

Above are the photos from our Monday class.

Here are the adventurous Tuesday children in the photos above.

Here are the Wednesday children at forest school in the park.

Bug hunting, natural paints, games and popcorn

Week two at forest school with our year 4 children was fabulous. One of the most popular activties with everyone was bug hunting. There is nothing more fascinating than using sweep nets and magnifying pots to discover the grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, spiders, beetles and all other manner of crawling and flying insects that live hidden in the long grasses and reeds on the marsh.

Another exciting choice was to make natural paints from crushing charcoal and blackberries and smashing up chalk to make paint for temporary body art and large communal paintings. We ate popcorn, cooked over the campfire and enjoyed a hot chocolate with our snack.

In the afternoon we went to the park and did a tree identification scavenger hunt, litter picked, picked more blackberries for paint and learnt two new stalking and listening nature games. We had a lot of fun together!

Below are photos from Monday

Below are photos from Tuesday. As you can see from our photos, the weather changed and was wet but mild so we changed the activities to suit the weather. We pond dipped instead of bug hunted and found so many interesting water creatures and played spear throwing instead of natural paints.The fire builders really did well with lighting the fire in the rain!

Below are photos from our Wednesday class.

Welcome back to forest school and the new academic year!

Above are photos from 4C

We have had a fantastic start to the new term. The weather was very hot and sunny, which was so nice! Helen and Lisa were thrilled to welcome the children back to forest school. We took full advantage of the seasonal fruit on offer and foraged for blackberries in the park to make jam. It was delicious spread on freshly toasted bread, cooked over the campfire.

On the marsh, we practised our whittling skills to make cooking sticks and key rings, using peelers and knives. Everyone was skillful and safe with the tools. Some children used the wood splitter to split logs for kindling, which we used to build a new type of fire – a tipi structure. We toasted bread and boiled water for a drink.

Erecting the tipi tent was a fun problem-solving team activity and it gave some welcome shade on the marsh. There were two games to try out – FS noughts and crosses and ‘Fish and Otter’ – both were lots of fun.

In the afternoon we went to the park and were great eco warriors as we litter picked an enormous quantity of rubbish. Tree climbing, den building and exploring were all lots of fun. Some of the children got creative and enjoyed using the reeds and long grass to do some weaving pictures, while others played a scavenger hunt game. It was fantastic to see the new mix of classes working so well together.

Above are photos from 4P

Above are photos from 4M

Y5 have their final forest school session by sharing their experiences of the wild places they have been discovering.

This presentation was written by CK in 5T

The John Muir Award

The John Muir award is an adventure award for when you do, conserving, exploring, discovering and sharing what you did for each wild place. You can do anything for each but it has to with the topic you pick. For sharing you have to make a presentation- it can be any style you like so long as it tells people what you have been doing to get the award. You can then put it online or make a poster to share the information.   

Who was John Muir?

John Muir was an explorer who loved to save wild life and respected it. John Muir was born in Scotland in 1938 his family went to the USA in 1949. John Muir helped with the first national park be made in the world.

Discover a wild place

We went to our local beach, park and the Marsh. These are all good places to discover or you could do a local forest, woods or hills. You can discover any type of area of nature.

Explore it

To explore it you can climb trees, make a den, play a game in a woody area, pond dip, paddling or make stone towers. If you do anything to do with exploring it you can move on to conserve it.

Conserve it

To conserve [which means protect or look after], you could do an OPAL survey. We tested the water in the lake, we did this at the marsh. You can do litter picking -we did this at the park. Or you could do a beach clean at your local beach -we did this too. You can do anything to clean and improve a wild place.

The John Muir Discovery Award

John Muir was an explorer, mountaineer, conservationist, botanist, amateur geologist, environmentalist and writer.

We have been working towards this award by doing different things.

  1. Discovering Wild Places

We have discovered the marsh, the park and the beach

It was wet and muddy fun. 

The beach was very hot and a lot of fun.

  1. Exploring wild places.

We explored these places by playing deer and wolf (a hiding game), climbing trees, paddling in the sea, building a den, doing nature craft like making beads from elder branches and stick weaving, cooking on the fire (we made Chocolate Bannock) and by building sandcastles.

2.  Conserving these places
We helped to conserve them by picking litter in the park and by doing a beach clean.

John Muir would be proud!

This week the Y5 children have all been for a visit to the West Rise adopted beach. We walked the a total of 6KM there and back and the sun certainly treated us to some hot weather! We discovered what was actually a new wild place for many of us and spent 4 hours exploring and adventuring on the beach. The activities included: a sit spot, a beach clean, paddling, skimming stones, stone tower balancing, shell collecting, shell and pebble jewellery, positive affirmation stones, burying each toher in the stones and eating ice-creams. It was a wonderful week; all of Y5 behaved incredibly well and were great ambassadors for the school.

More photos of our wonderfull week – this time from Monday’s class.

Welcome back Year 5 – John Muir Discovery Award

We are excited to announce that the Y5 children are undertaking their John Muir Discovery award this term. It fits nicely with the vibe of forest school and is a nationally recognised nature and conservation award. There are four elements to the award which are: Discover a wild place, explore a wild place, conserve a wild place and to share their experiences. We look forward to sharing what we have done over the next three weeks.

This week we have litter picked the area in front of the marsh where a shocking amount of rubbish had been dumped overthe sunny weekend. We did some citizen science by completing water surveys to see how healthy the lake on the marsh is, we cooked chocolate bannock, hunted for mini beasts and made natural crafts with elder wood. The sun shone and we had a fantastic week!

The Wednesday group’s photos are below.

Wild Beach with Year 6

This week we have had unseasonably wild windy and unpredictable rainy weather. It has been a challenge and has tested our resilience. However, our hardy Year 6 children have been wonderful and really embraced the elements and a new wild place to explore. The real excitement came from the incredible beach treasure we have found over the week. As well as the wild weather, the children showed great perseverence with the 6km walk – they had such positive attitudes throughout and a great sense of fun. We will miss you all and wish all the very best in your next adventures.

Above are our Monday group with a little sunshine, a lot of showers and some fierce wind! Below are our Tuesday group with no sunbut a lot of wild wind.

Below are the photos from our Wednesday group – we had an awesome final day with all our Y6 children.