Brilliant blue skies and crisp dry weather

What a difference the sunshine and dry weather made this week; it was a totally different experience for many reasons. Happily, we were able to spend our time on the marsh again, as the water levels on the ground had subsided a lot!

Our Monday children braved some actual freezing temperatures but were wrapped up extremely well- out came the ski salopettes (duvet trousers) so we were cosy. We decided to have a ‘Walk Spot’, as opposed to our usual ‘Sit Spot’ to keep warm and really enjoyed the change of experience this offered.

We chose to have a little festive flavour to the green woodworking and many wooden snowmen tree decorations were made – they looked brilliant! Baked beans on toasted French bread was our welcome food today  they always taste so good when cooked over the campfire for a smokey taste.

The Tuesday group were treated to a rare low level flyover of a flock of swans- they flew so low that if Paul had reached up he could have almost touched them! Just incredible!

Learning new fire skills amidst some very wet weather!

This week’s team fire challenge really lived up to its name, particularly on Wednesday! Our brilliant Y4 children learnt how to lay and light a small fire in a Kelly kettle. This type of fire has a completely different lay to the upside down fire they are familiar with. The children worked in small groups to boil water for their hot drinks and to toast marshmallows to make yummy Smores. Every group succeeded and this was no mean feat, especially on Wednesday when it was heavy rain the entire day! The groups demonstrated excellent listening skills and teamwork.

Cinnamon apples, bird watching, whittling and a lot of fun.

It has been a wonderful week of proper wintery weather, dry, cold and clear. The temperature dropped and as it did we added ski socks, hats and gloves to our forest school clothes kit. We really appreciated the dry weather and were delighted that Sedley, our bird enthusiast forest school friend, came to visit. He brought his bird knowledge and telescope and there was a lot of gratitude from the children that he had come too join our session and share his knowledge. He was very complimentary about the chikdren’s behaviour – we are very proud of them. It is always interesting to be able to identify specific birds with his help. We saw widgeon, lapwing, coot, grebe, shoveller duck and many more.

Our chefs made delicious cinnamon apples and were able to show off their safe and skilful knife work, not only while cooking but also whittling. They whittled cooking sticks for next week and made key rings too.

In the park we climbed trees, litter picked and played forest school hockey and a hide and seek game together called ‘Deer and Wolf’. It was a lot of fun and the children played very fairly.

 

Tree climbing, hot dogs and big puddles

We often start the session in the park and this week the children chose between kindling collecting, tree climbing and litter picking. The kindling collection turned into a bit of tree identification so we could know which sticks were ok to burn and which to avoid (elder). There were some skilful tree climbers.

We were astonished to see just how flooded the marsh was this week. The lake had broken its banks in two places and the water was creating deep puddles that looked almost like small ponds! Everywhere was very wet and muddy and created a completely different space for us. However, we were treated to proper late autumn weather with dry, windy, sunny and very cold days (although Wednesday the wind dropped off and it felt almost hot with all our layers on!).

During our sit spots we noticed so many things: the change in colour of the reeds and the sky, the strength of the wind and how noisy it was, the many new birds  that had arrived on the lake, the shapes of the clouds and the different bird calls.

Our chefs made some excellent bread dough for us to cook on cooking sticks over the fire. We then filled these with yummy hot dogs and ketchup – delicious! The adventuring sticks we brought along were superb to use as dibbling sticks to explore the depth of the many puddles around.

 

It’s great to be back!

  We are delighted to welcome back our new Year 4 children. It has been lovely to see familiar faces and all of them so keen and full of gratitude to be back at forest school.

Immediately , we noticed the incredible volume of water that is now flooding the marsh. The past few weeks of relentless wet weather is taking its toll and we are having to search for dry areas in which we can work. There have been more than one or two wet pairs of feet!

Making natural firelighters and creating things from the green wood kept lots of us busy. Wood working is always a popular activity and children made dice, spinners and necklaces. It will be great to see how everyone develops the skills they learnt last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feedback from our Y4 Wednesday group

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Year 4 Wednesday group’s feedback about their forest school experience.

I thought that forest school was… 

Amazing – 8

Great – 4

Good – 1

OK – 0

 

The best things about forest school were:

All the teachers, making food, all the different activities we do, wood working, building structures, playing ‘Capture the Flag’, bird watching, the puddles, lighting the fire, being in nature, everything, lighting the fire, relaxing sit spots.

 

The worst things about forest school were:

 Walking a long way to the site, nothing, getting muddy, the animal poo!

 

Something I learned at forest school:

Fire safety, cooking, how to build a fire, to survive outdoors, teamwork, that you can make your own choices, nature is fun, the real name for herring gulls, I now know how to cook.

During forest school I got better at:

Making friends, being in nature, making fires, team work, stopping nature from dying, helping out, surviving the weather, making a hot drink, being myself.

Since going to forest school my teamwork has:

Got much better – 8

Got a little better – 4

Stayed the same – 1

I find talking in front of the whole class:

A lot easier than before – 5

A little easier than before – 5

The same as always – 2

Hard – 1

Really hard – 0

 

I found being able to choose what I wanted to do …

Brilliant – 10

Good – 2

OK – 1

Confusing –

Difficult – 0 

 

Write 3 words to describe how you feel when you are at forest school:

Relaxing, fun, educational, peaceful joyful, nature-filled, happy, free, I like nature, excited, great, calm, kind, amazing, proud, alive, relaxed, fantastic!

Feedback from the Y6 Tuesday children

Year 6 Tuesday group’s feedback about their forest school experience.

 

I thought that forest school was… 

Amazing – 13

Great – 6

Good – 1

OK – 0

 

The best things about forest school were:

Whittling, shelter building, cooking, ‘Capture the Flag’ game, the amount of time you have, everything is the best, being with friends, making and eating the food, the teachers, everything, socialising, eating scrumptious food, all of it, playing the different games, being out in the wind, learning how to use a knife to whittle, den building, learning about survival, splashing in the puddles.

 

The worst things about forest school were:

 Wearing the waterproofs, that forest school is finishing, nothing, wearing welly boots which make my feet ache, the rainy days, the clothes, not long enough, getting bitten by a spider but nothing else.

 

Something I learned at forest school:

Hand weaving, check how deep the puddles are, how to whittle, how to cook, how to keep safe, all of the recipes, how to use a Kelly Kettle, how to use a knife, survival skills, how to make a fire, how to make tea, be safe and have fun!

 

During forest school I got better at:

Survival skills, making hot chocolate, whittling, cooking, making friends, making a fire, the points of a compass, learning new team games, whittling, teamwork and friendships, getting friends, spear throwing, tidying up

 

Since going to forest school my teamwork has:

Got much better – 13

Got a little better – 5

Stayed the same – 2

 

I find talking in front of the whole class:

A lot easier than before – 5

A little easier than before – 4

The same as always – 7

Hard – 4

Really hard – 0

 

I found being able to choose what I wanted to do …

Brilliant – 15

Good – 4

OK – 0

Confusing – 1

Difficult – 0 

 

Write 3 words to describe how you feel when you are at forest school:

Great, happy, adventurous, excited, amazing, inspirational, fun, enjoyable, brilliant, wet, outgoing, proud, positive, out of this world, joyful, helpful, free, smart, jolly, sad that it has ended.