Have a look at our latest Forest School News here.......Keep coming back to see regular updates!
Ethos of Forest Schools
“Forest School is based more on the process of learning than it is on the content, more on the 'how' than the 'what'. This means that genuine Forest School practice steps out of the shadow and limitation of 'planned activities' and ventures collaboratively into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and ultimately unlimited. Learners are given encouragement to direct their own learning - this often requires catalysing on the part of the FS leader either through stimulating play in the outdoors or through 'scaffolding' a child's learning, but mostly through simply observing how children are in the outdoors.”
Year 4 and Year 3
Please COME TO SCHOOL IN YOUR FOREST SCHOOL CLOTHES on your Forest School day
(wellies in a bag please!)
You will need several layers of loose, comfortable OLD clothing.
Please, ALWAYS bring an OLD, WARM COAT and some wellies or walking boots.
The weather is getting colder and wetter now, some of our Forest School learners are only bringing thin coats, or no coat at all and they are getting cold in the woods!
NO TRAINERS PLEASE.
YOU WILL BE GETTING MUDDY!
You can always take a layer off if you get too hot..
But if you don't wear enough layers, you may get cold..
This will affect your learning in the woods and you'll not have as much fun, so...
WRAP UP WARM, TOO MUCH IS BETTER THAN NOT ENOUGH!
Please scroll down the page to see what Year 4 and Year 3 have been learning about in the Woods and on the Animal Park since September.
Year 3 -
All of Year 3 have now had their three sessions for this half term; Group 1 will have the first three weeks after half term and Group 2 will have the second three weeks.
Thank you Year 3, you have been amazing, Laura and I have really enjoyed our three sessions with each group and we look forward to working with you again after half term.
Mrs. Marshall will be staying in the classroom with the half of the class who are not in the woods.
Have a look at the planning for your sessions by tapping the Planning and Risk Assessments tab.
Thank you all for your continued support. Miss T and Laura.
Year 3 - Group 2 - Session 3 - 23rd October
Animal Park and Pond dipping.
We spent some time on a very muddy Animal Park before we went down to the pond to do some pond dipping.
The animals were all very pleased to see us because we had lots of fruit waste in our school piggy buckets today. The goats love bananas, apples, pears and carrots and we are a lot more confident now to hold the fruit in our hands while they munch away. The guinea pigs had carrots, apples and pears too and Olive and Horace tried very hard to eat everything else! We saved some fruit bits for Hamish, Horace and Dottie, Miss T's pigs and we fed them before we went to the pond. One of our black hens has been really poorly for the last few weeks and we didn't think she was going to survive; we have been giving her lots of cuddles and extra food and this week she came out of the coop on her own and had a run round the Animal Park with her brothers and sisters!
We walked down to the pond and Miss T and Laura told us how Year 6 dug it out two years ago and we talked about how the pond is fed by a fresh water spring which makes sure fresh water flows through it all the time. Miss T and Laura gave us some bottles and we filled them with pond water and had a look if there were any creatures in there. We saw lots of fresh water shrimp, some tiny leeches and some small red midge larvae. It was really exciting looking for the different creatures, we were very enthusiastic and some of us even ended up lying down on our tummies so we could reach right down into the water to fill our bottles! We found some mud in the stream that flows from the pond and we painted our faces. Some of use weren't keen to do this to start with but once we saw others doing it, most of us ended up with painted faces, or at least a muddy nose! We made mud faces on the trees too.
Laura had a new coat that blends in with the trees. She went and hid behind a tree and she was so camouflaged that we couldn't see her!
Have a look at our photos below.
Year 4 - Session 7 - 21st October
Orienteering and finding markers in the Woodland.
We were very lucky with the weather today, it hardly rained at all!
We went straight to the woods today because we had a lot to do! We looked at our woodland maps again and remembered how to ground them from our learning last week. We split into groups and were each given a numbered 'marker' to find on our maps. We then had to work out how to get to the marker by using our maps, deciding which woodland paths we could use, and once we had found the marker, we had to memorise the instruction and action that was written on a log cookie at the marker. We came back to the log circle and each group took it in turns to mime their action for the rest of the group to guess what the instruction was. Some of the mimes were "climb a tree", "watch the wildlife", "jump in a puddle", "go for a walk", "hide in a den" etc. It was a lot of fun and we had to work together and communicate. We did so well that each group was given a different 'marker' to go and find and memorise the instruction and action. We then came back to mime this to the rest of the group, making sure that the mime was different this time.
We had a bit of free time at the end of our session today so we could explore the equipment on the Forest School site.
Have a look at our photos to see how much fun we had in the woods today.
Year 3 - Group 2 - Session 2 - 16th October
A Muddy Animal Park and Autumn Treasure!
The Animal Park was very muddy today and Miss T and Laura showed us how to let the chickens, ducks and goats out of their enclosures. The ducks and chickens have special small doors in their coops so they can get in and out, but the goats and pigs can't get in! The ducks are a lot braver now and they come out to play in the mud in Horace's enclosure. Scooby and Shaggy now have a path of paving stones so they don't have to walk through the mud. Goats really don't like getting mud in their hooves!
We fed all the animals some fruit bits out of the school piggy bucket and the goats are getting better at taking apples out of our hands. We have to hold on to the apples really tightly while the goats nibble at them. If we drop the apples the goats won't eat them, they don't like muddy food! Some of us were feeling very strong today and we carried a bench into Scooby and Shaggy's enclosure so they have something else to climb on. They have an obstacle course to play on now, just like Norbert, Norris and Ned have.
We went to the log circle in Forest School and Miss T taught us about the four layers in a woodland, the canopy, which is the roof of the wood or the tops of the tallest trees; the shrub layer which is the smaller trees; the field layer which is where nettles and brambles grow and the ground layer where fungus, grass and moss grow. All the layers of the woodland work together and help keep the woodland healthy. We learned a song to the tune of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. See if you can sing it for your grown ups, Group 2!
We lay on the woodland floor and looked up at the canopy, we could see the trees moving in the wind and could see the sky above. It was very relaxing and we stayed there for ages!
We had a look at some wonderful woodland Autumn treasures with Laura. She had a crate with lots of wonderful seeds, leaves and berries from the trees in our woodland. We learned that conkers are the seeds of the Horse Chestnut tree, acorns are the seeds of the Oak tree (some of us already knew that, which was very impressive!); we learned that pine cones come from evergreen conifer trees (like Christmas trees) and we looked at some red berries from the Hawthorn tree. We looked at lots of different leaves and talked about how they change colour in Autumn.
Even though it was raining for some of our session today, we didn't mind because we had all brought warm coats and wellies, so we didn't even get wet and we were all lovely and warm!
Have a look at some photos from our session today.
YEAR 4 - Session 7 - 14th October
Muddy Animals and Map Reading
The Animal Park was very muddy and slippery today. The goats did not venture out of their paddocks, they really don't like getting their feet muddy. We tried to make Horace's paddock a bit better by raking the mud, but it just got sloppier and sloppier the more we raked! We learned how to put a paving slab in on the walkway down to the duck enclosure. We had to dig out a square the same size and thickness as the paving slab, then level it so it didn't wobble. It was more difficult that we though it would be!
It started to rain quite heavily as we went into the woods and we realised how important it is to wear a warm, waterproof coat and wellies with thick socks now the seasons are changing and the weather is getting colder and wetter!
We are starting to learn about orienteering in school and Miss T brought some maps of the woodland so we could have a look. We learned how to 'ground' a map, that means put it in the correct orientation so that the landmarks on the map correspond to their position in the wood. We talked about direction too and found out which way was north, south, east and west.
Miss Johal is not familiar with the woodland so we asked her to find a way of getting to the meadow by using the map. She took us the long way round, but we finally got there! It was hard for some of us not to tell her which way to go, but we mostly managed to let her lead the way.
The sun came out just as we needed to come back to school, but we had a lot of fun today and we learned lots about map reading too!
Have a look at our photos below.
Year 3 - Group 2 - Session 1 - 9th October
Our Animal Park.
Well done Group 2, you all remembered to come to school in your Forest School kit!
The weather was fine and dry for our first session with Group 2, and we went to meet all our animals. Behaviour was excellent (from animals and children!) and everyone worked hard to make sure all our animals are well cared for. We collected some chicken eggs, we swept the roof of the goat shed and the pallets in the goat enclosure; we fed our five goats, Norris, Norbert, Ned, Scooby and Shaggy and even our ducks came out of their enclosure for some food! They've only just started to do that as they are only 14 weeks old and are still a bit shy. Horace's area was very muddy after all the rain so we had to be careful because it was very slippery. We changed Horace's drinking water because it was very dirty and we cleaned out the water bucket in the goat enclosure too. We fed everyone some of the fruit waste from the school piggy bucket and thought it was very funny when Horace sat down for his food. We were surprised how wiry his fur feels, and we noticed that it is very different to the goats fur which is very soft.
We fed the guinea pigs some apples and watched as they came out of the hutch. They are very good at sharing their food with each other too!
We all washed our hands and our wellies at the end of the session because we were very muddy from all our hard work!
Have a look at some photos below.
Year 4 - Session 6 - 7th October
Autumn Land Art in the Woods.
After feeding our animals from the fruit waste school piggy bucket (which was very full today), we opened up the small doors in the chicken coops, let Horace, Scooby and Shaggy out to play with Norris, Norbert and Ned and then Laura showed us a new small door in the gate to the duck enclosure. We opened that up too, but the ducks are still too shy to come out to play. Norris ate an apple out of our hands. We had to hold on to the apple very tightly while he chewed bits off it. We went and fed Hamish, Donut and Dottie, Miss Thompson's pigs before we went into the woodland.
Miss T and Laura talked to us about being careful with loppers, they showed us how to use them sensibly so no one gets hurt, and we listened really well. Some of us could remember what to do from when we used loppers in Year 2! There were lots of amazing Autumn leaves and fruits / seeds that Miss T and Laura had collected for our session today. We learned that conkers are the fruit of the Horse Chestnut tree, acorns are the fruit of the Oak tree and the Hawthorn tree has bright red berries. We used the loppers to cut some branches into equal lengths to make a picture frame on the wood floor, then we used the Autumn berries and leaves to make pictures in our frames. We had to work together in our groups to make a good picture. There was lots of chatting and good communication; we shared the loppers and we were all very safe using the tools.
Our pictures were TREE-MENDOUS! Have a look at the photos from our wonderful Forest School session today.
Our woodland pictures are still there, we are letting nature take them back and we will see what is left next week.
Why not go and have a look for yourselves?
Year 3 - Group 1 - Session 3 - 2nd October
Jobs on the Animal Park and a visit to the woodland pond.
We thought it was going to rain again this afternoon, but for the most part we had a dry afternoon for our last Forest School session for this half term.
We went and did some jobs on the Animal Park - we let the chickens out, opened the gates for Horace, Scooby and Shaggy to come out; we shoveled poo, collected eggs, filled the hay baskets in the goat sheds and made sure the water in the guinea pig run was clean too. We tidied away all the tools and then we went down to the pond. Laura told us that it is nearly two years since year 6 dug this pond out and we couldn't believe how many plants are growing in there now; we could hardly see the water! Miss T gave us some bottles to fill with pond water to see if there were any creatures and we found a lot of shrimp and some little black worm like creatures. We were careful to tip the water back into the pond even if it looked like there was nothing in there, some of the creatures could be microscopic (that means really small!) We tried some fresh watercress, there's lots growing in the pond. We didn't like it very much! We found some clay on the bank of the stream that flows away from the pond - it was an orange colour. We painted our faces and made some little pots.
We had a really good session today and Miss T and Laura said our behaviour was brilliant.
Have a look at our photos.
Year 4 - Session 5 - 30th September
Pond dipping and clay pots
The weather was a bit damp and rainy today, but as we had (nearly) all brought proper Forest School kit, we put our wellies on and went to the Animal Park to let the chickens out of their coops for a run round. Horace and Scooby and Shaggy asked if they could come out to play too! Horace did a little dance when we opened his gate and then made a bee line for the fruit waste bucket. Miss Johal tried to beat him to it, but she was just not quite as fast as Horace! We managed to get the bucket off him before he ate everything and we made sure Olive got some food too! We collected the eggs and did a few jobs and then we went down to the pond in the woodland.
Our pond, which was excavated by Year 6 back in January 2019, is now really well established with lots of plants growing in it to keep it well oxygenated and clean, but there was not much sign of life in there apart from a few shrimp. A lot of the wildlife in the pond has buried itself in the mud at the bottom of the pond ready for the winter and the tadpoles have all changed into frogs now too. We remembered from when we were in Year 2 that there was clay on the sides of the stream leading out of the pond and we used digging tools to get some out. We made pinch pots and then some of us painted our faces. We ate some watercress that is growing in the pond. It tasted very peppery and made our tongues tingle!
We had such a lovely time at the pond today that we didn't even notice that it was raining!
Have a look at our photos....
Year 3 - Group 1 - Session 2 - 26th Sept 2020
Exploring the Woodland
We spent some time on the Animal Park and learned how to let the chickens out. They have small doors in their coops that Miss T opens for them so they can have a run round in the afternoon. The reason the doors are small is so that our naughty goats can't get into the coops and eat all the chicken food! We found some eggs in the nesting box and we also opened up Horace's paddock so he and Scooby and Shaggy, our two new goats could come out and have a wander around the Animal Park. We looked at the new ducks, there are four of them and they are a bit shy at the moment because they are not used to us yet.
We went into the woodland and we learned a song about the four layers of the woodland, the canopy, which is the where tops of the tallest trees are, the roof of the wood; the shrub layer, which is where the smaller trees are; the field layer, which is where nettles and brambles grow and the ground layer where moss and soil are found. We lay on the woodland floor and looked up at the sky through the canopy. It was very beautiful to see the sunlight shining through the trees.
We found loads of acorns and we learned that these are the seeds of the oak tree. Squirrels eat acorns, and we do have squirrels in our wood, so they'll have plenty to eat this winter! We went down to where the bike ramps are and found a huge tree trunk. We worked together and lifted it over the mud pit so we could use it as a balance beam.
We had a wonderful time in the wood, and the weather was beautiful! Have a look at our photos.
Year 4 - Session 4 - 23rd September 2020
A Rainy Day.
The weather really closed in at about 12 noon today so the decision was made to have a classroom Forest School session to make the Aspiration Stars that the children have been planning with Miss Johal. They had made a template of their design and this afternoon they painted their wooden star with their design of what they aspire to be / do when they are older. These stars will be displayed in the classroom and Miss Johal will be uploading photos of the children with their stars on the Year 4 class page within the next day or so.
The sun came out for the last hour of the afternoon, so we decided to put our wellies on and go and see the Animals. Our four new ducks have arrived and were happily swimming around on their pond in their super-fox-proof enclosure. They are Indian Runner ducks and we have three ducks (girls) and one drake (boy). Two of them are 8 weeks old and two of them are 10 weeks old, so they do not have all their adult feathers yet and still have quite a lot of growing to do. They sleep in a beautiful playhouse mansion, which was kindly donated to our Animal Park by Mrs. Marshall. We will be naming our ducks next week and we have had a few super suggestions so far.....
We collected 12 chicken and 14 quail eggs and fed the goats and Horace and Olive the fruit waste from the piggy buckets. We learned how to let our hens out through small doors in their coops so they can have a run round outside. There are only a few photos this week but have a look and we hope for better weather for our next Forest School session.
Year 3 - Group 1 - Session 1 - 18th September 2020
The Animal Park
We went to the Animal Park to meet the animals today. The weather was beautiful and everyone was on their best behaviour, animals and children alike! Scooby and Shaggy, our two new goats, were a bit scared and kept running off, but we talked to them and got some food and they soon calmed down. Horace, our big pig, was very funny because Miss T asked him to 'sit' and he lifted up his trotter and opened his mouth for the food!
We explored the Animal Park and even found four little quail eggs in their hutch. Quails are ground nesting birds and if they get scared the fly straight upwards. We were very careful not to frighten them and Laura opened the hutch so we could find the eggs. The eggs were really well camouflaged, they are speckled brown and cream and they are a lot smaller than the chicken eggs we found. Miss T opened one of the quail eggs and one of the chicken eggs; the yolk inside is really tiny in the quail eggs. We learned that quails and chickens (and ducks) lay one egg every 24 hours.
We did some jobs on the Animal Park because there is always lots to do to make sure the animals are all well looked after with clean, fresh water and comfy beds. We changed Horace's water, swept his feeding area and shoveled up some of his poo! We swept the roof of the goat pen and filled the hay baskets for all the goats. Olive was very noisy when we were feeding the other animals so we made sure she got some fruit scraps from the school piggy bucket too.
We really enjoyed our first Forest School session today. Have a look at some photos below.
Year 4 - Session 3 - 16th September 2020 -
Back in the Woods
We went straight to the woods today and sat on our new, much bigger log circle that the Year 6 children constructed in their last session way back in March. We chatted about our memories of Forest School in Year 2 and most of us remembered the muddy sessions and asked if we could have some more of those! We learned the Woodland Canopy, Shrub, Field and Ground song; we picked it up really quickly, then we lay on the woodland floor and looked up at the tree canopy. We watched the trees blowing in the wind and listened to the sounds in the woodland. We made dust and leaf angels on the floor too. Miss T said we will try lying on the floor and looking up at the tree canopy again in December to see how different it looks!
We played some team games and remembered our animal alliteration names from Year 2. We couldn't think of a name for Miss Johal as we have lots of children whose names begin with 'J', so Miss Johal had to be "Miss-Johal-who-hasn't-got-a-name-yet"! We tried the moss ball game and the trust rope circle; we did really well for a first try, but we do need a bit more practice!
We tidied up the Forest School site and made a huge pile of sticks, then we explored the equipment. Some of us are really good at climbing trees so we helped others who weren't as confident. We had a really good time in the woods today and our behaviour was excellent.
Have a look at the pictures from today's session below.
Year 4 - Session 2 - 9th September 2020 -
We had beautiful weather for our first Forest School session today. The sun shone all afternoon and we spent time meeting our animals. There are two new goats called Scooby and Shaggy and Norbert, Norris and Ned, our other goats, were happy to introduce them to us. They all get along really well and roam all over the Animal Park together. Horace the pig was wandering round today too and he ate lots of fruit scraps from the piggy bucket. We made sure Olive had some too! She was busy making her bed, she put lots of things in it to make it more comfy, like a large sack and some hosepipe! We thought it was very funny!
All the chicks that hatched in the Spring are now fully grown and there are now 30 chickens on our Animal Park. They are very tame and eat out of our hands. We went looking for eggs and found 24. Some of the eggs were very well hidden and we had to get in some really tight spaces to get to them. Dilly, one of the fluffy hens has decided she wants some more chicks, so she is incubating two eggs (that means sitting on them to keep them warm for 21 days until they hatch!) Miss Thompson said that it's a bit late in the year to be hatching eggs because the weather could be a bit too cold for little chicks to keep warm enough, but Dilly is a very determined hen that really wants to hatch some chicks!
We have 10 quails on the Animal Park now too, they lay very small eggs that are very well camouflaged and difficult to find. We managed to find four eggs hidden in their hutch.
We did lots of jobs too, like sweeping the pallets in the goat paddock, shoveling piggy poo and sweeping the roof of the goat shed. We also put lots of hay in the baskets for the goats (and Horace!) to eat. The goats and Horace let us brush them. Shaggy the goat has very long hair that gets tangled. He wasn't very keen to be brushed but we will keep trying and hopefully he'll get used to it soon!
It was very exciting meeting all our animals. Have a look at some photos below.