Stonebroom Primary And Nursery School

Welcome to Stonebroom Primary & Nursery School. Please take some time to browse our website and find out all about us.

  1. Forest Schools
  2. Current Year Group sessions Year 6 - Jan to April 24

Please scroll down the page to see photos of our latest sessions..... 

Year 6 (Sharks)

 Welcome to your Forest School activities page!

Here you will find details and photos of all our sessions in the Woodland and on the Animal Park.  Please scroll down the page to see what we're getting up to each week!

Sessions started on Tuesday 16th and Thursday 18th January.

The Forest School team are really enjoying our outdoor learning with Year 6 so far this term!

Planning, Risk Assessments and the letter home are available to download on the "Planning and Risk Assessments" tab on this page.

Please scroll down to see photos and write ups from our weekly sessions on the Animal Park and in the woodland!

Week 5 - whole class session - 15th Feb

Prepping our meadow for wildflowers!

The whole class had their Forest School session on Thursday this week, as on Tuesday Year 6 had their Bikeability training.

The Animal Park was very muddy again, but the animals were so pleased to see us with our bucketful of apples and tinned tomatoes! The goats enjoyed the tomatoes so much that they all looked like they were wearing lipstick!   Mr Moss joined us for the session and asked if there were any duck eggs spare.  We went and collected what was in the coop and there were about 30!  Duck eggs for breakfast, lunch AND dinner then Mr Moss!

After we had fussed and fed all the animals, giggled at Horace sitting for his food again and groomed Shaggy and Norbert, we made our way down to the pond to see if there was any sign of the frogs yet.  The water was flowing very strongly and had eroded away some of the dams, but there was no sign of any frogs.  We put our hands into our new pond and the silt felt very soft and silky.  We saw quite a lot of fresh water shrimp and some pond skaters, so it looks like spring is on it's way!

Miss T said she had noticed that our giant snowball from last Thursday was still in the woodland, so we went to have a look and sure enough, there was just a little bit of snow left under a pile of leaves, where we had left our snowball last week!

We went to the meadow with a giant bag of weed membrane.  Miss T explained that we were going to spread out the huge pieces of black plastic and weigh them down with logs so that the grass would not be able to grow under it.  The long term plan, for probably 2025, is to get rid of a lot of the grass and replace it with wild flowers and sunflowers and maybe even some vegetables and edible flowers to encourage more pollinators and birds into the woodland to help with food chains, thus ensuring a healthy eco system.

We spread the pieces of weed membrane out, carefully avoiding the paths, then went and fetched some big logs to weigh the polythene down and our hard work and team spirit really paid off, as you'll see from the photos. Some of the logs had really clear rings and most of us knew that these rings tell us how old the tree was before it blew down; each ring represents one year of growth.  Everyone worked really hard and some of us tried to repair the willow den, by trimming back some of the longest willow whips and planting them where there were gaps in the den.  We weaved the whips through the den and we noticed that some of them are just beginning to come into bud.  Another sign that spring is on it's way.  We also found a huge patch of jelly ear fungus.  This is quite safe and can be eaten, although it's not very palatable, but we did have a close look at it and it really does look like ears!  We also found turkey tail and birch polypore fungus, all of which are quite safe and non toxic.

Another group went back up to the pond and tried to mend the dams.  The bottom dam was mended so well that the water filled the pond and overflowed over the top!

A super full class session Year 6, behaviour was amazing and a lot of hard work was done. 

Have a walk down to the woodland over half term so you can see what we've been doing.

Meanwhile, have a look at our photos below.

Week 4 - 6th and 8th Feb

Animal Park, Orienteering and playing in the snow!

WOW!  We had two very different sessions this week!

Group 1, on Tuesday, spent quite a bit of time on the Animal Park.  It was good to see the animals properly as for the last two weeks, we've just waved as we've walked past because of needing to get down to the pond!

The goats and Horace were really pleased to see us on Tuesday and we collected quite a few eggs.  The hens and ducks are really starting to lay a lot of eggs again now we are getting to the end of the winter months.  Some of the hens are quite broody and Miss T said that we still need to collect the eggs from them because it's really too early to start hatching chicks and the eggs are probably not fertile yet anyway.

We went into the woodland after tidying up the Animal Park a bit, and we had a look at our "action log cookies".  Quite a few of us remembered these from Year 4.  These log cookies have a picture on one side and an action on the other, eg. "Use a bow saw", or "have a picnic".  When Miss T shows us the picture, we have to guess what the action is and mime it.  We think we need to make a few new ones because we could remember most of them, and also some of the ones that were missing from the box!

Miss T then reintroduced the woodland maps (updated 2023 version!) and we remembered how to "ground" our maps and find landmarks.  There are 10 numbered triangles marked on the map and Miss T had hidden an action log cookie in the woodland that corresponded with the triangles on the map.  We split into teams and were given a number and we had to go and locate the log cookie by using the map.  The cookies were quite well hidden and also camouflaged really well, but we did manage to find them all eventually.  Each team worked out a mime for the action on the cookie that we found and we mimed the action for the rest of the group to guess.  This was a lot of fun, but Miss T said she needs to make these a bit more difficult for next time!

Group 2, on Thursday, were meant to have a very similar session to Group 1, but as it snowed quite heavily during the morning, we started off the session with a bit of H&S and layering up in extra clothing to keep warm and dry, but then we had some fun on the playground making snow angels and doing snow-gymnastics!  We went on to the Animal Park, but no one was out, except the ducks who really don't mind what the weather is doing!  The goats and piggies were mostly in their sheds and everything was covered in a good coating of fresh snow!

We went into the woodland and just played in the snow for the first half hour or so.  It was important to keep moving to keep warm, but when you look at the photos, you'll see why we go so wet!  We had so much fun making giant snowballs, sliding down the slope and throwing soft snow at each other!

Miss T eventually called us back to do our orienteering but our log cookies were quite hard to find, because they were all covered in fresh snow!  We managed to bring them all back and acted out our mimes, it was lots of fun.

Both groups went down to the pond to have another look.  We even found some signs of Spring!  There are daffodils growing and some woodland lesser celandine has come in to flower... Group 1 mended the dams and asked if it was ok if they did this at weekends when they came to the woodland!  That is wonderful!

Group 2 were very cold and wet so we did come back to school a little early on Thursday so they could dry off near the heaters before going home.

Two wonderful sessions again Year 6.. Have a look at some photos below...

Week 3 - 30th Jan an 1st Feb

Finishing our pond project!

Our third pond is now complete!  We have all worked really hard to get this done, it's been muddy, messy and quite difficult to get the pond deep enough because of all the underground tree roots, but with perseverance, determination and fantastic team work, it's now looking brilliant!  We have decided to call it "Twin Lakes"! So if your children tell you they're off to Twin Lakes on a Saturday afternoon, don't worry, they're probably not off to Melton Mowbray!  The finished product looks amazing and all three ponds now have time to settle before the frogs arrive within the next few weeks.  We will look out for them each week during our FS sessions! 

We needed to find some long, strong logs to frame our new pond, so there is somewhere to kneel when looking for wildlife in there.  We found some silver birch and Alder logs but some of them were too long, so we had a go at bow sawing them down to size.  Everyone that tried this was super sensible with the saw and with good communication and team work, we soon got the logs cut to size and fitted into place.  Lots of mud was then needed to "cement" the logs to the side of the pond, and hopefully once the mud / clay has set, the logs will stay in place.

The two dams at each end of the new pond needed some work as too much water was getting through and the new pond wasn't filling up enough.  Again with fantastic team work and some brilliant problem solving skills, this issue was soon overcome and our ponds started filling up properly.

We had some time to make some mud faces, both on ourselves and on the trees.  On Thursday we found a log that looked like a pair of legs and one of us propped it up against a tree and moulded mud around it to make a person.  She then stood behind the tree with her arms out!  The effect is really fabulous and very funny!  Have a look on the photos below.  Another member of Group 2 made a really brilliant mud person on a tree... again, you'll see the result on the photos.

We've had a lot of fun with this project, we just need to wait for the wildlife to return now!

Thank you Year 6, a brilliant team effort!

Have a look at our photos below. 

 

Session 2 - 23rd and 25th January

Digging another pond!

All the frost had gone this week and the mud has returned, but at least the animals all have plenty of fresh water to drink now!

We went straight into the woodland and down to the pond, because we have a big project to complete within the next two weeks.  Last year, the Year 6 group dug an extension to the pond which they called  "The Lagoon".  This extension is an overflow pool to allow any pond inhabitants that get washed out of the main pond, the chance to survive rather than getting washed down the stream.  We decided that it would be even better if there was a second extension pool so we should get even more wildlife in our ponds.  Also these extension pools will provide an additional water source for woodland wildlife, such as foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, mice and voles and all our woodland birds to drink from and bathe in all year round.

We marked out an area just below the lagoon and started digging.  The soil was full of clay and roots which made it really difficult to dig.  If you look at the photos, you'll see that everyone started off clean and 'mudless', but as we progressed, we all decided that it was probably easier to get down on our knees and move the soil with our hands.  Everyone was super careful with the digging tools, and on Tuesday, Group 1 made a fantastic start by taking the top layer of clay off the area we had marked out.  A few of the group made a really excellent dam at the overflow of the lagoon to slow the water flow down while we dug out the new area.  

 Group 2 had to work through more roots and clay.  Group 1 and 2 both had several fantastic 'Root Rippers' who worked together to pull out the smaller roots.   They had to chop through a few roots with shovels before pulling them out of the ground but we were careful to leave the bigger tree roots, and we discovered that these will make bridges in the new pool and will be fantastic habitats for our pond life to hide under.  

The main work of the new pool is now done, and next week we need to make sure the logs that surround the it are secured with mud.  We then need to get the silt out of the main pond so that it is a lot deeper.  We will put the silt from the main pond into the overflow pools because it will be full of microscopic life.  We also need to work on the dams at the ends of each pool to make sure the pools are deep enough. On Thursday, some of the group found an ingenious way to break the deadwood off the end of some of the logs that we needed to frame the new pool, which you'll see in the photos.

We need to get this project completed by the end of next week, because from the second week in February, the frogs will return to our pond area to begin mating and producing their frogspawn.  We need to make sure the ponds have time to settle and recover before this happens

Thank you Year 6, you have all worked really hard this week!  We also had time to get just a little bit of mud on our faces!

Have a look at our muddy photos below.  The first few photos show the progress we made over both sessions this week, which was really amazing! 

Session 1 - 16th and 18th January

Revisiting the Animal Park

Everyone brought warm clothes for our Forest School sessions this week!  Fabulous, because it was REALLY cold.. in fact, all the water tubs on the Animal Park were well frozen over, some of them had really thick ice on them.  Miss T explained that there has been no running water on the Animal Park since the weekend as all the hosepipes that run from her house to the Animal Park are frozen.  We had to be really careful with what water there was left in the water tubs.  We took the ice off the drinking tubs to make sure the animals could all get a drink. 

We remembered all the rules of the Animal Park and also a lot of the jobs we used to do when we were in Year 4.  On Tuesday we collected over 40 eggs from the chicken and duck coops!  Miss T showed us two little chicks that had hatched just before Christmas!  She said that this has never happened before, because hens normally only hatch chicks in the spring, when the weather is getting warmer after the winter, but Mama hen had sneakily successfully incubated these two eggs in the back of the coop.  She is looking after them really well and all the other chickens in the coop are helping her by making sure they have plenty to eat and they leave Mama hen alone when she is keeping them warm under her soft tummy feathers. 

We fed all the animals from the school veg bucket and Horace did his sitting trick! He is very funny!  We groomed Shaggy and Norbert with some special brushes!  They loved it, and so did we!  We also looked at the huge sycamore trees that were blown down during the gales just before Christmas.. Luckily no animals were hurt and only the fence at the bottom of Horace's paddock needs mending.  

We went into the woodland to have a look at the pond, because our main project over the next two weeks will be to dig out another lagoon to encourage more wildlife to the pond area.  We need to get it done and finished before the middle of February because the frogs will be getting ready to spawn by then.  We'll be working really hard over the next four sessions, and we'll be getting very muddy and wet too!  Let's hope the ground isn't frozen next week!

Have a look at the photos from our first two fabulous Forest School sessions!