17th September 2020
Reception class are doing so well seeing as this is only their second week of Forest School. They remembered where to sit at base camp and remembered our rules to stay safe and look after each other. We started with a recap of the site, our welcome song and our name game. The children are so confident at taking a turn.
After this, we all went to find sticks in the wooded area. In our groups, we ordered the sticks by size. The children realised they needed to put the sticks next to each other to compare them and they were able to practice using lots of comparative language. Next one child in each group lay on the ground and we used the sticks to make an outline of their body. They stood up slowly, leaving the outline behind on the ground and then the children used different natural materials to decorate them. One even had a surfboard to ride on! Some of the children have started to be able to identify the hawthorn berries and willow leaves which is fantastic. We will continue to introduce them to new plants each week.
Year 3 started their session with a welcome song and the name game. Then we focussed on our senses, in particular listening. We learnt how to play 'guard my tree' and discussed tactics to move stealthily without getting caught. The children played this in small groups in the wooded area.
Next, the children had the choice to explore in different ways. As they will be studying the Stone Age later in the year, we are doing some activities around this. The children made little pouches out of 'leather', which we hope they will use to gather useful resources over the weeks. Some children collected blackberries and used them to tie-dye some material and other children enjoyed exploring the woods, carrying sticks and creating things together.
We took time at the end of the session to focus on our feelings and achievements. Many of the children shared that they found the activities challenging. We discussed that they involved persevering, solving problems and learning to do things for ourselves. It was lovely to hear some 'yes' moments from them as they completed their challenge.
In the afternoon Year 1 joined us. We focussed on the skill of listening and talked about what this involved. We played our 'creeping commanche' game which involved the children listening to the drum and staying still when it stopped with the aim of getting back to the mat without being caught moving. We had to focus on moving slowly and quietly to avoid being caught.
We quickly recapped on some of the different trees that are on the site: the hornbeam, the oak and the willow. The children gathered these leaves and made a face with them on the mat in front of them. We then chose how to use the rest of the Forest School time.
Some children enjoyed using clay to make leaf print tiles and creatures using the natural materials they had gathered. Other children threaded leaves carefully on to wool to make necklaces and kites and some of us enjoyed using natural resources to make a whole stick person.
We finished our session sharing our feelings about what we did today.