Category Archives: Forest School

Forest School – week 10!

It was our final week of Forest School.

For all groups this week we had our Forest school cook out. We enjoyed a sausage around the fire with our peers reflecting on what has been an exciting 10 weeks. The children have all developed an exciting and fulfilling experience. Although due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances the children were not always in the forest however there were forest activities on offer for the children to continue their development within the family centre.

We have had the pleasure of watching your children grow and develop their confidence within the forest, they have been exposed to new experiences. We have seen your children make new friendships. All of the children have now a good awareness of hazards and boundaries and have shown great participation in following our agreements on where these boundaries should be.

Here are some pictures of your children from their last week at Forest school.

The Tuesday afternoon group enjoyed the cook out and then got to work exploring the forest with a real confidence.

Wednesday group decided to reuse the wood from the fire to draw. The children shared the wood and all took a chance of creating a master piece.

The Thursday morning group found a friend.  We found a cream spot ladybird. The children were intrigued by the different colour of spots and enjoyed making new names for the little lady bird. We put it safely back on a leaf to allow him to go back to their family.

Our Thursday afternoon group were so excited to be back near the river. We splashed, jumped and skimmed stones. We listened for the different sounds we heard on this site compared to our other sites. The children felt it was louder because of the water. We also discovered a frog had laid eggs.  These were in danger of not growing due to them being too far away from the water.  Val and others placed them back to a place nearer the water edge and hopefully they will grow and become tadpoles soon.

We will leave feedback forms at the front office, if you would like to leave us some food for thought to help us further develop our future sessions.

Thank you very much for your support.

Sharon, Stephanie, Val and Jaweria.

Forest School- Week 9!

This week was our forest school week 9. What a fast 9 weeks and sadly we had some interruption throughout due to weather  including this week.  But this never stopped us having fun!

Tuesday

Unfortunately on Tuesday we had a yellow weather warning of high winds and this does make it very unsafe in a forest.  The children have been involved in discussion about why it was too unsafe.

We instead found a big field where we could explore and work as a team using the rope. One of our seats blew away and we found it in the big puddle. Children worked together to get it back.  The children discussed how we could save it while keeping themselves safe. After lots of problem solving the best way to do this was to get in the puddle with the seat and rescue it with their hands ! Well done!

Wednesday 

On Wednesday we still had a yellow wind warning in place and the children decided they would play in the park as it was safer than entering the forest. The children worked together and supported each other to use some of the equipment.  One of the children then decided to bring forest school to the park and brought out the rope. He asked a member of staff to tie a safe rope on the the climbing frame so he could climb up the side. The children spent all morning working with each other and did not require much staff support. We even forgot to have snack and had to have it when we got back to nursery.

Thursday am

Phew our weather warning has gone. Today we returned to our forest for week 9. Our children took off from where they left off. Our dens were built, we explored the slope, made our own and others snack, applied mud make up and balanced along a fallen tree. Busy bees!

Thursday PM

We got ready super fast and got to the forest in record time.  The children enjoyed climbing the fallen trees, making knots with the rope and of course hot chocolate under the canopy.  We never underestimate the pleasure and sense of achievement that children and adults feel when they climb a tree and neither did Friedrich Froebel in 1826.

Next week its ‘Cook Out’ week.  We will be cooking our lunch on the fire and having another chance to play with our friends in the forest.

Forest School – Week 8

This week all groups had an opportunity to use a bow saw. The bow saw is a tool particularly good for cutting wood.

Prior to using any tools staff have a safety briefing with children to discuss the risks that come along with using them. As this is week 8 children are aware and are talking about hazards and risks more frequently without adult encouragement.

To make our tree cookies we used wood that we had previously cut, the reason we do this is to ensure we are not removing any wood from the woodland that doesn’t need to be removed. Sticks and broken trees are a good resource of nutrients for the soil in the wood therefore we like to leave as much of them their to decompose, they also provide habitats for mini beasts.

 

Some children were more interested in exploring and using the rope swings, they will have the opportunity to use the bow saw next week again if they choose.

Others liked looking for minibeasts and climbing trees.

Forest School – Week 7

The Tuesday group love the water and they could spend hours playing here if our sessions allowed.  They like the sensory experience of treading water and looking into the water to see lots of interesting things.

They also used the magnifying glasses to find mini beasts.

We always enjoy a hot chocolate in the forest and this week we used the Kelly Kettle to boil our water.

On Wednesday it was cold at our usual site as it did not have any sunlight.  The group explored the forest and found a new area that we can use to rest our site from experiencing environmental damage through regular use.  It was warmer here too.

The Thursday morning group were keen to explore the new site.

They found a fantastic tree to climb, gathered sticks to make a den and identified trees from looking closely at their leaves.

The Thursday afternoon group loved climbing the trees in this new area too.

Forest School – Week 6

The Tuesday group learned about making a fire with safety at the forefront of the learning.

Then they toasted marshmallows on the fire.

Wednesday

Thursday AM

Thursday PM

This group got to wear our new waterproof suits today – don’t they look smart?

We love to stop and take in the sights and smells on our way to the forest.  The children noticed that the crocuses had opened since last week and were just lovely.

The mud was very squelchy at the entrance to the park.  We nearly lost our wellies in it.

We explored a new part of the forest this week.  It was fun to try out new things.

We learned about making a fire square again this week so that we could set up our kelly kettle.  The children gathered the sticks and built the fire square.  We boiled the water to make our hot chocolate.

Forest School Week 5

The Wednesday group are very interested in the insects that live in the woodland.  They went looking for them and then decided to make a home for them.

They gathered sticks, leaves and other items from the forest floor to create a home at the bottom of a tree.

The Thursday morning group learned about how to make a safe fire in the forest.  There is always a fire surround made from sticks that establishes the fire area and ensures that the fire is a safe distance from the children.  Fire safety forms an important part of the Forest School Leader Training.

 

Once the fire was established the children used their whittled sticks to toast a marshmallow on the fire.

On the way into the forest the children heard a loud sawing noise and noticed people up in the trees cutting branches.  We talked about the job of a tree surgeon and why they need to cut branches sometimes.

The Thursday afternoon group made a raft to sail on the river.   You can see the launch in this video.

Video FS 14 PM

The children in this group also learned about fire and whittled sticks to toast their marshmallows.

The trees at this part of the walkway have been felled to allow a greater view of the river and viaduct.  We love to stop and look at this view each week as it changes so much but is always inspiring.

Forest School Block 2 Week 2

This week we had very confident children who reached the height of their choosing using rope and their problem solving skills.  The rope was then used to create a swing for everyone to enjoy.

Others continued to explore the forest.

On Wednesday and Thursday sessions in the forest were cancelled due to the weather and so we used the green area behind the centre.

Children explored the area, investigating the ice with magnifying glasses.  Some found large muddy puddles and encouraged others to jump in.  Children used the ropes and cooperated with each other so that they got to the top of the hill.  They also played a game of tug of war.


Forest School – Block 2 Week 1

This was our first week of the new block and we have been so impressed with the children getting ready into their outdoor suits in super quick time.

It was a cold start to our forest school journey but that did not stop us having fun.

The children learned about boundaries – where they can go and explore in safety and where they cannot go beyond without an adult.  They also took part in risk assessing the site for any hazards.

Then it was time to explore and investigate the new environment.

We look forward to observing the children and noting how they extend their learning next week. Please remember layers ,cosy socks, gloves and a change of clothes for when we come back to the centre.  It looks like we are in for a cold one !

Forest Schools Best Bits

We are now at the end of our Forest school block one, what a journey it has been. Stephanie, Sharon, Val and Gemma have had the pleasure of seeing your children grow through the last ten weeks. We have observed children grow in confidence, taking on new challenges and building new friendships.

Here are some of our favourite memories.

Mud Make up became a tradition.

Our children challenged their gross motor development and reached new goals every week.

We learned new skills with tools. We assessed the risk and made decisions based on our own and others safety.

We watched as children developed new friendships and worked with each other as a team.

Our most favourite and memorable day was in week 6 – the mudiest week of all! We made a mud slide. There was laughter from all, children and staff and it will be a memory we treasure forever. For us staff, we appreciated how lucky we are to have a job that fills us with so much fun, joy and laughter.

We finished our journey off with a cook out which went down a treat.

We have had a great 10 weeks and we hope to hear how your child’s experience has been through our evaluation sheets. If you did not receive one please let Stephanie, Sharon, Val or Gemma know and we can get one to you.