Our first day back with the children was Wednesday and it was straight out to the forest for our Wednesday morning group. The children love to put on the forest make up and look at themselves in the mirror.
The children learned about how to build a safe fire. The fire surround keeps everyone at a safe distance from the fire. We used a Kelly Kettle to heat the water for the hot chocolate and learned about how this works.
The children used what they had learned and went off and made their own fire surrounds.
The Thursday group also learned about the Kelly Kettle and safe fires and helped create the fire surround. They then enjoyed a well earned hot chocolate.
The Friday group love to explore. They risk assessed whether it was safe to cross the river over a bridge made of stones. They decided it was safe after measuring the depth of the water as it would not be near the top of their wellies. And so we crossed over into a new part of the forest which was very exciting.
The teamwork that forest school involves is often overcoming challenges or problems and working together to find a solution.
We also found some shrimps in the water and had fun with the forest make up.
If you get the chance to watch ITV’s Planet Child please do. It is a very interesting programme about the freedoms children had in the past and what they have now. Forest School allows children freedom to explore and take risks which is so important for their development of confidence and independence.
The children were so excited to make pancakes today on fire. They helped to make the batter for the pancakes. To make pancake day little bit more interesting, the children came up with an idea to set up a pancake topping bar which they used to select their topping for their pancakes. They suggested chocolate syrup, strawberries,sprinkles, honey and golden syrup.
The Tuesday group learned about making a fire with safety at the forefront of the learning.
Then they toasted marshmallows on the fire.
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.
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.
Following yesterday’s wet weather cooking, the children were really keen to cook outdoors again today especially as the sun was shining. We looked at all the ingredients that we had and we decided that pancakes would be a great thing to cook. The girls and boys counted the eggs and weighed the flour and sugar, then mixed it in to a lovely batter. We are so lucky to have a new griddle pan that fits on the fire and it cooked our pancakes perfectly.
We had fun making lentil soup outdoors today. The children helped to peel and cut the carrots and were excited to cook the soup on the fire. It was quite rainy today so we made a temporary shelter on the side of the fire pit where the children enjoyed to sit and watch the soup cooking. Theyalso liked having a wee taste of the soup and most of children liked the taste.
We have been developing our gross motor skills as well as hand eye co ordination and balance through rope work.
We found a small hole in a tree – ‘I wonder what’s inside?’
We began coppicing with the full day group on Wednesday. Coppicing is a method of woodland management and allow trees and plants the chance to grow. The children made the fire paying attention to the safety rules and then we had our hot chocolate
When we were ready to head back to the centre the tree was missing ! So we identified another tree to use for coppicing on Thursday.
The children developed their patience, problem solving and risk assessing. They used real tools with adult support to cut a tree. They picked an Ash tree as there are many of those trees in the Forest school site.