Today the children explored the local forest, they collected lots of logs,twigs and leaves from the woodland floor and used other items to build a den to hide in.
While collecting there was still time to climb a few trees and have a look at the surrounding area.
This week at Forest School, the children spent time on a rope swing we made together, and also spent more time climbing and balancing.
There was lots of problem solving skills as we worked out how to create our rope swing and where it was best positioned.
It is inspiring to watch the children challenge themselves in the woodland. Often, for some children, climbing a tree can present a challenge. As adults we never lift the children up or down from a tree. If a child tries many different ways to climb up and then works out how to climb down by themselves , then they will have risk assessed the situation by themselves, on the way up and down and will know what they need to do to be safe.
Nathan described to his friend how he got up : “you put one foot up, then bring the other foot up then pull yourself up”
Jade spent some time balancing along a long log, she slipped off many times, but achieved her goal in the end with determination and motivation. She also climbed a tree, look at the sense of achievement in her picture.
Rowan liked the fairy den we made last week, so we made another. This one has a proper roof to give the fairies shelter. Rowan said it was better than the other one.
I loved Rowan’s description of the Forest, she said “It’s very sticky”. I asked her what she meant, she said “there’s lots of sticks!”.
The children decided that they wanted to take some torches into the forest. They helped us to find some tiny minibeasts and see them more clearly.
We made some little flower posies to take back to the centre.
Whilst we were having our snack, I asked the children to close their eyes and tell me what they could hear.
Olivia and Rebecca could hear the birds, Lewis said “I can hear the wind and leaves”, Mhairi said she could “feel the rain”.
Here is some information on the art of ‘forest bathing’. Why not try it?
We had another 2 lovely sessions of Forest School today. The trees and shrubs are growing fast and furious meaning that each time we walk into our site it looks a little bit different.
This week is week 3 and it was interesting to see the children who had initially felt a little unsure of the forest really demonstrating a new sense of resilience and self confidence. This is of course what Forest School is all about.
Christopher was stung by a stinging nettle in the forest and it was very sore. We rubbed it better with a healing leaf and he quickly forgot about it.
Amelia spent a long time making a Stick Lady, she wanted her to have a skirt and hair.
Look at me!
A tickly spider…
And look who made an appearance – the Cart Mill cat who used to visit us at our portakabin home. It was so lovely to see him. We suggested the name Ginger for him.
When we go to Forest School we have a leader stick. This means that the child in front with the leaders stick leads the group into the forest. Michael was the leader on the way to Forest School.
Before we left to come back, I asked Michael to pass on the responsibility of the leader stick to one of his friends for the way back. Michael took this decision very seriously, and he took a little while to think about it. Jo suggested he sit down and think about it as she could see he was having to think very hard about choosing between his 2 friends James and Christopher, who were both keen to do it.
After a little while Michael said “I know, what about Christopher is the front leader and James is the back leader?”
This made veryone happy. Well done Michael.
Today was a beautiful warm spring day. Perfect for forest school. The children got to work to build their shelter so that they could plan for their learning and play in the wonderful outdoors.
Zoe helped the children to tie up the ropes to make a fantastic swing; everyone had a turn to swing and to push.
Climbing trees is also great fun and the boys and girls practiced their climbing skills, they helped each other when necessary.
Then it was time to sit down for a story and to have some snack. It’s been hard work outdoors.
In the afternoon the children found some sticks. They used string and other materials to weave the pieces of wood together; some children made their own stickman from the story by Julia Donaldson.
As is always the case in Scotland, we saw all the seasons in one day at Forest School. It was sunny and warm in the morning, then we were catching hailstones on our tongues in the afternoon!
I think you will see from these pictures that the children had lots of fun exploring the forest, climbing, bug hunting, and working together as a team.
Tune in next week for more Forest School fun.
Trying to make “fire”
Look a bug!
Look at me!
Come on Lucy
An A for Amelia
Lots of hard work to climb this tree
Ready for the off!
This morning we were delighted to host elected members and members of East Renfrewshire Council’s Directorate here at our centre to celebrate our official opening.
Provost Alastair Carmichael seemed particularly impressed with our centre , calling it a “first class facility”, and made a vote of thanks to all staff involved in the designing and building of Cart Mill Family Centre.
Councillor Elaine Green handed over our commemorative plaque, as she spoke of the “real happy and friendly buzz, that was started in its temporary facilities and continues into their new home”.
Councillor Green mentioned that outdoor play is a particular strength at Cart Mill. This led very nicely into the children performing their Forest School song “We love the Forest”, and telling some of their forest tales.
The children’s performance stole the show (as always), and special thanks go to Abby and Holly Constable for performing their ceremonial duty so beautifully.
Jillian and Zoe led the Forest School group today. As part of Forest School we all work together, this means carrying all our resources to the site. The children all have their own rucksacks, therefore the load can be spread easily. They packed them independently, as this was the only way theu would know what was inside each bag.
This group very quickly adapted to the woodland environment, and even from week 1 were showing creativity and imagination as to what they would like to learn in the forest.
Jillian and Zoe were there, however can you see how the children are off and exploring on their own? The children know that the only rule they need to remember is that they need to see and hear the ladies at all times.
A rope was required for this experience…
With minimal input from Jillian and Zoe the children are leading their own learning.
Some bubble fun!
When we went down to the woods today, we sure got a big surprise!! Last week at Forest School, the children decorated a tree and made a little house for the fairies. They also sprinkled some chocolate powder as they thought the fairies might like some.
It was all gone! Did the fairies come and take it?
We took some clay into the forest and made some forest faces.
Always time for a bit of climbing at forest school.