We can’t seem to get the children out of the digging pit – not that we really want to! – so at the beginning of the week Miss Armstrong joined them and introduced some canes to help the children measure the depth of the holes they were digging! They also spent time preparing a patch of ground for scattering wild flower seeds which will be great for the bees.
The sporadic weather continued throughout the week so Miss Webster spent an afternoon supporting the children to build a fire to keep us all cosy! This was particularly exciting for some of the newer boys and girls who got to try to make sparks with the fire steels for the first time! They all did a fantastic job throughout the process with everyone lending a hand to clear the area of combustible materials, gather and sort firewood, build and maintain the fire as well as demonstrating their developing understanding of how to stay safe when we are fire building e.g. by walking up to it, kneeling next to it and so on!
We have also had our science hats on this week and we spent time dissecting some daffodils – we have a plentiful supply having planted lots of bulbs last Autumn so figured this would be ok! The children took the time to explore the different parts using all of their senses and to discover the inner workings of the daffodils! Some of them really liked the feel of the wet,sticky insides of the stem! We explored the petals, the pollen and the cup (corona) too. We are continuing to investigate roots and in an attempt to grow our own we have prepared some broad bean seeds for germination along with some *hopefully* colour changing carnations that will demonstrate their function!
The boys and girls are increasingly confident in spotting signs of Spring and have noticed many different leaf buds as well as new green leaves and needles emerging on trees. Some spotted new growth on a fallen tree and were quick to suggest that some of the roots must still be in the ground and transporting water up the trunk to allow this!! They also spent time with Mrs Ade trying to figure out how old trees are without having to cut them down and count growth rings! The children had a go at using measuring tapes to work out the circumference of the trunks. Some of the boys and girls decided to look at the girth of two trees to compare and predict which one was older and which one was younger.
Miss Clark continued the minibeast hunting , with a focus on millipedes, which is a favourite past time in our environment at the moment… the children are starting to notice habitats of preference and use techniques such as log turning to successfully locate minibeasts! Through discussion some of the children began to consider why minibeasts like living in particular places and spent time adding soil and small wood piles to our bug hotel.
The children have enjoyed spotting bird nests and looking out for signs of nesting. We have gathered several remnants of eggs from the forest floor and have been using the ID books to try to figure out which birds they belong to – there were two blue, speckled eggs shells at Badgers Wood. This is quite exciting as they could belong to a song thrush which the RSPB describe as a red status species that is in decline. Alternatively the eggs could have belonged to a robin which is perhaps more likely as we regularly spot them! Either way we hope there are fledged young somewhere! Some of the children had a go at making nests using mud, twigs and other natural materials. On Friday we also took the time to stop what we were doing up in Quarrelwood to listen to the bird call/song…it was peaceful and relaxing!