Outdoor Learning day June 2024


The first thing we did was Photoblitzer. At it’s core, photoblitzer is a website that Mr. Johnston gave all of us. The web page had a small list of photo ideas, then we had twenty minutes to take pictures going along with the list.


Capture the flag

playing capture the flag

Next we had a game of capture the flag in the playground. This is a new game for the Biggies and went down really well. Lots of running, laughing and thinking.

After our photo blitz challenge we did a game of capture the flag, I had never played it before but it was really fun. Mr. Johnston split us into two teams team red, & team yellow. My group started off as team yellow, my team had me, Olivia, Lexi, Alexia, Rory & Tony. In the first round most of them came sprinting and I tug Juliet, Harry, & then Xander. Team yellow won the first round


Dow’s Wood

After the interval we headed down to Dow’s Wood. We started by searching the wood for new creatures to add to our collection at the Banton Beasties. This is a new site that well will make public soon. We found quite a few interesting ones and a few more got away.

One Beastie was not very welcome. We were attacked by swarms of midges. This made our other activity in the woods more difficult than usual, we stopped to spend some time writing and drawing. It is a credit to the Biggies that they got some done!

In the woods, a thick tree canopy shades mossy rocks. 
In the woods, big blue flys lurk uncatchable. 
In the woods, midges bite continuously and with no mercy. 
In the woods, ferns are everywhere.
In the woods, there is no escape from midges.

King of the Forrest
For he is king of the forest 
He has a centurion of bugs
For he is king of the forest 
There’s a smile on everyone’s mug

For he is king of the forest 
He cares for the children 
For he is king of the forest
He has a crown of ferns 
Placed on by a hern 

The Nature Poem

Deep down in the woods,
Through the lush leafy forest
At the heart of the woodland,
This is how it starts.


Pendulum Painting

We constructed some painting pendulums in the playground in the afternoon. This was messy but fun and gave some interesting results. The next day we took our art, edited it in Snapseed to boost the colours. We then but it on a virtual gallery wall and added ourselves as a visitor.

Earth Day in the Woods

We celebrated Earth Day a little early on Friday last week. We went to Dow’s Wood. We went firstly to see what sort of living creatures we could find. We also spent some time just sitting quietly by ourselves drawing or writing. The idea was to spend some time appreciating the world around us.


A 3x3 montage of creatures found in Banton. A flatwork, a snail, a slug, a millipede, an earthworm, a millipede and a earwig, creatures in a plastic box, a pilot ground beetle, a spider.
We found a variety of invertebrates, in the undergrowth and under logs and rocks.

We are building up a collection of creatures we can see in Banton. We will classify these and find out about their lifecycles.

Drawing & writing

Deep in the heart of the forest, lied an oak tree. This tree however, was
different from all the others. Not tall or with fine bark or posture.
Instead covered with disease.
One of the oldest trees you’d think would be colossal compared to the others, not short and plump, even surrounding trees, far younger, would be taller.
It was widened with deformed bark that form a distance, looked soft and fluffy, however when touched was solid.
At the bottom was kale-green coloured moss, this feature however was ordinary among oaks, unlike deformed bark.


Tae Mother Nature, I like the wee beasties you hide
Tae Mother Nature, I like the wind you blow fae other countries
Tae Mother Nature, I like the moss it’s like a cushion
Tae Mother Nature, make the tree go high and the breeze go low


Outdoor Learning Day June 2023

We started the day by going to the woods to gather a bit of firewood and different things to test as tinder.

The woods have changed quite a lot since our last visit, the grass & bracken is a lot higher. Down by the Gladstone we saw a woodpecker and later on a frog.

Back in school we tried different items as tinder with our flies and steels. not much success. The only thing that really caught was some bog cotton we had picked on our previous visit.

Next we mixed up some dough to cook over the fire later on in the day.
Dough in a bowl

We then explored a new App Seek by iNaturalist , which helped us identify plants and animals in the school grounds.

In the afternoon we rolled out out dough and wound it round some twigs, while the dough was rising we set up the fire pit.

Some marshmallows might have been toasted too.

Outdoor Learning Day with the Biggies

Today the whole school had an outdoor learning day. The Biggies:

Went to Dow’s Wood, we collected a hoard of words to use later, had a treasure hunt and collected some kindling.

Next we prepared the fire pit, reminding ourselves about the safety rules and chopped some kindling with great care.

After that we read some of the playground poems we wrote last week to the rest of the class.

In the afternoon we made a fire and cooked some marshmallows.

Finally we went to help primary 1 & 2 to tour the village and take photos of some of the important places in Banton.

No photos of the fire pit or the preparation:(

Dow’s Wood – September

This morning the biggies went for a walk in Dow’s Wood, they took part in a photo challenge, kept their eyes peeled for animals and plants and played some big.

Today we went to the woods, we walked around the woods for a while taking pictures, stopping to look at wildlife, and wild plants. We eventually made our way to the Gladstone. Whilst at the Gladstone we sat down somewhere in the area, making sure to not go too far, and drew something like a small plant, a tree, or something similar.

Later we made our way to the school wood and played two team tag, after two rounds of it we made our way back to school.

Today we went to Dows Woods, in Dows woods there was a cute tiny frog on Josh’s jumper (on a rucksack as well) and Hollie picked it up and put it in the trees.

When we were walking through the grass I found some hazelnuts that a mouse had eaten some a squirrel had eaten and some nothing had ate (and we also found conkers on a huge conker tree).

We sat on rocks and had to draw what we saw I drew some grass but there was a huge mushroom with a giant slug on it, Bobbi and I turned around for a few minutes and when we turned back it was gone.
Olivia Rose

There was a slug on a mushroom eating it. The slug was huge and then it disappeared.
I liked how we went and drew pictures of trees, leaves and other cool stuff I drew a tree that had no leaves on it.
At the start we got given a piece of paper so we could find\do things like make a rainbow, find a shadow and other things.
Mr Johnston found a shield bug it was green and had a little bit of yellow on its back he wasn’t scared of it.

Hazel told Josh there was a spider on his head and he was rubbing his head saying get it off me. Hazel kept saying there’s a spider on your head and me standing laughing.
Standing there laughing,
We saw lots of bugs,
We drew stuff we could find,
We played a game it was fun ,
We saw two deer and a frog,
We had a long walk,
We saw mushrooms.

There is a bug out there that looks like a mosquito we called Tostito and we found a huge mushroom.
There is glass everywhere which is sad because we should be helping the environment.
There is a tiny green frog and a huge black beetle and they where really cool.

At the woods we did challenges it was a photo challenge we are going to judge them soon the challenges were a rainbow, something moving (not a human), a shadow, something that makes you happy, a repeating pattern and a beautiful view it was hard because we went into different groups of three and four we couldn’t decide so we took tons of different pictures and we are going to pick them and Maybe win!

Today we went to the woods and we did tones of stuff, all of it was very fun we played games and we drawn stuff, I drew a tree and everyone drew something cool, for the game we lay a game where you need to hide and then you need run, avoid the seekers and you need to sit on a log to get two points and if you just hide for the time limit you get one point.

Today at the woods we saw a frog and a huge ground beetle, we did a photographic challenge we drawn nature and we saw a rabbit hole. We played 2 team tag it was really fun even know my team lost. We saw a deer it was really fun and I can’t wait to go again

We found a beach tree and something came down it was a beach mast and it had seeds inside of it. There was spikes and it was green and when you opened it it looked like a flower.

We walked around the woods and we had a chart we had to find living things.
I enjoyed playing two team tig and seeing all the wildlife. We saw beetles, spiders, a wee frog, a shield bug and a pair of deer.

I enjoined going through the long ferns and seeing how tall they were.
I enjoyed finding a spider and watching it walk on my hand.
I enjoyed drawing a plant.

Today I was in the woods with my class. I seen a beetle about 4.5cm big. It was black with a purple outline around it. We found the beetle Walking around on a rock. It was one of the coolest things I saw went we were walking in the woods.

I liked going to the Gladstone, the rocks surrounded by the oak trees and the old railway track.
I liked seeing the sheep and the deer.
I liked doing the game in the school woods where we have 2 teams and 1 team hides and when the team hides the 2nd team try’s to find them whilst the 1st team needs to get to the seat.

Dow’s Wood Photo Walk

We took a walk down through the woods this morning. We went to take some photos for the Kilsyth Rotary photo competition and get some inspiration for Art and Writing.

The photo comp is title Colours of Nature, although it was still a bit early in spring to get a lot of colour in the wood we managed to take a lot of photos.

We also found some burnt gorse and grass and a fair bit of broken glass. This will give us something to think about.

We ended up playing a game or two in School Wood and Josh spotted a roe deer!

We will post some of the photos for the competition once the class have made their selection.

Primary Six Poets go Down to the Woods

On Thursday the primary sixes for both p6-7 & p4-5-6 went down to the woods.

We were going to do a little Earth Day prep, but also to play games and read and write poems.

It was quite cold to be sitting long  so we warmed up with  running around game. All  the children really all concentrated on writing and drawing in their tiny notebooks.

Outdoor learning Day, pt 1: Dow’s Wood

The Biggies went down to the woods this morning.

It is beginning to get a little more spring like, we noticed daffodils, hawthorn leaves and hazel catkins and buds.

We saw a buzzard hunting and heard and then saw a Woodpecker high in a tree.

We collected some nouns, verbs and adjective for later use and we also picked quite a lot of material for our bee hotel.

Biggies time at Dow’s woods

Today we went to Dow’s woods with the wee ones. We were all looking for signs of autumn. The biggies and the wee ones were partners. This is how our trip went …

Signs of autumn

When we were walking with our wee partners we were looking out for signs of autumn some of the sings we found were hazelnuts that had fallen of of a tree, brambles, rowan berries, and changing leaves some of these things we collected.  Also the biggies were looking out for trip hazards and eye hazards while we were walking with our wee buddies.

When we arrived to our spot

When we arrived to out usual spot in the woods we looked for more signs after that our wee buddies had to leave. Once they left we decided to draw a tree we each picked a tree to draw. We have to remember which tree we drew because we are going to go back and draw it in different seasons. When we were finished drawing we wrote some poems about our trees.

Games and chaos

When we finished drawing and writing we played some games the games we played were sardines. Which is where a couple of people hide and if you find a person you have to hide with them until eventually everyone is found. When I found someone they were lying down on the mud hiding so then I had to join them until their was three of us thankfully time was up. Then after that we ran all the way back to school.

I really enjoyed the wood especially getting to show the wee ones the wood since some of them have never seen it. I hope we do this again some time.

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