A Christmas Present for the Birds! 12.12.19
Bonsai class spent the afternoon making bird feeders for our Forest School area. Using old coconut shells and pine cones, they squished in lard, mixed with seeds, fruit, grated cheese, breadcrumbs and raisins. Other groups made Christmas wreaths and stars and practised their knot tying using an animated knot website. Next week, we will take the bird feeders out to the Forest School area and hang them up for the birds to feast on over the Christmas holiday!
Ebony class started Forest School with a stick tower challenge – which group could build the tallest tower using only small sticks and natural materials found in the woods. There were some interesting results! The winning tower was made by slotting small, hollow sticks into one another, making it look like one long stick! After that, a group re-located some old tyres from the garden behind the bungalow … and found some interesting wildlife – huge frogs! The bug hunt proved popular, especially using the magnifying pots, as some of the bugs were very tiny. After some whittling of hazel sticks and some fire-making with a flint and steel, a welcome cup of hot chocolate was enjoyed by all – the wind was chilly today!
Holly class got into some serious whittling at Forest School, with some great hazel sticks. They used potato peelers and worked methodically to create some lovely carved pencil points. Other groups spent time in the school grounds orienteering and developed some fantastic map reading skills. The clock was against them so they had to be quick to find all 12 flags! Read more
In Monkey Puzzle class, the children learnt how to tie a range of knots using a great website called ‘Animated Step by Step Knotting’. They discovered that there are a number of expert knotters in the class who soon started teaching others to tie some tricky knots. Ms Elliot is very talented at plaiting, so she taught some complicated plaiting skills. Outside, the children played Bat and Moth, a game that taught them about how bats use echo location.
Year 6 Ebony class spent the morning at Forest School making miniature homes for animals in the woods… and then creating a mud slide! Thanks to the waterproofs provided by the PTA, they could get as muddy as they liked! We ended the morning with a delicious and warming cup of hot chocolate – what a morning! In the afternoon, groups played Bat and Moth, while others completed a Forest School quiz or wrote a Forest School rap!
Monkey Puzzle enjoyed getting into the groove making music in the woods today! They used old plastic bins and water-butts as drums and sticks from the woods to beat out a rhythm. Some drummers accompanied singers too. To finish the end of our Forest School session, we enjoyed a Christmas sing-song in the sunshine.
Redwood class had a busy afternoon both in and out of the classroom today. They took part in a carousel of activities which included: practising tying different knots (including the over-hand knot and the figure of eight knot), playing a memory game with natural items called Kim’s Game, making Stickmen and women based on the story ‘Stickman’ by Julia Donaldson and playing a game called ‘ Bat and Moth’ using echo location! Bats use echo location to find food in the dark; they send out sound waves which produce echoes when they hit an object.
Year 5 braved the elements today and enjoyed getting muddy! Despite the persistent rain, we made a fire, lit matches, cooked delicious smores, whittled hazel sticks and practised striking with a flint and steel. We even managed to practise the Year 5 Christmas songs around the fire in the pouring rain! Now that’s resilience!
Fir Class had loads of fun in the woods creating their tree monsters to keep the wicked witch away from the woods. They listened to a traditional tale about tree monsters and then made their own. Some were left hidden in the trees – others were taken home!
In addition to completing an orienteering challenge today at Forest School, Year 6 built shelters in the woods, lit a fire and cooked deliciously gooey smores (melted marshmallows squished in-between biscuits), played an amazing Squirrel and Acorn game and created a music area with some cool drumming beats! Roro, the teddy, joined us too – well, it was Children in Need day!
Ebony class were set an orienteering challenge today at Forest School! Each team was given a plan of the school and the grounds. Twelve points were identified on the map and they had to find them as quickly as they could. It certainly helped to develop their skills in orienteering and collaboration.
At Forest School, Redwood created crazy tree monsters using clay and natural objects from the woods, such as berries, fir-cones and feathers. Every season, nature offers us a visual drama and winter is no exception. The spooky silhouettes of gnarly branches provided us with amazing hiding places for our monsters!
Year 5 challenged themselves by using potato peelers to whittle hazel branches. They learnt about positioning themselves in a safe stance and the importance of the safety bubble when using tools.
Year 5 had a fantastic day, building and lighting a fire which was great fun! They learned about the fire triangle and the safety aspects of lighting a fire. We had a chilly start to the day so those children who had layers and hats and gloves really appreciated having them.
Year Three have had a fantastic time over the last two days taking part in Forest School activities on our wonderful school field. We have hunted for treasure, played hide and seek, learnt about fire safety, lit a fire and baked damper bread and smores! How lucky we are to have these wonderful school grounds to learn in!
What a fabulous day we had!
The children were very excited this morning and enjoyed singing on the bus on the way to the farm (only a few had their fingers in their ears).
We were busy from the moment we arrived. Meeting the animals, learning about the farm and where our food comes from. We learnt how Occombe Farm is an organic farm and has a SSSI (site of special scientific interest) on its land. Not forgetting learning about the all wild animals the farm helps to look after too. Animals such as the Greater Horseshoe Bats which eat the beetles which eat the cows poo. We also created our own animal out of clay to live on the farm and found a place for it to live.
After lunch we went to cookery school and made our own pizza. MMMMMMMMMM tasty. After weighing and measuring the ingredients we left our dough to rise while we went to the farm gardens and picked vegetables and herbs to put on top of our food.
A big thank you to everyone who offered their support.
What was your favourite part of the trip?
Will you be growing your own herbs for you next pizza?
What did the coloured spots on the sheep mean?
Why did all the animals have tags in their ears?
Why did we need to be careful when adding water to the dry ingredients?
This morning, Ebony Class worked in groups to create natural Mandelas within the forest school grounds. They worked with people they didn’t often work with, problem solved, foraged for items, took risks with their artwork as well as working to deadlines.
They all created some amazing pieces, showed great reflective skills and supported one another.
Everybody has been impressed with what has been created.
What do you think? Could you re-create your own at home?
Yesterday afternoon, as the weather reached its hottest point, Holly class showed great enthusiasm and resilience for forest school.
They cooked sweet and savoury damper breads over the scorching fire as well as have a scavenger hunt through a go the woods.
All staff involved were incredibly impressed with the resilience and collaboration skills shown.
Yesterday, Ebony class had fun in the sun at forest school. They got to play and explore in the woods whilst scavenging for things, cook damper beds the fire, play trust games and so much more!
They showed great collaboration skills and supported one another so well. Not only that, but they showed great resilience for cooking over an open fire when the weather was so hot!
Well done Ebony, a day to be proud of!