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Forest School January - April 2024Click here for Sept -Dec, 2023 - 2024 

https://www.cliftonupontemeprimary.org.uk/Forest-School-May-July-2024/

 

Robins and Fledglings this year will be enjoying weekly, afternoon Forest School sessions. This involves interaction with each other where  communication is learnt and confidence gained.

It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of colour that can be discovered even on a cool, dull day. Robins surpassed themselves by finding interesting and unusual foliage to add to their various designs.  Smelly potions were also produced, some smelt nice others not so. Free play found them with the mallets, banging sticks into the ground to make small dens.  Great session today Robins. Well done.

Palettes of colour

 

By popular request we went pond dipping again today but also the children had a chance to use hammers and mallets , assorted screws, bolts, and foliage to try to imprint on the wood provided. Brilliant session everyone. 

Imprinting and pond dipping

 

Robins were set the challenge to move water from A- B in as many ways as possible. It was important for the children to respect others thoughts and opinions but also allow everyone a chance to direct how the guttering and stands should be organised . The results were interesting but overall they all managed to travel water in a variety of ways.

Moving Water

 

Robins enjoyed their time dipping in the pond today. Many newts have returned to spawn which was why we found so many but also we caught a Dragonfly Nymph, snail, diving water beetle and a pond skater.  

Pond Dipping 2024

 

Fledglings have great fun dipping in the pond today and last week.  The weather has warmed up since last week which means more newts were around to be caught.

Pond Dipping and Exploring

 

This was an afternoon full of co-operation and perseverance.  Different challenges required group participation so an end result could be achieved.

Brain Teasers

 

Fledglings started their afternoon with bubble creations using pre-prepared willow bubble wands and household items with holes in. You obviously require the perfect solution for the bubbles and this we seemed to manage first time! The children and adults were amazed at the size of some of the bubbles produced as you will see as you scroll through the images. 

Bubble Blowing

 

Robins were thinking about bio-diversity today within the school grounds and because we currently have plenty of wet soil, making Bee Bricks seemed to be a perfect activity ready for when the dryer weather arrives. Providing the perfect place for solitary bees to raise a their young.

Bee Blocks and Small Den Building

 

 

Fledglings were creating a rainbow picture using food dye and rainwater today. As you can see their was a lot of focus and concentration during this activity and their finished art work looked amazing.

Rainbow Pictures

 

Robins, with the help of the "Young Leaders" helped the children explored the school grounds identifying twigs and blossom. Lots of fun games were also involved in this session today.

Blossom ID

 

What a fun afternoon we had building a large den. Lots of cooperation and Imaginary play emerged from this activity 

Large Den Building

 Robins were tasked with digging for actual lost treasure as well as discovering "What's Under Your Feet". We found two bags of missing treasure and many worms big and small also grub lava. Lots of fun experienced here today. 

Hidden Treasure

 

 

Fledglings experienced digging for... Worms, and found lots of roots, plastic and broken clay artifacts. What a find in our What's Under Your Feet DIG!

What's Under Your Feet?

 

Robins enjoyed the jigsaw run which was followed by parachute games. A very sticky, muddy session today.

Parachute and Jigsaw activity

 

Fledglings experienced the texture and versatility of clay this afternoon. "It feels hard, cold and sticky" were just a few of the references the children gave us as they shaped, rolled and folded the clay. We even made up a silly song as they acquired the desired results for their finished item.

Working with clay

 

With the rain comes many opportunities to use the pools of water to our advantage. The children in Fledglings were firstly tasked to build a Lego boat that would float. Following this they attempted to build a wooden structure by weaving and again tested it on the water. Each time the children predicted a float or sink with a thumbs up or down. The other items we tried were sponges, paper straws, cones, plastic cups, corks, a banana, oranges and finally conkers.  Many of their predictions were correct but occasionally they were surprised at a result. Everyone had a thoroughly wet and muddy  experience but they did enjoy the testing we carried out. 

Float or Sink?

 

Even after a morning of torrential rain the Robins were eager to get outside to create smelly potions, splash in the many puddles we encountered and played a warming game of Duck, Duck, Goose.  Well done everyone for embracing the elements today.

Witches Potions

 

Fledglings were very responsible this afternoon whilst using the saws. I saw a of perseverance and determination to finish the job of sawing. The children enjoyed decorating their finished cookies and proudly wore them after they were drilled and strung. 

Making Tree Cookies

 

 

During the session today the children were asked to look at tree skeletons, what different trees look like when dormant and to use a mirror to view the canopy of the forest school area. Our other objective was for children who missed out on tree cookie sawing last week to complete this task.  

 

Tree cookies cont'd and using charcoal to sketch trees.

 

This session the fledglings tried their hands at using charcoal for the tree skeletons. For a first attempt their drawings were fabulous showing structure and depth. The follow on activity involved finding nature to attach to the drawing they were given. Once again a lot of thought had been given to create a  picture that related to reality. Free play was enjoyed by all, including requiring a  pass word for the style and I'm reliably informed we have doors leading to the fairy kingdom. Can you spot them? 

Looking at tree skeletons

 

During the afternoon, half the class were successful in sawing and decorating a tree cookie. Next week, the rest of the children will also participate in this activity.  Sawing can be difficult  also there is the risk factor but the children listened well to the safety instructions as well as supported the child sawing by holding the protruding wood which made the whole experience an enjoyable one.

Wooden Cookies

 

Each child went home with a school, made badge today which they crafted from different bark rubbings.  A  small area of the multi-coloured rubbings were cut out and then the badge was constructed using our badge making kit in school. Mirrors were also used  to see if we could find a tree canopy that matched the markings drawn onto the different lines we have in the palms of our hands with a water marker.

During free play the children enjoyed playing in yesterdays constructed den . Peep Po!

Badge Making and Find My Tree

 

Our afternoon started with the children identifying British birds and their songs for the RSPB Big School Bird Watch. This was important because it would direct their gaze to any bird song they might hear later in the afternoon and also help them to recognise which bird might be hiding in the surrounding trees and bushes of the school site. After an eventful time it was decided that the 10 crows we saw circling  the far off tree out numbered  our sparrow population of 7.

You could join in for the Garden Birdwatch 2024 which is on the weekend of the 26th - 28th January .

Join here - RSPB Garden Birdwatch

 

 

Bird Watching 2024

 

 

 Fledglings enjoyed their afternoon of sharing in games, hide and seek without peeking and nest building using the tweezers. 

Bird Nest Building and find the tweezers

 

 Robins enjoyed building bird nests with the tweezers that acted like a birds beak. They discovered it wasn't as easy as it might seem. One nest was made from mud and the children were surprised that any birds made a nest from mud. A great learning afternoon for everyone which finished with parachute games.

Bird Nest Building