Hanukkah in the woods
The children have been celebrating Hanukkah at forest school this week. They made a giant menorah, ate challah bread and made Stars of David from twigs.
Forest School is back!
We were all really excited to be back in the woods and the children were amazing. They behaved responsibly and respectfully. After reminding them of the forest school rules we explored Metapic Wood, looking for old favourite treasures and finding new ones. We made rangoli patterns with leaves and diva pots with clay from the ground to celebrate Diwali.
There’s a worm at the bottom of the garden
Year 1s had a lovely time today looking under rocks and digging for mini beasts. Mrs Farrah bought lots of things to build a bug hotel and the children made a fantastic job of building it. Miss Chisell toasted crumpets and a reporter from the Dronfield Eye came to do an article about the excellent work that we do at Metapic woods. The lovely owner, Andy came to see how we were getting on. What a busy day.
The topic this half term is about our wonderful planet, looking after our environment and our gardens. We started off our session with a story about a boy helping the planet. Then we looked for signs of damage humans have done. We saw graffiti and litter. Finally, the children were given small world objects to make their very own wonderful gardens.
On a Pilgrimage
Butterflies learned about special religious journeys today. While half the class stayed at school to write a thank you prayer with Mrs Woods, Warriors took their prayers on a pilgrimage to Metapic Wood. They wrote a grateful prayer and hung it on the tree. Then they made a cross using sticks and a square lashing knot. They enjoyed tomato soup and bread and butter with their friends. To end the session they closed their eyes to listened to the sounds of nature and were all delighted when 2 robins joined us.
Racing cars, trains and coal
We had such a lovely time today on forest school. The access to Metapic wood has been temporarily closed due to an unsafe handrail so instead we took our learning to the boardwalk along Unstone Line. Unstone Line is an old rail line that used to carry coal from Unstone. It’s a magical place to explore. The children kept busy learning about the history of the coal ovens, the abandoned railway line and digging for coal. They went on a traffic sound hunt with Mrs Farrah and and built air propelled racing cars with Miss Chisell. We learnt that the charcoal we found can be used for drawing. We also learnt about friction and force.
As part of our transport topic forest schoolers learnt the Green Cross Code and looked for traffic signs on their journey to Metapic Wood. They then used small world figures to create a series of roads complete with signs and pedestrians. They were all very happy to be back in the woods.
Santa’s Little Helper
The children were delighted to find that one of Santa’s elves had left a few treats and surprises behind for them. He had left a bag of Christmas tree decorations for them to spruce up one of Metapic Woods fir trees (and lots of the children remembered what ‘deciduous’ meant). He had also hung chocolate baubles around the woods for them to find. The bauble with a reindeer on it won a special prize! The children helped to set up a canvas shelter and enjoyed cheese toasties under it.
This has been the last Forest School until the new year and the year 1 children have been an absolute pleasure to take. They have learnt essential life skills such as crossing the road carefully, what to do when an unknown dog approaches them and how to look out for hidden dangers when the ground is slippery. They have worked independently to solve challenges and have loved working together on group projects. They have built resilience and stamina (no one ever moans despite the terrible weather or the long and rough terrain we cover). The year 1 children have definitely earned their warrior stripes!
Unicorns and Christmas Wreaths
In honour of, our unicorn mad, little Freya the children made unicorn decorations by weaving pipe cleaners for hair and adding beads. Following on from their visit to Ferndale last week another group of children looked for deciduous ivy leaves and used them to wrap around a copper ring to make a Christmas wreath. Despite the weather being against us our little warriors had most fun making a shelter. Don helped them, by giving them huge branches to make an A- frame. After lots of hard work and a great team effort they enjoyed hot buttery baked spuds straight out of the fire.
We made it!
Our lovely little warriors finally made it to Metapic Woods after the terrible flooding that happened on our first attempt. It was brilliant to see our little ones learning and following the forest school rules that we started on their first visit. They are beginning to show leadership, resilience and determination.
Their mission today was to make a leaf log and identify a range of leaves found in our area. They also went on an animal hunt and found creatures hidden in the woods.
We learnt words such as hibernation and nocturnal. After a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit we explored all the little nooks and crannies of Metapic wood looking for signs of fairies.
Teaching Trees at Stubbing Woods
Our Y2 warriors were treated to a trip to Stubbing Wood today where a lady from Teaching Trees at the Royal Foresty Society led us through a variety of activities designed to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the forest and its flora and fauna. The children had a sensory blinfold game exploring trees and their bark, they sorted hidden animals into forest and non forest dwellers and they collected different shapes leaves on a learning journey before finally sorting leaves into broadleaf or conifers. Our resilient little warriors endured freezing conditions and surprised the Teaching Trees leader by not complain once and in fact remaining enthusiastic and on task. Well done Warriors!
Fighting the Floods
Despite terrible weather our newest little warriors were amazing on their first forest school. Even though we got wet and couldn't make it to our usual site (due to a flooded bridge) our fantastic Y1s remained excited and enthusiastic. We learnt the forest school rules, jumped in puddles and made a bridge to cross a small dyke. It was a big adventure. We had to go back to school to cook our hotdogs and make twig fireworks.
Popcorn and Giants
The children had amazing fun cooking popcorn over a fire today. They learnt that popcorn comes from kernels and watched in amazement as they exploded into puffy balls. They learnt that dark brown conkers come from green spiky shells. They worked as a team to make a giant woodland face with google eyes and they used loppers and saws to cut twigs to size for a future project.
The children enjoyed a rain free afternoon in the woods today. It is always really rewarding for staff to hear them laugh and enjoy the freedom of the forest. After lying down and closing their eyes, whilst listening to a poem about feelings, children took a small ball of clay and moulded it to a tree. They then used natural bits n bobs from the forest floor to transform their masterpieces into emotional faces. For snack they had baked beans hot from the fire.
In the frame
KS1 children enjoyed glorious weather on the first forest school of the school year. Our year 2 experts did a great job of guiding our newest members on the rules of forest school. Their first challenge was to create a picture frame and make stick families.
The children were delighted to discover one of the resident fairies of Metapic wood had come to visit.
Tadpoles and Treasure Hunts
Our last forest school session of the year was fantastic. Miss Vicky and Miss Nicky organised a brilliant treasure hunt with cryptic clues, golden coins and a treasure box full of chocolate. Don delighted us by showing us tadpoles, frogs, butterflies and animal tracks (a deer and a badger). The children filled their stomachs with berries and Don’s delicious garden peas.
Butterflies for the Butterflies
Butterflies were asked to help attract real butterflies to their gardens by making butterfly feeders. We looked for butterflies in the woodland using spotter sheets and were delighted to spot red admirals and cabbage whites. We then made our own paint using crushed chalks and made butterfly pictures by printing fern leaves to look like wings and using a twig for its body. They looked beautiful!
Catching the sun
There haven’t been many chances for us to get out in our favourite place this half term, as we have been so busy with sporting events, so when we set off in blazing sunshine we were all happy little bunnies. Y1’s listened to the fable of the sun and the moon before following up their literacy work with a rainbow hunt to help them make suncatchers. Don surprised us all with a little newty visitor from the pond.
Farewell Party for our Y2 Warriors
It was the final forest school session for our Y2 children and to celebrate their amazing achievements over the past two years we had a little party. We decorated party bags, played wobble tug of war, went on a leaf identification hunt, made spiderwebs strong enough to hold a rock and of course had lovely party food! The children took home goody bags with sweets, stickers and a little ceramic friend. Well done Y2 warriors you have been absolutely amazing!
Year 2 children used their super senses to complete a senses scavenger hunt, make superhero musical instruments, smell onions and taste pasta.
We spotted baby blue tits in the bird box.
Superhero Fitness Fun!
Our little warriors were set the challenge of creating an obstacle course for their superhero friends to test their balancing, climbing and jumping super powers in the fastest time. Theo was faster than a thunderbolt! To keep up their strength Mrs Hindes made them fried egg butties.
Superdogs and Superkids
The topic this half term is Superheroes and today the Y2 warriors transformed themselves into superwarriors! They decorated masks with natural treasures and dressed up in capes and shorts. They thought of names and superpowers. They ate super hotdogs and worked together to build a superheroes headquarter. As always our little superheroes showed kindness and respect to each other and members of the public. These are our favourite super powers!
Fairy Nice Toasties
There have been some welcome changes at the Forest School site. A new water butt has been added (thank you Mr Woods) and even more exciting a new toastie maker has been bought (thank you PTA). This means we can have water for gardening and art work whenever we need it but more importantly we can make delicious cheese toasties! While the adults were busy making them the children were working in small teams to help the fairies rebuild their village after the recent storms. They showed amazing team skills and creativity. Look at their wonderful creations!
We were all delighted to see the first signs of Spring. The birds were singing, the flowers blossoming and the weather warmer. To help Mother Nature we planted flowers seeds in pots and baskets and put them around Metapic Wood to water and weed in the coming weeks. We helped make omlettes (or Bloblets as Lyla calls them) and they were delicious and we rolled the new water butt up the hill ready for it to be put in place.
Soup of the Day
The warriors had a very busy day in the woods. As well as peeling and chopping vegetables for their soup, they made clay soup bowls for the fairies, helped Don cut branches damaged in the storm and looked at the world upside down!
Pancake Day in the Woods
It's the Y1's turn for Forest School and what better topic to have than food. This means lots of cooking over the fire! We started our weekly feasts with pancakes to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. While the children made their own mud pancakes the adults prepared real ones over the fire.
Waterproof shelters, jacket spuds and marshmallow hedgehogs!
It was the final forest school session today and the weather was beautiful. We could take our coats off! We finished our weather topic by making little tinfoil people and experimenting with a variety of materials to find the best waterproof shelter.
After all this hard work we enjoyed a feast of jacket potatoes and marshmallows that we shaped like little hedgehogs.
The Crow’s Tale
As part of our weather topic and multicultural week we read the Native American story of the crow who lost his colourful feathers because of the sun’s heat. It is a tale of bravery and kindness, which describes our wonderful woodland warriors. Using the crows lost colours they created beautiful wind chimes and a fantastic colourful shelter.
Sarah Keogh from Derbyshire County Council came to see the warriors in action and support them with their tool work.
Tornado in January
As part of our weather topic the children were asked to make a tornado in a bottle.
It was a very cold, frosty morning and the children enjoyed lying down and watching the birds. We saw lots of robins and blue tits.
Go fly a kite
The challenge this week was to make a kite with two twigs, newspaper and string. The children did a great job using their lashing skills. Shame there was no wind!
The year 2 children had their first go on the tightrope and were very good!
Whatever the weather!
Year 2 completed a series of weather related tasks at forest school today. They were weather detectives and used magnifying glasses to look for evidence of as many different types of weather as they could. They found snow, rain and sun all in one day!
To help us investigate more, we made weather vanes and used compasses to help us learn which direction the wind was blowing from. The forest ranger, Dom, taught us how to use the sun to find north!
Year 1 children were delighted to find a Christmas tree with a bag of decorations (specially planted for them by Andy, the Metapic Wood owner).
They made bird feeder decorations to add to the tree.
Meanwhile Miss Vicky and Miss Marples were busy opening a tin of beans with an axe and cooking a feast over the fire.
The children are impressing the staff with their fantastic attitude, resilience, team spirit and sense of fun. It is great to see dirty faces and ruddy cheeks.
Getting ready for winter
The children prepared for winter with hats and gloves today. Some of them wore the hand knitted animal mittens and hats from Joanne Roe. They happily put up with the colder weather to help make Hogitats for our hibernating hedgehogs and learnt about what to feed our prickly friends. Dog food!
Y1’s first forest school session
Staff were amazed at how quickly y1 children settled down to their forest school session, showing amazing stamina on this physically tiring afternoon. They are already beginning to show resilience and support each other. They learnt about hibernating hedgehogs and practised their balancing skills on the new tightrope.
The children were set on team challenges to save Jack from the Giant and to help build the villagers homes including bathrooms and stables. They set to work making pulleys and using all the skills they had learnt in knot tying.
Forest School September 2018
Back to school and Forest School is in full swing. This week we had a challenge to turn 2 sticks and 2 pieces of string into a trapdoor to catch the naughty Leprachaun who lives in the woods. We learnt how to make a slip knot for a snare trap and we found a skull from a small mammal (any ideas what animal it is?).