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Summerlea CP School Growing thoughtful learners and independent thinkers

Forest School Blog

April 2022

This first of the summer term, Year 1 are joining us in the woods.  Their topic is Minibeasts so it is a perfect time to explore and find them.

This first week has been about getting to know our site, learning about how to stay safe and all the routines.  Research shows that children (and adults) who spend time in nature regularly in the SAME location develop a solid connection to nature which improves their wellbeing and develops pro-environmental attitudes.

Here are some of the things that happened: minibeasts were found and made, favourite trees were discovered, there was time to chill (after working out how to get in the hammock) and we learnt how to communicate and work as a team by washing our hands!



March 2022

Year 5 are studying Macbeth so we are working on our storytelling skills, (because a campfire is the perfect place for a tale).   This week we used what we know about metaphors to play the game, 'This is not a Stick!'  It was great fun.

There has also been the opportunity to build a story throne in small teams.  The children have used their creative thinking and teamwork skills to build these and then share their stories with the rest of us.

Year 5 – March 2022

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be back in the woods and even more delighted to be working with Year 5 who, due to Covid, missed their FS sessions last year (they still made their bird boxes though).

Missing sessions last year means we are catching up with key skills and during their first session last week, Year 5 learnt why the tripod shape is so strong and so useful when building structures.

Other skills learnt included tying a clove hitch and tripod lashing before applying their skills to building their own structure.  We had camp fires, washing lines and the beginnings of some wonderful dens.

At the end, around the campfire, the children were asked to describe how they overcame any challenges and reflected on how well they worked with others.

Oh!  We also had pancakes as it was shrove Tuesday.

2nd October 2019

The autumn term has got off to a great start with Year 6 joining us at Forest School.  This group of children were the first to experience Forest School at Summerlea so they have pretty good skills for learning outside.
In preparation for their upcoming and current topics, we have been exploring identity and survival!  Activities have included:
  • Building a shelter to accommodate all of their group.  The shelter's ability to protect against the weather was tested well by the teachers and a bucket of water!
  • Advancing their whittling techniques to use push strokes and stop cuts.
  • Testing their ability to light fires using charcloth and a bow drill.  The biggest reward being a hot chocolate if they could keep their fire going - and only if they could keep it going!
  • Creating recipes for flat bread thinking about what tastes they wanted to have and cooking over the campfire.
Happy memories so far have included an impromptu rap by Cherry Class, loving the game 'Eagle Eye', celebrating birthdays with marshmallows and the children coming out with so many ideas for projects and things they want to try. 



16th May 2017
Year 1 have been asking 'what makes a superhero?'.  At Forest School we have been learning all about the super skilled wildlife that we have such as the brilliant climber - the squirrel.  We have also read Supertato by Sue Hendra and created our own fruit and veg characters.
We have been putting our tool skills to good use too in order to chop, peel and grate vegetables for our delicious pasta soup.  Yum!  Thanks chefs!
5th April 2017
This half term Year 2 have been learning to problem solve and work as a team.  They developed their compass skills, built 3D maps and showed how responsible they were by looking after their eggs.  We have played lots of fun games too like, 'Forest Fire' and 'Guard the Tree' which involved a LOT of water!
8th February 2017
This term Year 4 have been exploring what is under the layers in our forest.
They have shown some excellent teamwork and the ability to work out problems themselves. 
So far, they have learnt how to use drills and hammers as well as tie a hitch and square lash.  The groups love making shelters and they are exploring which structures are strongest in preparation for their DT work back in the classroom.
There have been plenty of opportunities to think about what flourishes high in the tree canopy to what is beneath our feet. 
Recently, we have been thinking about the birds in our grounds and we have been busy making robin boxes.  The children have an opportunity to buy the box they've made to encourage nests in their gardens at home.  Look at the pictures of the baby robins taken by one of our volunteers last year.
A big thank you to Bill, Cath and James for helping us at Forest School this half term.
22nd November 2016
Year 5 are really enjoying their sessions.  They have managed to light their own fires, learn some new hitches and produced some God's eye art work.  Even the high winds and rain on Tuesday 22nd November didn't put them off!  Moving camp to the field, the groups created clay aliens with their own mud planets and produced their own production line for making bird feeders (look out for them at the Christmas fair).  Great teamwork everyone!
28th September 2016
Year 6 have been enjoying their Forest School sessions.  They have been working on trust and team-work through games and activities.  So far, they have learnt to use bow saws, drills and knives safely to make identity tags and charcoal pencils.  They have had a go at lighting their own fires using natural materials and been busy preparing leek and potato soup and flatbreads.  
However, what they love most is making a den!  Their knot tying skills are improving (check out the swing) and we love the signs that have been created to personalise each one.  Let the adventure continue ...

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