Forest Schools continues the ethos of an already nurturing environment within Heath Primary School and provides inclusion for all children. Forest Schools encourages children to develop their communication and social skills, alongside developing resilience, independence and perseverance outside of the classroom environment. Each week the children will engage in team building activities where they must work in pairs or groups to complete their tasks, through working together it will help support their self –esteem, boost their confidence and emotional well-being which can then be transferred back into school life. Praise and encouragement are in abundance from both peers and adults throughout each session.
“The widest classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.”
The Forest School team at Heath Primary School includes; Miss Davenport and Mr Moss
"I have three children at HPS and recently one of them was chosen to take part in "Forest Schools" along with a group of other children. My child looks forward to these workshops so much, he has found the confidence to make new friends, to work part of a team and in his own words "trust them". This is quite an achievement in that he finds it hard to make new friends and be comfortable with them" (parent of a child in year 3)
Week 1For our first session at forest schools we learnt how to play 1,2, 3 where are you? which is now turning to one of our favourite games. We went on a texture hunt and collected lots of different things including feathers, leaves and pebbles and played a describing game with our friends. After we learnt how to sheer lash two sticks together and then in groups of three we made picture frames. We then used the things we had found during our texture trail to make a picture inside our picture frames. We enjoyed creating our pictures including beach houses and woodland forest scenes, some were even 3D. These will be hung in the outdoor classroom.
This week we started off by playing 1, 2, 3 where are you? Then we walked around the forest school area and chose our favourite tree and talked about why we liked that particular tree to our friends. Afterwards we went into the outdoor classroom and used clay to make a face to put on our trees. We made some monsters, woodland elves and clay faces of ourselves and then talked about who they were to our friends; some had some very funny names. Hope you like them.
We finished off the session by making magic sticks for our woodland face using paint and glitter. We all enjoyed the session and liked being creative.
This week at Forest Schools a dragon had come to visit. We walked around the outside of the maze and found strands of magic dragon’s breath on a tree which we quickly grabbed and rushed back to the outdoor classroom with. There we made dragon’s breath friendship bracelets in pairs and then headed back out to find the dragon. On our way to the maze the dragon cast a spell on half of our friends so they couldn’t see, in pairs we then tiptoed and guided our friends safely through the maze to the other side. After we learnt how to tie a timber hitch, then worked together to put up a shelter using tarpaulin, which we then sat and ate snack underneath.
After snack the spell was broken on our friends eyes and they could see, although then their friend’s sight went dark, so they had to swap over and lead their blindfolded friend through the maze. We were careful not to wake the dragon and then tiptoed back to the outdoor classroom. Thankfully the dragons spell didn’t last long and we could all see again and talked about our favourite part of the session, which were the blindfold game and building the shelter.
This week the Barbies went on holiday to the forest school area although got lost on their way to the outdoor classroom, luckily our forest school friends were on hand to find them and bring them back together again. We made them some fantastic houses with gardens including BBQs and swings. After we made bridges from each house to the next so the Barbie’s could then go to their friends’ homes. We tested the bridges so they were safe and found that all our bridges were very strong and wouldn’t break. Our favourite part of the sessions was building the homes for the Barbies.
We started our session playing our favourite game of 1, 2, 3, where are you and then learnt how to use tools safely, including loppers to chop sticks and potato peelers to whittle wood. We split up into two groups and had a go of each tool; with the loppers we chopped wood to make bracelets and necklaces. Then with the potato peelers we whittled wood to make our own woodland animal, including a hedgehog, a mouse and a fox. We all enjoyed learning how to use the tools safely today.
For our final Forest School session before breaking up for Christmas we started by playing 1, 2, 3 where are you? Then we refreshed our memories on how to use tools safely and what we use each tool for. After we split into 3 groups and whittled wood to make wooden Santa’s, chopped wood with the loppers to make Christmas tree wall pictures and wound wool round sticks to create initial letter of our names tree decorations. We all enjoyed using the tools and we all said our favourite part of the session was whittling the Santa’s.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Forest Schools!
A warm welcome back after the Christmas break from the Forest School team.
For our first session back, we decided to take care of the birds. In pairs we worked together to build a nest using sticks, dry grass, string and other natural materials. We all came up with different designs, shapes and sizes for our nests and enjoyed sharing our ideas with each other. After we made clay eggs and decorated them with glitter and sequins. We used our eggs to then test out whether our nests could hold the weight of our eggs, to see how effective our nests would be for the birds in the Forest School area, all of which were very good. To make sure the birds would not go hungry in the cold winter weather we also made pinecone bird feeders, some of tied them near their nests they had built while the rest of us took our bird feeders home to put in our own gardens. We all enjoyed looking after the birds, especially building the nests.
This week we learnt a new game called hawks and doves which was a great version on the game tag that we all loved. We then had a magic carpet race and worked really well as a team together, however there could only be one winner which was the blue kangaroos’. After our race we then got into pairs and made kites which we then tested out, all of which looked great and most of them flew too. We really enjoyed working together and said our favourite part of the session was the team games and making kites.
This week the bears had come for a holiday but had got lost in the maze. We found them and played a variation of 1,2,3 where are you with the bears. After we split into 2 teams and had a competition on building teddy towers, the tallest won. We then took a break and had a snack and a drink of milk. When we had finished our snack played a game called teddy in the swamp where we had to move the planks from the shore to the teddy stuck in the swamp and back again. We all really enjoyed this game and were great at communicating and working together, we all said that this and building the towers was our favourite part of the session.
This week posters of a bear on the loose were put up around school and when we arrived at the forest school area there were large footprints on the grass. We decided to play 1, 2, 3 where are you in the maze quietly so we didn’t atrract the bear. Then we were given the scenario that we had to stay over at school that night and had to build a shelter that was wind, rain and bear proof (sturdy and the occupants can not be seen inside), which was big enough to fit all of our group in. We split up into 2 groups and set about building our shelters. After a while we had a snack and a drink then set back to finishing off our shelters. At the end of the session both teams came together and tested each others shelters out by blowing them (wind), shaking them (bear proof) and throwing bottles of water on them (rain). Both teams shelters were great and everyone said this had been the best session yet!
For our final Forest School session we enjoyed playing outside in the snow and began by playing our favourite game 1, 2, 3, where are you? After we made stickmen which we used to help us talk about what we had learnt on our journey through Forest Schools. Just a few of the comments were:
“It’s helped me to become more creative,”
“I’ve enjoyed learning in a different outdoor environment and about nature and making new friends,”
“I’ve enjoyed and learnt how to work as a team and feel I’ve got better at talking to other people about my ideas.”
We then made Forest School crowns as we had now become kings and queens of Forest Schools. We then had a royal snack of hot chocolate, cookies and rice crispy cakes. We finished off our session by playing our next favourite game hawk and doves then headed back up to school. We all said we would miss Forest Schools and would love to come back again.
Welcome to our new friends at Forest Schools, for our first session at forest schools we learnt how to play 1,2, 3 where are you? which is now turning to one of our favourite games. Then we played a hoop race game where we were great at working as a team and helping each other to beat our own time twice! We went on a texture hunt and collected lots of different things including feathers, leaves and pebbles and played a describing game with our friends. After we learnt how to sheer lash two sticks together and then in groups of three we made picture frames. We then used the things we had found during our texture trail to make a picture inside our picture frames. We enjoyed creating our pictures including flowers and a forest. These will be hung in the outdoor classroom.
This week was a very wet, rainy Forest school afternoon, so we all wrapped up in our waterproof overalls and embraced the weather, as well as staying dry in the outdoor classroom. We started off by playing our hoop game where we were even quicker than last weeks’ time. Afterwards we used clay and natural materials to make a face, we made skulls, monsters, and clay faces of ourselves and then talked about who they were to our friends; some had some very funny names and some very true to life. Hope you like them.
We finished off the session by making stick mobiles and learning how to tie a double knot, we then decorated them with paint. We all enjoyed the session and liked being creative and didn’t let the weather spoil our fun!
This week at Forest Schools we started off by playing our favourite game 1,2,3 where are you? Afterward we set about clearing the planting beds using forks, trowels and rakes to dig out any old plants and vegetables. We found lots of bugs like ladybirds and worms along with some of last year’s potatoes. All of the rubbish we put in our compost bin to make compost ready for next year to fertilise the plants. We did a fantastic job and cleared all 3 planting beds by working together as a team. When all the planting beds were cleared we sat down in the new log circle, which a parent in Nursery had kindly donated the logs to make it, and had our snack. We then decided to play a couple of ring games and then went back to the outdoor classroom to discuss our session. We all said we really enjoyed the gardening and ring games the best.