At OLSE we are very excited to deliver ‘Forest School Sessions’ every Monday, led by Mrs Harrison and Mrs Nicholson. This Advent Term, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils will be experiencing Forest School and we are looking forward to exploring the Autumn and Winter Seasons in our church garden.
What is Forest School?
The Forest School principles were first brought to the UK in the 1990s from the highly successful Scandinavian practice of outdoor education. We aim to provide children at OLSE with the opportunity to learn from first-hand experience in an outdoor, natural environment and have been kindly granted access to the church grounds for use as our ‘Forest School Site’.
Forest School sessions aim to encourage exploration and play in a natural environment in order to enhance and grow child’s social, physical, intellectual, creative, emotional and spiritual development.
Forest School Activities:
Under the guidance and supervision of the Forest School Leaders, our children will experience a range of activities that may include:
- Shelter and den building – tying ropes in different ways.
- Using hand tools – including bow-saws, mallets, loppers and knives.
- Investigating nature – mini-beast hunting and bird watching
- Growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables.
- Cooking on an open camp fire.
- Natural art and wood craft.
- Team building games
- Woodland stories
Children will need appropriate clothing for their forest school sessions (clothes to keep warm, dry and that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy!) and for health and safety reasons, children who do not have the appropriate kit will not be able to take part. Children need to be protected from the weather as we will be outside ‘come rain or shine!’
Please follow the kit list below and note arms and legs must be covered at all times.
- Warm base layers: vest/long sleeve top/jumper/jogging bottoms
- Waterproof coat
- Thick socks
- Wellies/walking boots
- Hats and gloves when cold
- Waterproof trousers (desirable but not essential)
In forest school, just for a little while, we got to step in the puddles. The longest was 61 steps.
In Forest School today we had some super teamwork, solving problems using sticks. The children had to carry objects over the ground only using sticks, no hands allowed – floor is lava! It took some thinking but we managed it!
Inspired by the story of ‘Stick Man’ we used peelers to create out own stick men from willow wood. Me made mini-shelters for the stick man family and had fun using our imagination with some small world play!
ECO team met this week to tidy up our peace garden. We dug up the rest of our old autumn carrots and Mrs J took them to the stables for the horses. We composted weeds and will continue to tidy next week!
A waterlogged garden and high winds did not stop forest school on Monday. We played our forest school games on the playground, using sticks in different ways to develop our teamwork, listening and sharing skills. We had great fun!
In Forest School today we went on a hedgehog hunt, made mini-shelters to keep our hibernating hedgehogs dry, made a muddy model hedgehog, we learned about how to sit safely around our campfire and how fires light! Well done everyone.
In Forest School today we have been spider hunting, making model spiders, challenging ourselves in a spider web game and repairing our bug hotel for winter. Great job everyone!
Forest School @ OLSE is back and despite the rain we revisited out gardens, identified plants, played some team games and said hello to our trees again!
Final Forest School session with a nature quiz and shelter building team challenge to keep dry under the ‘rain’ provide by Mrs Wilson. Campfire with pizza to finish – well done everyone for all your hard work in Forest School this term
Forest school was all about water for wildlife today. We watered our plants and were challenged to create the longest water chute to catch rainwater. We got creative with oil and water pictures and learned how to use a sheath knife to whittle wood for our campfire.
Forest School Patterns: Today we have been learning about patterns in natures and why certain living things are so brightly coloured. We created ladybirds, butterflies and enjoyed some garden games that needed us to use pattern and strategy.
Forest School flower power: we have amazing wildflowers attracting all the pollinators in our peace garden with our veg crops growing nicely. Flowers have inspired creative learning and we raised a toast to the elder tree as we tasted elderflower presse.
In Forest School this half term Years 5 and 6 have been learning about the importance of bees and also what a fascinating insect they are – their hive being a superorganism of teamwork. In our latest session we developed our own teamwork skills through lots of games/challenges.
Year 4 enjoyed their last Forest School session of the year, as well as plenty of games and campfire food we finished by setting grass seed to repair our garden during the Easter break. We have also achieved our RSPB Wild Challenge Bronze Award. Well done!
We had our final forest school session with Year 3 and enjoyed lots of free choice games and activities finishing with warm pizza wrap around the campfire.
With Spring arriving today we have been planting and supporting our garden birds in forest school. We have planted two beds of early potatoes and set an area of the peace garden with wildflower seeds to encourage pollinators. Great work today Years 3 & 4.
We have been developing our teamwork skills in forest school today through team challenges: to make the warmest den, the longest ball chute and to help with forest garden jobs. A great day, despite the cold, finishing with warm juice around the campfire.
In Forest School today we have been learning to share ideas, listen and show empathy through group challenges: learning new knots, making shelters and the blindfold rope challenge. Super teamwork.
In Forest School today we have been learning about the importance of insects and their role in pollination and food chains. We have been sawing and drilling holes in wood to make homes to encourage minibeasts in our bug hotel. We checked our pond water for signs of insect life.
Forest School today was all about wood, we identified trees from their barks, we learned about hardwoods and softwoods. We used tools to drill holes in wooden discs to make dreamcatchers and undertook some games and challenges making wooden towers.
More Forest School fun – a game of duck, duck goose to end the day!
Its all been about soil in Forest School today. We have been learning about the different types of soil and how soil is made. We have investigated our garden soil and used it creatively to make mud paintings based on aboriginal cave paintings. We made a mud hedgehog too!
In Forest School today we have undertaken the Big Garden Birdwatch for the RSPB, we have made bird seed tree branches to help care for the birds and we enjoyed a team-game working together to steal silver from a magpie’s nest!
Year 2 had a wonderful final Forest School session this morning. Mrs Harrison read The Stick Man story; we made our own stick men then we finished off with a fire, popcorn, warm juice & a biscuit. It even snowed a little too! What a fabulous term of Forest School.
Year 1 Forest School Fun today – a dragon egg treasure hunt and super mini-den building. Well done.
KS1 Forest School went on a dragon egg hunt around school today leading us to find some ‘dragon snot’ to help us light our campfire! We learned how to tie lashings to make shelters for the tree fairies and made dragon pictures with leaves. Super safe sitting around our fire. Fab!