We are very excited about our forest school groups that began in October 2014. A year 1 and a year 2 group of children take part in this exciting experience every Friday afternoon. Victoria is our forest school leader who plans and delivers each session.
Forest school is an educational process that promotes, observes and explicitly supports the social, emotional and physical development of children in an outdoor, preferably woodland, environment. It offers children different experiences for the development of confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
Learning experiences outside the classroom are often the most memorable for children. Forest school lends itself to supporting these experiences by upholding a child's right to play, offering the freedom for children to take risks and learn through doing so, and satisfy their innate curiosity to explore and discover.
At Forest School all participants are viewed as:
equal, unique and valuable
competent to explore & discover
entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
entitled to experience regular success
entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world
If you require any further information about our forest school please speak with Mrs Steele.
Click on this link to take you to Victoria's Kith and Kin website
Click on this link to read The forest school revolution: leaves, logs and life skills as seen in The Guardian on Tuesday 21st April 2015
Forest School Week 2
This week the children have been learning how to use a bow saw. Together with an adult the children took it in turns to saw a slice of wood to create their own cookie pendant. They then used a small hand drill to make a hole through their pendant and threaded through some twine.
Everybody had a fantastic time.
Forest School Week 3
This week the children set out their own boundaries and marked hazards with flags. They worked together to hammer poles into the ground using a mallet. All the children have now finished decorating their cookie pendants and have started making their own forest friend. They needed to find twigs and leaves to tie together to make their forest friend and get their hands dirty in clay to finish off their models.
Forest School Week 4
The children set out their own boundary and marked the dangers with flags. The year one children made their forest friends using twigs, leaves and string. They were all very imaginative and we even had a snail and a stick insect! The children were soon trying to find the best forest house for their new friend to stay in. The afternoon was finished with a cup of hot chocolate made using a Kelly kettle.
The year two children were allowed to gain confidence in balance by climbing on the low lying tree branches and thoroughly enjoyed this. A few of the children tried to make a mini shelter for their forest friends using twigs and leaves and shelter from the rain. Again the children were treated to a hot chocolate made using a Kelly kettle.
This week the children had great fun trying to balance and walk along a slack line tied between two trees. They were able to get more confident so that by the end they were bouncing along the line. The other activity was to make a woodland creature out of wood and leaves. The children had to use a saw with adult help to cut their piece of wood before splitting it in half to share with a friend. The children have just started to make holes using a palm drill for sticks to be put it as antennae.
It was cold today in the forest! We all had hot chocolate to warm us up around the fire. First we placed our red and blue flags around the forest site. Then we all made a decorative winter crown or created a natural object art picture. We all had to look for interesting natural objects to stick onto our crowns. They looked amazing!
This week we have been learning about what it means to be living and non-living in the forest. We had to do lots of searching, finding and sorting of different objects. We also played our favourite predator game in the big field. The hot chocolate helped us all to warm up!
Another fun week was had in our forest school location. This week we all had a go at creating a natural craft to take home. We learnt the new skill of willow weaving. It was quite a challenge for our little fingers to weave the willow around to form a wreath shape. We were very resilient and kept going! Some of us decided to create a hanging mobile using wood that we had to saw and then split.
All the children had the opportunity to make a circle buddy by using a bow saw to create the circles. Hand drills were then used to make holes and then features were added to their faces using clay or other forest floor treasures. Our children had to be reciprocal in this task working together as a team to saw off pieces of wood and then resilient enough to make holes using the hand palm drills.
Our first group have now finished their Forest School experience. We had 19 children from Year 1 and 2 partake in this exciting activity every Friday. We have our next group of children starting on Friday 13th March.
When the first group started Forest School their class teachers filled in a little questionnaire and then filled in another one when all the sessions were completed. All this information was collected together and we have discovered that for each of the areas below there was great improvement.
Overall stress: 74% had an improvement
Emotional distress: 63% had an improvement
Behavioural difficulties: 79% had an improvement
Hyperactivity and concentration difficulties: 58% had an improvement
Difficulties getting along with other children: 89% had an improvement
Kind and helpful behaviour: 89% had an improvement
As a school we are very pleased and proud to be able to offer this experience to our children here at Sylvan. We know and can also see through their behaviour that the children get a great deal out of these fantastic sessions.
Forest Schools Group 2
Our group 2 children have had two fantastic sessions in the forest. They have learnt about the animals that might live in the forest and the importance of the fire circle. Next week we will be having a fire and marshmallows.
Bow saw skills and roasting marshmallows................
Making forest friends and finding bugs.....
Moving wood and making dens.....
Making our dens really special and using secateurs....
June and July 2015
If you go down to the woods today........
You will see our Reception children totally engrossed in their forest schools experience!
Saturday Forest School
11th July 2015
What an amazing time we all had together in the forest. We loved the blindfold trust game that we played with our parent. The cookie pendants we made using the bow saw and palm drill looked fantastic as were the dens we built! The cooked marshmallows and hot chocolate at the end made our morning really special. Thank you to everybody who came to make those wonderful memories and a big thank you to Victoria for leading us all.