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Forest School

Acorn Class goes to Forest School!!

Welcome from Mr Purvis:

Hello to all the Acorn Class Parents. My Name Is Mr Purvis and I am the Forest School Teacher here at Lavendon School.  Forest School is when we take the children into a woodland setting and teach them a mix of life skills such as fire safety/lighting, den building and cooking on a campfire. We also teach them all about the natural world, how to protect it and the type of animals that we share our planet with.

Over the next 6 weeks your little Acorns will learn all of this and more in an outside classroom setting.

Week 1: Friday 16th September:

For our first Forest School lesson, I explained all the Forest school rules to the children, prior to the session. I went to the site and took down two of the birdboxes that I put up last year and brought them back to school, so the children could check the bird boxes to see if any birds had decided to make a nest in them, as Autumn is the perfect time of year to clean out your birdboxes.  One box had a full Blue tit nest in it! The children loved being able to touch a bird nest and see how soft and cosy it was. Then I introduced the first forest school-wide game to the children we played a game called 1,2,3 WRU. It’s similar to hide and seek, but the seeker shouts 1,2,3 WRU and the children shout back 1,2,3 I’m here.

Week 2: Friday 23rd September.

This week we did a session all about bugs, I read the Super Worm book before the session.  I think it’s important at the early years stage to have each forest school session based on a book, where possible. I gave the children my bug pots and told them to find bugs and catch them in the pots to show me what they got. I told them we must never put worms or slugs in our hands as our skin is salty and if we hold them for long enough it will kill them. Once they had caught bugs, the children then each showed me what they caught, and then they put the bugs back where they found them. We decorated one of my bug drawings that have been drawn on an old bedsheet with autumn colours. I was amazed at how quickly the children completely decorated the bug! We ended the session with a new game called Green Watcher. In this game the children must hide away from the Green Watcher who is frozen in one place, but wherever they hide from they must be able to always see me. The aim of the game is to get nearer to the Green Watcher without being seen. The winner is the last one found or the one closest to the Green Watcher at the end of the session. The children loved this game and picked it up quickly.

Week 3: Friday 30th September:

This session was all about the seasons and the signs of Autumn. Before the session, I collected a range of different leaves from around the school so the children and I can use the tree leaf Identification wooden blocks to recognise leaves. I read to them about what happens to trees throughout the season. Then we used the blocks to identify all the leaves that I collected; we also spoke about how some trees are evergreen. I then asked the children to get a handful of leaves and throw them up in the air over themselves, one of the simplest and most fun activities to do with children is to get a huge handful of autumnal leaves and throw them over yourself! The children absolutely loved doing this, especially throwing them at Mr Purvis.  We ended the session with 1,2,3 WRU which was enjoyed by everyone.

Week 4  Friday 7th October:

This week’s session was all about Fairy Gardens and how it’s not just animals and plants that live alongside us but also fairies as well. I explained to the children that I wanted them to make me a fairy garden out of natural materials. That was the only information I gave them, and it always amazes me how far their imaginations take them; the end results from each pair were very impressive as every single one was different. It was lovely to see them work together to reach a goal! I think all the fairies were very impressed by their new gardens.  We ended the session with 1,2,3 WRU which they are getting better at week by week.

Week 5  Friday 14th October:

This was our last week at school as next week we finally go back to the Forest School site. This week’s session was all about the signs of Autumn and how we spot those signs. We did 1,2,3 WRU to start the session, and then we spoke about what the signs of Autumn are and how we spot them.  The children were brilliant at telling me what they were and where to find them. I then challenged the children to create a natural picture out of natural autumn items.  Yet again,I was blown away by the end results and was great to see their imaginations working on overload.

Week 6  Friday 21st October:

This week the Acorns finally went to the Forest School site! Once we arrived, we sat around the gathering circle, and I explained the Forest School rules to them when on the site. We explored the site to ensure the children were familiar with pathways and areas that were safe to use. We then did a wide games session where we played 1,2,3 WRU and Green Watcher. All the adults joined in and tried really hard to beat the children.

Week 7  Friday 4th November:

The Acorns were very lucky and got an extra forest school session with me and there was only one thing that we could do. We went back to the site and had a campfire with Mr Purvis’s firepit. I explained how to keep each other safe around the campfire. We talked about how to correctly build a fire and how to put a fire out correctly. Well done to the clever little Acorn who told me how to put a fire out - you pour either water or sand on it. We then gave the children a wooden skewer with 2 marshmallows on and then with guidance from Mr Purvis they got to toast their marshmallows. We then played wide games to finish.

I have loved the last 7 weeks with the Acorns; we certainly had fun. I cannot wait to teach you again as Chestnuts next year!