Kensuke’s Kingdom have been out in the woods with Mrs Ferguson this term learning some essential survival skills linked to their classroom topic, Frozen Kingdoms. They learnt to think like Shackleton used the acronym STOP in an emergency situation. On a practical level children were able to practise their survival skills by shelter building and fire lighting and learning how to make a water filter to clean water. We also continued to develop our whittling skills by making reindeer to give as Christmas presents or to sell at the Christmas Fair.
As well as thinking about the problem of access to fresh drinking water, children also visited the local beach where they learnt about the effects of plastic waste in our oceans. We were shocked to learn about micro plastics that have been found in fish and shellfish bound for human consumption. These micro plastics form as larger waste breaks down or are found as micro beads in some toothpastes and cosmetics. We thought about things we could do to help reduce plastic waste such as checking the labels on toothpaste, using reusable bottles and not using single use plastics such as straws. We also took direct action by doing a beach litter picking scavenger hunt. Our favourite slogans of the day was ‘If it’s not paper, pee or poo don’t flush it down the loo’.
Paddington have been working with Mrs Corke learning how to stay safe in the Forest School area, working together to build shelters and learning about the wildlife that lives in the woods, including making bird feeders to keep the birds fed over the winter months.
Reception children have continued to listen to and act out their favourite stories. This term we have learnt all about ‘The Mole who Knew it was None of his Business’, been on a Gruffalo hunt and made Gruffalo crumble, and made our very own Stickman Family.
KS2 Forest School kicked off the term with the Chocolate Factory working together to produce some epic environmental art linked to the Year 6 Gallery Rebels topic. They used the work of Andy Goldsworthy as a starting point to create 3D structures using natural materials and worked together to create a large scale painting/collage using natural earth pigments. They also had a focus on survival skills and used imaginary scenarios to focus on essential equipment and actions that could save lives. This will be useful in term 2 when they learn about one of the greatest survival stories ever told. As well as the usual campfire cooking, tree climbing and whittling projects, some children helped Shaun to build a semi-permanent shelter and others carried out essential conservation work on maintaining our pond as an important habitat for species of invertebrates and amphibians.
Year 3 worked with Mrs Corke in the school’s allotment area harvesting the last of the summer vegetables and planting bulbs for the spring. In addition they learnt the safety rules of fire lighting and shelter building, built new habitats for invertebrates and created beautiful mandalas using chalk and natural materials.
In their first term of school, Reception children also got stuck in to Forest School (especially when it was muddy!). They listened to and acted out their favourite stories and then did a range of practical activities linked to the book. This term we have been on a ‘Bear Hunt’, made our own ‘Room on a Broom’ broomsticks and magic mud potions and made nests, masks and bird feeders for our ‘Owl Babies.’
Year 4 Forest School were down at Holywell beach yesterday. Thanks to the spring tide the low tide was super low exposing lots of rock pools full of assorted molluscs and crustaceans for us to catch in our nets and get a close look at. The weather stayed dry and warm and we scavenged the shore line looking for whelk eggs, mermaid’s purse, cuttlefish remains and various sea shells such as Limpets and Dog Whelks. We found out that Dog Whelks eat Limpets by boring through their shells, squirting in some gastric juices and sucking out the liquefied Limpet. Yummy!We collected around ten different types of seaweed including Serrated Wrack, Sea Lettuce, Sea Belt, Dulse and Thong Weed. Did you know that a Sea Potato is not a plant but a kind of Sea Urchin?
We discovered that Spring tides occur when the earth, sun and moon are lined up in a row at the new moon and full moon phases. This causes the gravitational pull of the sun and moon to work together in one direction to pull on the earth’s water, causing the greatest difference between high and low water. Smaller tides, called neap tides, are formed when the earth, sun and moon form a right angle. This causes the sun and moon to pull the water in two different directions. Neap tides happen during a quarter or three-quarter moon.
We also did some amazing artwork using the natural materials that we found on the beach.
Group 1 will be going to the beach in two weeks time.
The last Forest School session for Year 5 last term ended with the long awaited float your boat challenge and the eagerly awaited stuff your face with marshmallows feast. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time at this amazing woodland venue and are looking forward to returning next year for Year 6 camp. Being at Bushy for two terms has helped our little woodland area at school have a bit of a rest over the winter months, which is part of our ecological management plan. We are back on site with Year 4 for terms 5 and 6, which will include a trip to the beach and the much loved residential at Mallydams Wood for the annual badger watch!
The School has been over run with herds of large and small reindeer. With beady eyes and sharp chiselled looks these very friendly, carrot-loving, carol-singing, four-footed wonders have dropped in to say hello and bring some Christmas cheer. Large and small reindeers have been spotted in the car park and the staff room but they seem to be keen to have a nose around. The children have also been busy making Christmas treats in Forest School. Have a look at some of these in the gallery. Keep your eyes open for those reindeer!
Year 3 were able to harvest the first salad of our allotment garden. The radish are ready to be thinned out and we also planted some more seeds for a later crop. We used the leaves to start a compost heap to provide nourishment for the soil in the years to come. We also planted spring onions and spinach donated by Incredible Edible Pevensey and Westham, a local group which promotes sustainable growing and environmental issues