We have started taking small groups of children to Forest School for a block of five sessions, which allows for continuity and growth. It’s amazing to see just how much enjoyment the children get from being in this environment and being outside in the woods. The children gain confidence and confident children are able to share their skills. The site that we access is on a farm in Tickenham which is local to us, the forest is absolutely fabulous and allows the children to explore the area and gain knowledge about the environment by becoming involved in a variety of different tasks.
We recently cut wooden biscuits from a Hazel branch that Miss Katie brought along and each child learned how to keep the saw safe whilst using it. They had a great sense of achievement when they cut through the branch which was amazing. They then decorated the discs, drilled a hole in the top and threaded it on to a piece of string so that it could be hung around their necks.
To give the children a sense of independence at Forest School the children now carry their own special ‘Forest School’ backpacks, which contain food for the pigs, matching cards, a magnifying glass and a bug collecting container. They can then enjoy bug investigation before releasing them back into the forest.
On the last day, we lit a fire and cooked damper bread over it. The children patiently waited for it to cook and also kept themselves safely away from the fire. The children all collected firewood, stack the sticks and stayed safe when lighting the fire. Miss Katie is an expert at lighting fires, using ‘Dragons breath’ to start the fire. The children were also shown that we must ensure that the fire is put out to keep the forest safe.