This term children from Pink, Orange, Silver and Amber classes have all taken part in activities in Forest school.They have explored the site at Thingwall site, Elleray Park and our own outdoor space.They have learnt about feeding and caring for our wild animals and birds in winter and celebrated the trees. Children have also had lots of sensory experiences.
At our forest school site at Thingwall we now have an allotment. We have begun to grow our vegetables,planted fruit bushes and trees and strawberry plants we are hoping to get a great crop and extend our planting next year.
A soggy,fun in the mud start back to forest school.
Lots of different groups across school have taken part in Forest school sessions this half term,both on site and offsite.The most exciting part of our Forest school was when Ruby Class organised a whole week of Forest School activities and through the use of a book called the Tin Forest encouraged everyone to get outside more,this was very successful and everyone had fun while learning.
Our Forest school area at Thingwall was badly damaged by the recent storms,thanks to the hard work of the Thingwall Allotment society and the children and staff in Ruby class we are up and running again as from next week. Thanks guys.
This half term our forest school site was badly effected by storm Doris,therefore a lot of our sessions were based around school grounds or Royden Park.We still managed to have fun and hopefully we will be back on our site at the beginning of next term and look forward to a Summer term of fun.
Most classes across the school are now accessing our Forest school provision.We have made wands,built natural and tarpaulin dens,made a wormery and a bug hotel and been very busy creating our own allotment next to our forest. The children are all actively involved at every session and are gaining confidence,some children are beginning to use simple tools. We are all noticing changes through the seasons and we have even spotted our friendly pheasant.
Forest school is up and running again we are now involving various classes and groups throughout the school.This half term Ruby and Purple class are involved in sessions based around their topic "Our greatest adventure" .They have been involved in lots of team building activities and learning skills related to making shelters so far, we are now looking forward to enjoying more fun together.
The children continue to enjoy our Forest school sessions and Gold class are joining Onyx Class this half term. We have been to both our own site and royden site,initially learning some tool skills,den building and enjoying some free time,allowing the children to take part in some exploration and role play activities.
This week we visited Royden Park our planned activity was to make Guardians for our trees,muddy faces.Then we all enjoyed some fun in the mud,splashing and making mud cakes and pies for the fairies.
Our Forest school area at Thingwall is progressing well, the children are taking an active part in the maintainance of the site and making areas for dens and fire lighting sessions. Orange class are at present joining Onyx at the site and have already made simple furniture,a towel rail,and helped to clear the area further back . All children have taken part in den building and are very proud of their achievments.
We are in the process of becoming a registered Forest Schools school. I have recently passed my Forest Schools Practical Assessment week and am now gathering evidence for my portfolio. As part of the Elleray Park Forest Schools project I have managed to acquire us a site. This has kindly been made available to us by Thingwall Community Allotments.
When we first arrived at the site it was in a very neglected state, as you can see by the photos. However, with the help of children and adults in Onyx Class on a weekly basis and thanks to my family, friends and members of staff from school (who gave up their weekend to help), we have now cleared the site. Onyx Class are now in the process of helping to make the site our own and are enjoying their weekly sessions. We will very soon be inviting other children to join us in these sessions.
The ethos of Forest Schools is to allow children freedom to (through exciting and well planned activities) learn new skills, to take risks (under supervision), be independent, self motivated, be able to express their emotions and use their imagination.
Through our weekly sessions we have already noticed changes in children's ability to follow safety rules and use equipment and have seen some amazing communication skills and teamwork. We hope you enjoy the photos of our progress so far.
Chris Cotterell (class teacher Onyx Class and Forest Schools Practitioner)