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Forest School @ Birstwith Spring 2019

Year 1

Year 1 started their first Forest School session brilliantly.  They were probably the most prepared group Mrs Walker and I have ever met! They had all the right clothing on and were raring to go.  The children had a quick introduction to the forest areas with focus on managing themselves and being safe.  Then we went for a walk to find traces of dragons.  The children found some dragon thread which they wove into bracelets then they went on a mission to create fairy houses and dens for themselves.  The session ended with a huge fire which the children collected all the wood for accompanied with hot chocolate and marshmallows- Yummy!

Year 5

Year 5 got straight into the Forest spirit.  George turned up ready to take down any woolly mammoths we might encounter, then added to his ensemble of weaponry by creating his own mallet using a Billhook, a bowsaw and a sheath knife. A group- now called the 'Five Flaming Friends'- set to work on their fire making immediately and they were suitably rewarded with a super fire which was well controlled for the duration of the session.  

Other groups, made dens, bashers, camping areas, more fires and whittling and lopping was very popular.  As the sun set, we settled down to some cosy hot chocolate and everyone toasted their marshmallows on their own fires! Blissssss! 

The weeks have continued to bring new skills to the Forest School tribe; a group of children selected a range of wood, made charcoal and will see what the results will be soon... George took it one step further and produced some Neanderthal art by chewing the charcoal and spitting it around his hand onto a tree! Hats off to him for being so enthusiastic about it and we are looking forward to seeing his 'bright white' smile tomorrow!  The groups once again enjoyed toasting marshmallows and telling tales around the fire as others became more proficient at billhook use, bowsaw cutting and general fire feeding duties. 

Raging fires, scrummy sausages, more charcoal chomping and some super knot tying saw the Year 5 Forest School reach its finale.  The children al had a marvellous time in the woods but unfortunately it had to come to end...Till next year! 

Forest School @ Birstwith Autumn 2018

Year 4

Well Year 4 kicked off Forest School with some enthusiasm.  The wind, rain and freezing temperatures didn't dampen any spirits as the team picked up pretty much exactly where they had left it last year! It was lovely to see how much they could all remember. Sophia returned with her special piece of zipwire wood, most of the children could remember the safety aspects surrounding tools and fires and even when darkness set in, the children comfortably sat around the fires toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate...

The second week proved to be equally challenging...Possibly the wettest conditions we have had to date, but, all the children soldiered through, built dens, whittled and they even managed to enjoy another hot chocolate to warm their souls!!

Week 4 and the children brought their full Christmas enthusiasm! In a deluge of rain, we managed to get a shelter up and start to build a fire.  Some of the children helped build the main fire whist others perservered in their personal attempts to light their own fires and achieve their own success - in possibly the most trying environmental conditions! After a lot of hard work, we finally had a strong fire burning, Mrs Walker had made some of her (slowly becoming famous) dough and the children selcted their toasting sticks.  We backed cheesy twists and cooked sausages on the fire whilst belting out the Christmas production repetiore to warm our spirits. Well done Year 4 on a manic but successful time in the woods- better luck next time with your fire making endevours!!

Year 3

What a pleasure it was to have this group return... They had not been in the woods since June and they could all remember tool saftey and fire safety protocol.  It was wonderful to see them get stuck into it straight away, whittling, fire building, chopping and investigating. What a fantastic 4 weeks... we have had everything.  The children took on new experiences with gusto.  Some were very creative with sticks, others built their own furniture.  The boys worked together magnificently to maintain their fire for well over 10 minutes- it was so well organised, we had our hot chocolate around it!  We even tried to make muffins baked in oranges.  This is a work in progress but definitely an experience to remember! Well done all of you!!

Year 2

The children had a lot of investigating the larger woodland.  They worked really well individually, in pairs and in groups to leave their mark on the Forest School area.  New firsts for myself and Mrs Walker were the wooded bridge building, the toasting of green leaves and the shameless toliet stop! 

There is always something new :) 

Year 2

Week 2 and the children brought some fantastic imagination.  They started off using their senses on the midnight walk- the instructions were excellent and they all safely navigated their way through the winding labyrinth.  From this soome continued to explore with their senses, others created a fantastic ninja fox hunt game.  Some of the children experimented with fire lighting whilst others honed their knife skills, whittling sticks ready for marshmallows and hot chocolate! yummy:) 

Year 2

Well it's come to an end with Year 2 but what a fantastic time they have had...It has been so wonderful to see the children blossom in the woods.  Their enthusiasm and confidence was brimming over and they took part in a whole host of different adventures.  It was super to see the children experimenting with ropes and how they created a pulley system to hoist their friends onto a makeshift climbing frame.  Some children had their own stick war, others baked cheesy bread whilst others continues to build dens, make fires, whittle sticks as well as toast marshmallows! We even has our first Forest tooth fall out- possibly a result of all the sticky goodness the children consumed!! Hope you enjoy the pictures.  Thanks again to Mrs Walker; if there are any other adults that would like to get involved, please speak to me :)

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