Welcome to our Forest School page!
This is the place to look to find out about what we have been up to in our Forest School sessions. We will be posting photographs of what we have been doing and things we have been making.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH PTA!
Our wonderful PTA have funded a class set of waterproofs for Forest School sessions. They look great and the children loved them.
In our sessions this week we thought about ways to help our local wildlife and decided to start feeding the birds at school and home now Autumn has arrived. The children made fantastic apple feeders using a range of skills including threading and knot tying. We also learnt what food was best for which birds and used sunflower hearts and meal worm pellets to make our feeders even tastier. The results were super and we had lots to take home and use around school.
Year 1 Forest School
Year 1 have been very busy in our sessions. We have completed a litter pick around school, cooked on the camp fire, had a brilliant den building session and taken part in the R.S.P.B. Big Bird Watch as well as honing our tool skills and making use of our new tipper truck. There has been a hive of activity!
In this term we will be learning to use a Kelly Kettle and trying our hand at some weaving and whittling tasks. The children have requested another camp fire and we will be trying to cook some popcorn using a kitchen sieve or 2. (Watch out on Tapestry for the results. We have high hopes for 'not black and edible' Fingers crossed!) We are also improving the pond area and hoping for birds in our nest boxes.
Do log in to Tapestry for weekly updates and photo's. We are learning so much!
As part of our R.S.P.C.A. Wild Challenge Bronze award we have been busy completing Help Nature and Experience Nature activities. We went on a tree safari and identified some of the trees and their seeds. We had great fun making the sycamore seeds spin and finding out why they do this! Back in the classroom we made careful sketches of the leaves and seeds we had found.
We had a wonderful start to our Forest School this week. The children have been investigating Leaf Miner Disease and how it is damaging our Horse Chestnut trees. We went on a local area walk to see if we could find any affected trees and soon identified one. We brought back samples of leaves, buds and conkers to look at in our new Lab. The children discovered a lot of information! why not ask them what they found out?
CAMP FIRE CAPERS!
Orange Class learnt how to use a firestriker and make a fire waffle today. We had to learn the firecircle safety rules first and then we lit our campfire and cooked waffles to celebrate!
Orange and Yellow classes have been learning how to work together to build shelters using tarpaulins. Some of them had a good go at knot tying and made their own tent pegs.
It's Raining! It's Pouring! But Orange Class still had fun
With our trusty tarp's keeping off some of the deluge, Orange Class enjoyed a soggy session learning how to use a mallet. There was plenty of puddle jumping to be enjoyed and a well deserved hot chocolate in our huge den at the end.
Reception Start Forest School
This week Yellow Class began their Forest School sessions. They were very excited! We packed a lot in. By the end of the session we had learnt:
We enjoyed a snack and hot chocolate at Base Camp carried out a minibeast hunt and had time to explore the maze too.
FINAL SESSION FUN!
Blue and Green classes had their final sessions this week. They chose to make an enormous den! Mrs Stephens was very impressed with their teamwork and how much their knot tying is improving. We celebrated their construction by having our drink and snack inside it.
SAUSAGES ON STICKS!
In this session Green Class had fun cooking sausages and marshmallows on a campfire and honing their Firestriker skills. Afterwards there was time for some of us to build a fantastic wooden castle with its own airport. Brilliant mallet skills well done!
WEATHERVANES AND STORM DORIS!
What a wet, wild and windy session we had today! Doris certainly blew the cobwebs away. We made our own weathervanes to see which way the wind was blowing. (It turned out to be from every direction!) It was exciting to be out on the field and experience what the wind felt like and see how it made our hair stand on end. Great fun!
KELLY KETTLE HOT CHOCOLATE WAS JUST WHAT WE NEEDED!
Today we revised the rules for the Fire Circle and everyone got to use the firestriker to make sparks for lighting a fire. We learnt how water molecules turn to steam and then looked for steam and smoke when the Kelly Kettle was lit. Best of all was the hot chocolate we made with the water we boiled. It was the perfect way to warm us up.
YEAR 1 MAKE A SUPER START!
Blue and Green Classes have both had their first Forest School sessions and really impressed Mrs Stephens with how many of the rules and routines they could remember from their introduction in Reception.
We were lucky enough to have a very frosty day and explored the ice around school and on the field. This led to us thinking about the birds as their water was frozen solid. We decided to put new bird feeders in place and found out what food to use. We couldn't use peanuts but discovered that sunflower hearts, mixed grain, mealworms and fat balls would help feed different kinds of birds. In our next sessions we will be taking part in the R.S.P.B. Little School Birdwatch.
Huge thanks to Blue Class for a very thorough litter pick. We were very sad to find a lot of litter. We looked at the wrappers and thought that most of it was from things that children eat. Nearly all of it was plastic and we learnt that this is made from oil and doesn't compost. After a very thoughtful discussion Blue Class decided that they needed to take action and took the litter into assembly to show everyone. They have asked School Council to investigate solutions. Great work!
TARP'S KNOTS AND DENS!
Violet and Indigo Classes were challenged to make a rain proof shelter they could drink their hot chocolate in. The results were amazing!
Mrs Stephens was very proud of their super team work.
Fire Circle Skills
We have been practicing how to use a fire striker correctly and we can all now make a fire waffle without help. Brilliant!
FOREST SCHOOL INVESTIGATES...LEAF MINER DISEASE
As part of our work on Autumn we collected conkers. We had to find out the correct name for a conker tree and when we did some research we discovered that Horse Chesnut trees are in danger! They are suffering from Leaf Miner Disease. We found out that the larvae of the Leaf Miner Moth hatch out in the leaves and eat the inside of the leaf. This causes the leaves to turn brown and die which weakens the tree. We went on a walk in the local area and found trees with leaf miner. We decided we should make a display in school to tell everyone about what was happening. We found some research on the Internet which told us that scientists have discovered that Blue Tits are learning to feed on the larvae and they hope that this will help the trees. Fingers crossed!
Indigo and Violet classes have been learning lots of new skills.
We were challenged to make bows and arrows for the Violet Class performance of Robin Hood. We soon discovered that we needed to choose the wood carefully. It had to be bendy but not brittle or it broke when we strung the bow. We decided to use apple wood and this worked well.
We have been creating shelters and practicing our knots to fix our tarps securely. It's been tricky and we have learnt a lot about perseverance! We were able to enjoy our hot chocolate in the dens we built and stayed nice and dry. (Well, most of us did!).
All of us enjoyed our work on Andy Goldsworthy. We looked at some of his work and then created our own masterpieces in Base Camp using beautiful autumn leaves, berries and flowers.
Please look at the gallery of our recent work.
Well done Reception!
Reception have made a fantastic start to Forest school. In our first session we learnt some of our rules and routines and learnt our Forest School song. We found out how to use a magnifying bug pot to look at minibeasts and managed to find: worms, black beetles, millipedes and centipedes, spiders, slugs and snails!
In our second session we have been learning how to use a mallet and stake. We learnt some rules for using them safely and then had a go. We had to concentrate very hard as you can see from these photographs!
Year 1 Parent Session
Thank you to all parents and grandparents who braved the rain to come along and take part in a Forest School session. The children were delighted to have an opportunity to be 'teacher' for a while and were very excited about your visit. We hope you enjoyed it too.
Seeking Signs Of Spring!
Year 1 have been out and about in Forest School looking for signs of Spring. We had a scavenger sheet with things to spot and managed to find lots of clues. We are going to look in our gardens, at the park and on our way to school to find even more. Fingers crossed for frog spawn this week!
As part of our theme on Grand Designs the children were challenged to make a bridge of their choice outside at Base Camp using a variety of tools and resources. They had some very clever ideas!
Benhall Big Birdwatch!We have taken part in the R.S.P.B.School Birdwatch. We were lucky to have a lovely sunny day and were able to spot lots of different birds including: Wagtails, Blackbirds, Magpies, Crows, Seagulls, Robins, Hedge Sparrows and Bluetits.We learnt how to identify the birds we didn't know and some of us had a first experience of using binoculars.
TRACKS, TRAILS AND COOKING PORRIDGE!
We have had a busy time learning some new skills. To link with our 'Once Upon A Time' whole school theme. We learnt how to make tracks and trails to lead us out of the forest. We tested Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumb trail and found that the greedy seagulls soon swooped down and gobbled it up! In our next session we revised our fire safety rules, made fire waffles and then lit our camp fire. We had to make some porridge for the 3 bears and Goldilocks. It had to be 'just right'. Everyone had a taste and agreed it was delicious.
R.S.P.B. BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH
The last weekend in January is the date for this year's Big Birdwatch. Families and individuals can take part and Forest School will be completing the Big School Birdwatch. Details can be found on the R.S.P.B website. We will be finding out how we can help the birds in our gardens and in our school grounds.
We have been finding out all about hedgehogs. We discovered that they are excellent climbers and swimmers and why they have to hibernate. We made some hedgehog 'houses' for them to nest in and checked that the ramp in our pond was clear in case one fell in.
We have been learning about Leaf Miner Disease and how it is damaging Horse Chestnut trees. We discovered that the pest is a tiny moth and it's caterpillars damage the leaves. Luckily, scientists have found that Blue Tits are starting to eat the caterpillars and they hope this will help save the trees.
We had great fun learning to use a new tool called a bradawl and to tie knots.Then the conker matches began! We had to decide on safety rules, rules for the games and choose a scoring system.
Year 2 make a flying start to this term's Forest School sessions!
We have already been busy at Forest School. Our first session was a revision of our rules and routines and a look at some of the new equipment at Base Camp. Our second session saw us out foraging for things to make natural dyes and paints. Many of us had purple fingers for a day or two- Mrs Stephens included!
PLEASE NAME EVERYTHING!