Final Forest Schools

Forest School Blog Hazel Class July 10th 2017 (6th session)

This week was our last Forest School Day for this year (each class has 6 weeks of Forest School a year). So the next time for these children will be when they are in Year 4.

As well as our extra volunteer, Sammy (who is a Forest School Leader herself), we had a special guest today – Mr Dingley! What a treat! 😊 The children were delighted to spend a day outside with him and it was great to have him along.

 

 

As it was our final session (and my final EVER session!), the children were given a last chance to try something they had been building up the courage for, or maybe revisit an old favourite. So we saw children in trees, making delicious mud concoctions, playing games with huge sticks, building amazingly improved and complicated dens and using their knife skills to sharpen arrows and make bows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some needed to cut sticks, so learned how to use secateurs and loppers. Other sticks were simply too big to cut, so they learned how to use a bow saw. Two girls had a go at lighting the fire with me, using the flint and steel – not as easy as it looks! (We don’t use firelighters or matches at Forest School – just a piece of cotton wool.) The rest of our tinder is completely natural, gathered by me from the hedgerows near my home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finally allowed them marshmallows this week (sorry… they probably had more sugar in one bite then the whole of their weekly allowance…). Just to add to the unhealthiness, we squashed a toasted marshmallow between two chocolate biscuits. 😊 In order to toast their marshmallows, the children had to peel and sharpen some Hazel sticks which I had brought for them as we don’t have enough Hazel on school grounds to use. They also wore fire gloves when at the fire and were under 1:1 supervision with an adult for safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our final reflection around the fire, I asked the children to imagine that an OFSTED inspector didn’t understand why we should do Forest School and asked the children to explain why it was important. These are a few of their replies:

  • You can play in the fresh air
  • You can be imaginative
  • You can step out of your comfort zone
  • You get to do things you aren’t allowed to do in school
  • There are only 3 rules
  • You get to eat different foods around a fire
  • You play with people you don’t normally play with
  • You’re allowed to get muddy
  • You do things that are a bit scary
  • You learn how to use proper tools
  • You can either be by yourself or play with other people
  • It’s relaxed
  • You get a rest from all the stuff in school
  • You get a whole morning or afternoon outside even when it’s raining
  • You choose what you want to do. No one makes you.
  • You can get better at things each week
  • You sort out your own rules for games
  • It’s fun
  • It makes me happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A final personal word from Mrs Singleton…

It has been a privilege for me to set up Forest School at Ellel and I now leave it in the capable hands of Mr Cross, our new Forest School Leader. I’d like to thank Mrs Thomas and all the staff, governors and parents for their support in initiating and running Forest School. Not all schools see the benefit of such an addition to their school and I am very glad that I have been lucky enough to work for one that does. Thank you.