In Forest School this week... - Mill Hill Schools

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In Forest School this week…

Reception

Reception have enjoyed their first term in Forest School and have all increased in confidence when navigating their way through the forest.

The children have encountered many enjoyable, and for some, new experiences such as, whittling sticks, using hammers and toasting marshmallows over the fire.

They created many beautiful pieces of artwork using natural materials found in the forest. These included photo frames, Rangoli patterns, sparklers and Christmas wreaths. The children have also begun to learn about the creatures that live in the forest and how we can care for them.

In their last session before the Christmas holidays the children were treated to a special Forest School party where they played games, sang songs and ate popcorn cooked over the fire. The children then threaded the left over popcorn together to hang on the trees to help feed the birds who live in our forest.

Ms Staniford and I look forward to further exciting Forest School sessions with Reception.

Please remember that as the weather gets colder the children need to wear extra clothes, such as, hats, scarves, waterproof gloves, thick socks/snow boots etc. This will ensure that the children will be able to fully enjoy their sessions outside.

Year 1

Year 1 have been transported to India in their Forest School sessions this term. In their first session they experienced a ‘make believe’ monsoon and then problem solved how they would survive. They then split into groups to build shelters, make food and find water.

In another session, the children found a map in the forest, which they used, along with their senses, to find beautiful Indian treasures. The children were intrigued as to who could have left the treasures and why, and used the clues to guess at who it was.

During Diwali the children created beautiful Rangoli patterns using leaves and flowers found within the forest. They also made their own ‘magic’ bows and arrows and learnt about the properties of Sycamore trees. When creating their bows and arrows they showed a high level of precision in their whittling of arrows and tying of knots on the bow.

The children ended the term with a Christmas Forest School party. They celebrated by creating their own whittled stick decorations, playing games and eating freshly cooked Forest School pizzas. A great end to a fabulous term. Ms Staniford and I are looking forward to next term where we will continue to further develop the children’s independence, confidence, resilience, creativity and social skills within the forest setting.

Please remember that as the weather gets colder the children need to wear extra clothes, such as, hats, scarves, waterproof gloves, thick socks/snow boots etc. This will ensure that the children will be able to fully enjoy their sessions outside.

Thank you and happy holidays!

Lucy Dobson

Year 2

We have had an amazing first term in the woods with Year 2. Here is a summary of all we got up to:

Our First Session

What a glorious day we had in the woods with all of Year 2! The sun was shining and the children were full of energy. First we had to locate different puzzle pieces and work out what the picture was. It was several tigers who had come to play with us in the woods! The children had a superb session playing, imagining and experimenting in the forest.

Tiger Habitats

Year 2 had a delightful afternoon in the ‘Rainforest’ as we imagined that we travelled to India. The children were challenged with creating habitats for tigers who had jumped into my luggage. They took their time and carefully creating a space where they thought their tiger would be happy. Some children reviewed their habitat and made changes after evaluating what they had done while others took great care in making sure their tiger was camouflaged from hunters. It was a wonderful afternoon with the children collaboratively working together in small groups until they were happy with the end result. We finished the session by returning to the UK via ‘Moir Airways’ and practising mindful breathing all the way home.

Forest Playtime

This session was all about enjoying being in the forest and experimenting with our own personal boundaries. We climbed a rope ladder, rolled down hills, whittled sticks using peelers and even played ‘drip, drop, drop’! This is a fantastic game to play in the sunshine as it is a bit like duck, duck, goose but instead of tapping the persons head we ‘drip, drip, drop’ water on them! It is very funny and everyone ends up soaked!

Muddy Puddles

I think the most fun the children had in this session was jumping in muddy puddles. The hopped, danced, laughed, ran, strolled and skipped through the puddles! It was a wonderful sight although I am not sure that the owners of the cars nearby would agree (as they got a bit splashed) but we had a wonderful time! Then we went on a leaf hunt and learned about the trees that we have on the grounds near school. Some of the children also made rangoli patterns with the leaves.

Long Walk

The weather for this session was very moody as it was incredibly foggy but it created a fabulous atmosphere. Instead of staying in forest school we went on a very long walk around the school grounds, finding new places to visit along the way. We also played some funny games and spotted different leaves which we recognised along the way. Oh and we managed to find a huge puddle too!

Our Final Session

All of Year 2 enjoyed this fun filled and busy session together. First, all of the children collected wood as I started to build a fire and I then went on to make popcorn for all of the children. We had a selection of activities for the children to experience including making leaf creatures, swinging in the hammock, whittling sticks, climbing a rope ladder and revising names of leaves.

Special thanks to you all for sending your children to school so prepared for each session and to the children for all of their energy, enthusiasm and perseverance. Please look out for the Forest School Rota for next term which you will get in book bags next week.

Huge thanks to our tremendous Year 2 Team including Miss Mason, Mrs Savva, Mrs Hurst, Mrs Josephides, Mrs Ftaiha and Mrs Dobson who ably support us in Forest School as without them these sessions would not be possible. We are also very lucky to have Miss Parker who volunteers for us in forest school as our resident photographer – thanks to her for giving her time and super photos! You can view all the Year 2 photographs here

Mrs Moir