Eco Awards

Just before we broke up for half term some Year 5 children attended the Eco Awards at the East of England Showground. Throughout the day there were numerous activities including bee keeping, making leaf tiles, milking a pretend goat and learning about taking care of the environment from Boudica. The afternoon ended with school being presented with an award for Heath and Happiness. The Eco Awards’ team were really impressed with how we have brought Forest School to all the children at St. John’s and were blown away by their enthusiasm for the outdoors.
This week the children have been getting to grips with cooking with mud! There have been some incredible dishes made including, mud lasagna, twig cookies, cupcakes complete with icing and decorations. The conversations they have been having while ‘cooking’ are stimulating and are really developed their imaginations. It has been lovely seeing the teachers get involved in cooking and tasting!

Insect hunting!

Classes this week finished off their pond dipping and insect hunting. The ‘Biggest spider in the World’ returned once more frightening both children and adults!  Cooking was a subdued affair with a simple bowl of nachos being cooked slowly on the fire. I was very impressed with how many children bravely attempted to eat more than one jalapeno!!  Year 6 built some

magnificent dens complete with communication systems, they have really developed all their practical skills this term which has been lovely to see.

On behalf of our school community, I  would like to say a big thank you to Bernadette Taylor, who is known in school as Nanny Bern. She has kindly given the school a very generous donation and asked that we buy some plants for use in school. With that in mind, we felt that we needed to do the donation justice and have put the money to good use purchasing some beautiful plants to be used in the sensory garden which will be developed over Easter. I look forward to sharing the before and after pictures with you in the Summer term.

Discovery and wonder…

Another incredibly busy week in Forest School. Carrying on from last week classes took part in pond dipping and insect hunting activities. The running total of different species in the pond is is now 22!

 

On Wednesday morning 3RM  discovered two Common Newts, by the afternoon 6CK had managed to locate and  catch a total of 7. Year 5 watched in delight as they witnessed the Whirligig beetle spinning around on the surface of the water while those hunting for insects managed to catch a variety of worms.

 

Cooking this week was a chance for the children to show off their culinary skills by making spicy cauliflower skewers,  fondue and homemade garlic bread!

 

 

 

A scientific approach to Forest School

As it has been Science Week we have concentrated our outdoor learning on habitats, life cycles and living and growing. EYFS and KS1 have spent their time learning about the life cycle of worms and went on a soil and worm investigation. There were many squeals of delight when someone found a worm and many could identify it as an adult worm or a juvenile worm.
KS2 focused on exploring habitats of common insects and investigated what was living in the pond. So far, we have found 15 different species including Water Mites, Greater Water Boatmen, Lesser Water Boatmen, Hydras, a variety of Molluscs, a variety of worms and Stonefly Nymphs. Year 5 and 6 have also reported sightings of a rather large spider roaming around the garden!!
Cooking this week was challenging due to the strong winds but we persevered and managed to make our own pasta and filling for a chicken lasagne.

Spring has sprung!

Spring has been kind to us all and has given us some incredible Forest School lessons with lots of exploring and investigation taking place. The daffodil bulbs have flowered along with the hyacinths which smell amazing.

Reception and Year 4 became fascinated by worms and spent a long time observing their every move! Year 6 were incredible this week and prepared the beds to enable them to plant carrot, broad bean and tomato seeds. Our campfire session this week gave us a chance to use ingredients which were kindly donated by Morrisons in Cardea. The children learnt how to make meatballs and cooked them along with some pasta on the campfire. Year 1 focused on their fine motor skills using the weaving boards Year 5 made and had fun den building.

Fun in the Mud!

Another busy week at Forest School which has resulted in a lot of washing for parents and the Forest School team! Naturally the first sessions of the day involve searching for ice and the wonders that it creates.The blue overalls have been out and most of KS1 and Year 3 have spent their sessions rolling down extremely muddy hills, playing ‘Stuck in the Mud’ and digging for treasure.

Year 5 put their STEM skills to use by constructing shelters to keep the wind and the rain out.

Year 6 taught Mr Knowling how to use a Bow Saw so that he could make his own tree cookie and cooking club this week made delicious chocolate orange cakes by removing the flesh from an orange, filling it with chocolate cake mixture, wrapping it in foil and popping  it on the fire for 30 minutes.

Keeping out the cold!

Mrs Henson says… 
It’s been a very cold week in Forest School!! We have all kept warm by playing Stuck in the Mud and by building obstacle courses from construction equipment. There was lots of STEM going on with 2LM who made a playground complete with see-saw, trim trail and a slide! 3JH excelled at using the construction materials and made a large shelter, they worked out that if we chopped the Christmas tree up we could use the branches as a roof!
The Ducklings’ class started using tools and learnt how to use a hammer safely. They produced some beautiful Hapa Zome, which is the Japanese art of bashing flowers and leaves to dye fabric.
Can I ask that you send your child with hats, gloves and spare socks on their Forest School days, they do get rather chilly and extra socks help keep the chill out when wearing wellies.

S’more news from Forest School

Chicks and Ducklings had a very exciting lesson where they experienced fire and learnt how to make S’mores! They demonstrated exceptional listening skills and followed every instruction that was given to them. All the teachers joined in and had as much fun as their children.
Other years groups learnt how to use a bow saw safely to enable them to make tree cookies and cut wood for the fire.

Forest School news

With the cold weather now upon us children have been learning how to use a Bow Saw so that they can chop wood for the fire!
Some classes have changed their Forest School day so please check the list below. Please ensure that your child has a warm coat, hat and socks on for their Forest School day.
Monday:
5AH
4AP

2RC

Tuesday:
5OH
Chicks

Ducklings

Wednesday:
3RM
4DR
3BM
6SR

6CK

Thursday:
4ET
5LE
1AP

Friday
3JH
2LM
1TS