Find out all the news about Forest School below.
Here, in the depths of Smethwick, lies an oasis of tranquility – just behind the car park!
Whispering trees, a story telling hut, and a pond, planned, dug and built this year by our intrepid foresters.
Led by Ms Hoole, children from all year groups enjoy weekly sessions, often linked to their class curriculum, or to develop more discrete skills and friendships.
Sensory sessions are also delivered, where identified groups experience all of the sights, sounds and feelings of an outside classroom.
Come and see what lurks behind the wooden gate…
Forest school for this term will be for year groups 1, 2, and 3. Each class in each year group will visit our forest area on a three-week rota.
Most of the sessions will be child initiated and they will lead their own learning creating a group CAFRA (Consider All Factors Risk Assessment) and then evaluate and reflect on their own progress. The Forest School practitioner will give them a challenge and then observe the children and facilitate their learning to reach the outcome.
The classes in Year 1 have been very interested in making obstacle courses and have been challenged to move through forest school without touching the ground! They have also been noticing the changes that happen in the autumn, in particular looking at all the different shades of the autumn leaves.
The children in Year 2 have been particularly eager to use the mallets and pegs to hammer into the ground. All of the children know how to be safe and responsible when using the mallets. They have also been keen to dig and look for buried treasure and have made a very interesting collection of magical stones and pebbles. The autumn leaves have also been used to make beautiful leaf kebabs.
This year group have really tied themselves up in knots!!!! Their challenge was to move things round forest school, without touching the items except for using a piece of rope. The groups showed excellent perseverance and communication skills when learning to tie knots. They then developed their learning into making balance scales which they hung in the trees.
And of course all the groups thoroughly enjoy Ms Hoole’s hot chocolate and yummy biscuits!!!
Winter has certainly arrived in Forest School. Damp and cold afternoons do not deter our Foresters who have been looking for signs of life beneath the leaf fall. We have been using fallen sticks and leaves to make symmetrical patterns and to see how many patterns we can make with a small number of sticks, some very intricate patterns were made by year 2, who are also going to be designing and constructing Bug Hotels along with making some yummy bird food cake to help our feathered friends through the cold months.
Year 1 will be using their noticing torches over the next few weeks and identifying trees and watching for signs of spring.
An important part of Forest School is learning how to manage and take safe risks. The children will be set a variety of challenges like making the Trolls Bridge and then pretending to be the Billy goats that cross the bridge safely to the other side. We shall also be recreating the 3 little pig’s home and watching out for the big bad wolf!