Forest School at Parkland
Forest School is firmly embedded into school life at Parkland. It is currently being lead by Miss Badura who gained her Level 3 Forest School Practitioner Award last year. We are very fortunate to have a school with several fields and playgrounds as well as easy access to the nearby woods where we carry out many of our Forest School sessions.
Forest School allows the children to explore the outdoors through their own ideas and imagination. Most activities are child led and allow the children to investigate and problem-solve, thus developing pupils who are independent and self-motivated. The activities are planned in small manageable steps, that we scaffold, to ensure that the children develop specific skills at their own pace and level. Children of all abilities are able to enjoy and learn at Forest School. Every child has their own special quality and strength; Forest School helps them build on these and develop new skills with confidence.
Some of our Forest School activities include: building shelters; woodland craftwork; telling stories; cooking over the fire; climbing trees; hunting for minibeasts and making dens (and many more)! As Forest School develops, woodland tools are introduced to extend learning and provide new opportunities for risk management.
We had so much fun with the parachute today at Forest School. We played all sorts of games with it! Our favourite game involved putting loads of leaves of the top of the parachute and working as a team to get them off!
This week at Forest School, we took the box of ropes with us to see what we could make. The children had fantastic ideas and made a rope swing, hammock and a zip wire. They climbed the trees, managing their own risk. The children worked so well as a team! Well done Reception.
At Forest School, we played Eagle Eyes. The children had to hide whilst Isla was the 'eagle' and counted. Each time Isla said, "Eagle eyes are opening," the children had to make sure they were in a hiding spot. When Isla said, "Eagle eyes are closing," the children had to move from their current spot and find a new one. The children were brilliant at hiding.
Next, Miss Badura told the children that there had been a storm in the night and that lots of the animal shelters had been ruined. It was the children's job to make a new one. The children took the task in their stride, developing their creativity and thinking skills. Afterwards, we walked around and looked at all of the different shelters and the children talked about how they made them.
When we returned to school, we put all of the photos of the interactive whiteboard and showed the other reception class everything that we did.
This week at Forest School, Miss Fox and Miss Guard joined us! We were having a fire this week so first we set up our fire circle. We moved all of the leaves out of the fire circle so they wouldn't catch alight. I explained the rules of the fire circle, only walking around the outside of the fire circle if they need to swap places, rather than walking through. The children followed the rules carefully and walked around the outside like they had been asked. Each child had a turn to whittle a stick using a knife. Again they followed the rules, keeping the knife away from their body and facing the ground.
Afterwards, they helped me to start the fire. We discussed that the sticks need to be in a waffle shape so that the oxygen can get underneath to help the fire to burn. As we started the fire, the children were keen to use their stick to put a marshmallow on and toast it. In turn, the children were invited into the fire circle to toast their marshmallow.
At the end, we tidied the woodland and removed the orange tape. The children helped me to carry the equipment back to the minibus.
This week, we had torrential rain and it was freezing! The children were brilliant and got stuck in, taking the weather in their stride. We put up a tarpaulin to shelter us and we had a go at making our own fires using a flint and steel.
This week at Forest School, we had a birthday party! We made our own party food, music, decorations and games. (We enjoyed doing the limbo the most!) We had SO much fun! As most of the snow had melted in the woods, it was extremely boggy! Lots of us got stuck in the thick, oozy mud! We had so much fun trying to get out, even if we did get a little muddy. As we were leaving the woods, we noticed a sign so many of the children used their phonic knowledge to sound out the words.
This week at Forest School, reception played lots of fun games (our personal favourite was Eagle Eyes)! Miss Badura told the children about a storm that had happened overnight and many animal habitats had been ruined. Our job was to build new homes for the animals. The children tackled the task with confidence and they made some fabulous homes. We worked as a team, developing our problem-solving skills.