Year 3 2022/23
Year 3’s Term 6
What a fantastic group of children they have been, it has been an absolute pleasure to have each and every one! They are so creative and inventive, they take my planning to the next level every week this term! We finish each session with a song and the children created a full band using the mud kitchen materials, sticks and the cable drum to support us all whilst we sung. The cable drum was used to balance and walk on, roll about along with its intended use of a table! One week I brought in flowers (as we have a no pick policy in forest school) and the children created the most interesting designs using a hammer on fabric to extract the dye. After listening to a story about an Elder tree and the ‘gifts’ it produces each season the children helped make and then taste elder flower cordial. They’ve used Elder to create beads and paint brushes along with bubble wands the willow ends. The cooks in the mud kitchen have created wonderful treats for us all to try including brownies, fruit kebabs complete with a chocolate dip. Their proficiency in using tool and understanding how to safely position themselves had lead them to share their skills with their peers. This was evident when I brought down some pallets to be used and I demonstrated with one child and then as each child had a turn they passed on the instructions and guided each other. The bug hunting area has been thoroughly investigated and the children have identified several different species of moths and spiders along with finding a toad. The dig pit has gotten so deep that they have hit a band of sand, discoveries continue to be found, cleaned and identified using the books in the area. The final session we celebrated with a campfire and s’mores for all!.
The year threes have had a great start to their Forest School sessions, during the first few weeks we focus on how to keep ourselves safe, how to keep others safe and how to keep nature safe. Between us we discuss many scenarios where the children contributed and demonstrate to the group. The children have been extremely enthusiastic and have fully embraced the games and activities that have been on offer. This term the children have listened to folk tales on birds such as the Wood pecker, Robin and House Sparrow, these stories have acted as a ‘springboard’ to their child-led play and through games and activities on offer, the children have learnt that its quite tricky to find food in winter and how camouflage helps with ‘worms’ hiding in grass and how hard it is to catch and eat their food just with a beak! They enjoyed playing predator and prey games, they’ve listens to the birds, and turned this into a game, and they’ve acted as starlings and learnt how to fly as a murmuration. They’ve had time to sit quietly and listen to the birds and trying to count how many different sounds they can hear. It’s been lovely to see the children spend time with the binoculars bird watching or making natural bird feeders using pine cones, sticks and some having a go a weaving a bird feeder from willow. Some children have spent time creating art from the Christmas trees, or using the needles as an essential ingredient in a mud kitchen recipe. The den building has taken off and the children now have an amazing structure up a tree, (build by the year 5’s) which each week is added too! The dig pit has been extended and many treasures have been found, bones, flint and pottery have been put in a safe place! The hammocks and slack lines are in constant use and many children persevering to get across without falling off. As you are aware the children have loved the opportunity to use the mud slide, which I know despite over trousers they are still rather muddy, please can I assure you that whilst they are ‘playing’ the children are, improving social skills, cooperating, turn taking, persevering, risk assessing, using trial and error in how to make themselves slide faster. With the addition of water, figuring out how to transport it working as team and creating a truly magnificent slide!
We ended Term 3 with fire lighting, each of the children had the opportunity to use the flint & steels to light cotton wool. On the communal fire they cooked bread and as a group we made fresh butter.
Although at the time of writing it feels like Spring is on its way, please keep an eye on the weather and ensure the children are wrapped up warmly!