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Smeeth Community Primary School

Year 5 2022/23

Term 3


The year 5’s continue to be a creative group of children after recapping the rules the children get straight into their individual play.  A group of boys asked if they could make a tree house, which I agreed to happily. Watching them plan, design, work together and then moving heavy pallets up into a tree, using ropes to secure.  They have returned each week adding more and more ropes, sticks to create new areas.  The dig pit has been extended and now even has a structure over it. They enjoyed playing predator and prey games, they’ve listens to the birds, and turned this into a game where they have to use their listening skills to find their own families.  They’ve acted as starlings and learnt how to fly as a murmuration, to avoid the hawk. 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, which each week is added too! 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!

The final week of term 3 saw the children practicing with the flint and steel to light cotton wool, some chose to  experiment with other materials to see if they would catch a spark. We had a communal fire where the children cooked bread and made butter.

Although at the time of writing it feels Spring is on its way, please keep an eye on the weather and ensure the children are wrapped up warmly!

Year 5’s have had a wonderful start to Forest School, for the first few weeks the children were familiarising themselves with the boundaries of the site, we discussed how to keep ourselves safe whilst moving around the area, climbing trees, looking for possible hazards and learning to respect the fire circle.  We thought about how to keep our friends safe whilst playing and moving large sticks about, swinging on the rope swings and rolling down the banks. The children have enjoyed eating their lunches outside and created a handwashing station using the conker soap which they’d made earlier.  They have made use of the cable drum from early on in the term using it firstly to balance and walk on, they introduced pallets to create a ship, then adding a long stick to make it into a tank and using it to role from the top of the bank, where they risk assessed and decided to create a ‘prop’ braking system!  The children have played games to develop their respect of the fire circle, team games with links to nature, such as migrating birds and predator and prey games such as Hawks and Mice.  Some of the children have spent their sessions safely climbing trees to a height where they feel comfortable and safe. Some children decided to create a new habitat by making a dead wood fence. This ongoing project involved using the bow saws to cut the wood and knives to sharpen to a point, then working together using the mallet to hammer them into the ground. The children used sticks to test whether the fence was level and at the correct spacing.  The mud kitchen is a firm favourite where an amazing variety of foods are created and taken into their dens.  The children created their own paints, crushing chalk with the pestle and mortars and adding natural ingredients to dye the paint. During the final session the children had a camp fire and cooked bread & toasted marshmallows, which they all enjoyed.


Thank you to all of the parents for sending the children in with suitable clothing, next term it may begin to get a little cooler, so please add an extra layer or two!