Dragons, dens and delicious Pizza

Posted on October 18th, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

Into week 5 and the children who have learned lots of new skills over the last few weeks are confidently now applying these skills naturally and independently during their play.

We started off our session today with a warm up with a difference. In most of our games  the children are encouraged to use up as much physical energy as possible however in this game ‘Sleeping Dragons’ the children had to move as quietly as possible to grab the treasure from the blindfolded ‘dragon’. This provided a bit of a challenge for our group as they like to make as much noise as possible during the session, but it was nice to see Hazel Class so quiet and focused on the challenge ahead.

The children requested a den building competition this week. They split into groups and excitedly prepared their dens. Some children have been working on dens throughout their time at Forest School so spent their time repairing damage and adding extra sections in preparation for the judging at the end of the session. The children spent most of the session building, playing in and visiting each other’s dens (and a little bit of critical feedback!)

A small group of children used sheath knives for the first time today, carefully listening to the tool talk the children sat round the fire square whittling bark away from sticks.

We prepared our own pizzas today, choosing from a range of toppings we created our own then carefully watched it cook away on the grill.

After Pizza and hot chocolate we journeyed as a group to each other’s dens, respectfully listening to each other as we described how it was built and features. It was very hard to choose a winner as all the dens were created using different techniques and that each den looked different and had its own interesting features. (1 den had an armoury whereas another had a fireplace). Team points were awarded to all children involved as a reward for all the effort put in that day.

Flapjack Fun

Posted on October 11th, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

In Hazel Class we have been making Apricot and Chocolate Flapjack. We had to weigh the ingredients.

And then follow the instructions in the recipe.

It took a long time for the butter to melt.

The butter and syrup were added carefully to the oats.

The Flapjack was then baked at 160 degrees for an hour. The classroom smelled wonderful. If you would like to taste our Flapjack, it will be on sale Friday afternoon in the school hall. Proceeds from the sale will go to Macmillan Cancer Care.


Burgers and Billhooks:

Posted on October 5th, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

This week we started off Forest School by exploring boundaries and how we can adapt them to create changes within a game. Using markers the children were given 3 seconds to run from a middle point, they then had to place the marker on the floor. This would create a circular area (sort of) with which we could play our game of Tig inside. The children then experimented with 2 seconds and then 1, to create areas of different size, which of course challenged them each time to think about where to move and how to win! The children are beginning to show a great understanding of how they can control and affect how to structure and play a game and also how they can devise rules that they are comfortable with!

A group of children wanted to climb the tree in the far corner of the school ground so Miss Fisher supervised them.

Another group wanted to continue developing their shelter which I have to say looks very impressive, the branch and leaf coverage over the top have made it almost waterproof so the children lay blankets on the floor and thought through ways in which they could make it more homely!

Another child found space next to the shelter and ‘moved in’ creating an open plan shelter alongside. This soon turned into ‘neighbours at war’ which each side collecting weapons to protect

their homes

A small group of children learned how to use Billhook knives this week, a knife that was used to split wood down the middle. We were running short on wood for the fire so this served as an excellent opportunity to prepare the wood so we could eat. The children did an excellent job, carefully listening to instructions and sensibly working together to split the wood into lots of smaller pieces.

At snack time we enjoyed Burgers in a bun. The fire stayed alight for long enough thanks to the prepared wood and the burgers tasted delicious!

A number of children decided to be creative and made a wonderful spider’s web.

Next week:

Both groups requested a team ‘den building’ competition with the children acting as judges. They have also requested Pizza I will try my hardest to sort that out!

Mr Cross

Justice: Seeing the whole picture.

Posted on October 4th, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley  Tagged ,

Have you ever jumped to conclusions about something? In our class worship this week the children were given five different views of a model made from multi link.

They were then asked to draw only what they could see.

They then had to construct their own multi-link model and compare it with those made by other table groups.

The children found that their models were all different and that none looked like the original. We reflected on this, and how easy it is to jump to conclusions, only to discover there is another side to a story.


Shadows Investigation.

Posted on October 2nd, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

During our science lesson we decided to find out how changing the distance between a light source and an object changes the size of the shadow.

First of all we made a prediction and then started our investigation.

To ensure it was a fair test only one variable was changed. The object’s distance from the light source(torch).

Our investigation help us to explain the different sized shadows, when it’s sunny, at different times of the day.

Hazel Class Councillors.

Posted on October 1st, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

In Hazel Class we have voted on our new school councilors,

and Eco-councilors.

Congratulations to you all. I’m sure you will make excellent representatives for the class.

Justice: Is it Fair?

Posted on October 1st, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

In class worship this week we took advantage of a break in the rain to have a competitive race on the playground.

The children were split into three groups: those that could run, those that had to walk and those that could only hop.

Everyone was rewarded equally at the end of the race.

Was this fair or not ? We linked it back to our whole school worship story of the workers in the vineyard.

Mud, mud and marshmallows.

Posted on September 30th, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley

The children had all voted for muddy play this week and after a batch of heavy rain, the mudslide was ready and prepped. Lining up in an excited yet organised fashion the children slid, jumped and roly poly’d down the mud bank. The fun soon became a competition with various children taking roles of judges to score the children’s efforts.

The children have been busy adapting the mud kitchen over the last 3 weeks with a café area opened up around the back of the shed. Children have frequently used this area to share mud treats together. The children have requested natural furniture to accompany the café crafted by the forest school tools, so watch this space…..

A group of children with the ever helpful aid of Miss Fisher have been working hard to construct a den. They have done such a good job of it that I’m considering leaving it as a permanent feature on our Forest School site. Hazel class appear to have some very talented and creative minds and our Forest School site has benefited immensely and hopefully will for many years to come.

We shared tea, hot chocolate and even coffee around the fire and also toasted marshmallows with a chocolate fondue. (What an excellent choice! Well done children)

With our tummy’s stuffed full of marshmallows we enjoyed a time of free play before the session ended. It is such a pleasure to watch this class play together, full of ideas, fun and enthusiasm. The children have really embraced the ‘child led learning’ ethos of the Forest School.
Next week:
The children have requested tree climbing and using tools.
The wood for our fire is running low so I’m going to introduce the ‘billhook’ knife and hopefully the children can work together to get chopping some wood for the fire.
The food for next week is BBQ food (sausages and burgers) it just beat pizza by one vote so I hope the children have made the right decision.

Forest Schools!

Posted on September 22nd, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley  Tagged , , , , ,

Forest School: Hazel Class (Week 2)

Trees, Tig and Target Practice:

Into week 2 and the sun is still shining on us, great news for washing machines not so great for the mud enthusiasts.

We started off with our warm up game but this time we asked the children to decide the game, rules and boundaries.

Forest School research has shown that children develop and enjoy learning when they have been involved in the decision process.

The children decided on the timeless playground classic ‘Tig’ however they adapted the game. If you were ‘Tigged’ you were also ’it’. During the second game of Tig, children decided that you had to dance on the spot for the remainder of the game. The leaders naturally enjoyed showing off their dance moves so good fun was had by all.

The children have all settled really well at Forest School and have already begun asserting their different personalities whilst at play. It really is a joy to watch this class at work. This week we have seen dens created high up in trees. A group of girls adapted the mud kitchen and turned it into a café, working together to sort out a seating area for customers with an ever increasing muddy menu.

A group of children also experienced using tools for the first time. Learning how to use loppers correctly and safely, the children confidently used them to cut strips of willow in order to make bows. Once made, the children set about finding sticks for arrows and tested their bows out on the large field.

We sat together round the fire square and enjoyed toasted chocolate Brioche and a hot drink. This was the first time we had sampled food prepared on the campfire but it encouraged the children to think of some fantastic ideas for next week. We decided on toasted marshmallows with an option of a chocolate fondue. (No complaints from me!).

Next week’s ideas:

Mums and Dads plug in your pressure washers, start your showers, fill up your baths. Your children are probably going to get messy.

The children expressed a real desire to utilise the mud next week. Ideas ranging from painting with mud, mud face packs, mud kitchen and sliding in the mud were suggested. Lots of children suggested tree climbing as well. I for one can’t wait!

Mr Cross

First Forest Schools!

Posted on September 22nd, 2017 in General News by Mr Dingley  Tagged , , , ,

First we’d like to apologise for the delay, but here it is!

Forest School: Hazel Class (Week 1)

New beginnings, Natural play and Nunchucks:

The children from Hazel Class had a fantastic time during their first session at Forest School. The weather was particularly kind to us with the sun shining throughout. We started off each session with a ‘get to know you’ activity. This allowed the children to get warmed up ready for the forest fun. It also allowed our helpers an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the group.

Group A started with ‘Animal Actions’ a simple game which involves children shouting their name followed by an action of an animal beginning with the same letter. Much fun was had by all especially with 2 children’s names beginning with ‘N’. Good luck thinking of an animal beginning with that. (Don’t Google!). The adults thought of ‘Narwhal’ and the children conjured up the genius that was ‘Nocerous’.

Group B warmed up with Ju-Stick su, a game in which children performed movements with their body whilst holding a stick. The other children then had to copy that shape. The game appeared to encourage children to tap into their ‘inner ninja’ and over the course of 15 mins we had both children and leaders waggling their Ju-Stick-su stick, jumping through the air and rolling around on the grass. Great fun!

In both sessions we allowed children the freedom to access the woodland. Children were invited to explore and create games and activities using the natural surroundings.

The children all scattered amongst the trees and took part in some fantastic play experiences. We had a kitchen and café area set up behind the shed with children working together to create ‘mud’ cakes and various muddy treats. A group of children attempted (supervised) tree climbing. Stick weapons were created and also nunchucks!! The children then created games in which these weapons were used, including sword fighting and a weapon snatching game.

A group of children worked alongside an adult to create a fantastic den within the woodland. It provided excellent cover and shelter and also enough room to fit the whole group, it also allowed children to practise tying knots which is naturally a very handy skill to learn. Another child worked by himself to build a fantastic home for creatures. A lot of thought went into this creation and he had an opportunity at the end of the session to confidently talk to the group about his design and its features.

We also sat round the fire towards the end of the session. The purpose of this time is an opportunity to reflect on the day’s events and also a chance to share experiences.


This week children were taught about fire safety and boundaries and also about equipment we have on standby in case of emergency. They all respectfully listened and enjoyed a hot chocolate, cup of tea, whilst they sat and happily chatted to each other. Well done Hazel Class, what a lovely start to your Forest School experience.

Next week’s ideas:

Bows and arrows, swords, using tools, large construction, tig and toasted chocolate brioche.

Mr Cross

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