This term has been filled with new experiments and challenges.
Year 5 were the first to make their own pencils!
They built a fire, cut willow branches with secateurs, placed them in a tin with a little hole in made by a nail, in embers (until the colour of the smoke changed) and they used Elder branches because the middle is soft and therefore easy to hollow out. Now they just needed to add the charcoal to the Elder and voila - ready was your pencil.
We looked at signs of spring in our area - feel free to look at buds, seedlings, insects, birds nests etc. when you are out for walks outside of school.
Year 5 learned a new knot: the marlin spike hitch in order to create their own rope ladders - perseverance, encouragement and team work were visible - well, I never said Forest School would be easy - but the sense of achievement at the end was fabulous . The children could use a bow saw to cut branches to the correct size for their rope ladder.
Palm drills of different sizes were on offer to drill holes in conkers - they created little people and animals such as lions.
Another new piece of equipment was the slack line, running between two trees and it helps the children with their balancing skills.
The third week saw another fire - this time we had two fire monitors who were looking after the fire independently. It is great to see the children's progression and independence. They made dough for stick bread and cooked it over the fire. The second group had to be very patient as it took a long time to cook. The recipe was sent home - feel free to make this at home - the thinner the dough is wrapped around the stick, the better.
Some children planted willow rods that had been donated to us in order to start growing our own little plantation for future use. There were others who decided to build a swing - they asked for equipment and it was built very professionally. Fabulous sessions everyone - it will be challenging to top this all next term.