Last week's Forest School has consisted of a variety of different activities. The theme was exploring our surroundings.
On Monday, we were fortunate enough to be able to go out on an adventure! As the weather was a little warmer than it has been, we decided to go to the Brook! I think it’s fair to say that the adults were just as excited as the children were. Of course, going off site is a great experience for the children, but as practitioners we have to make sure that we manage the risks appropriately, through filling out risk assessment forms and planning appropriately for all eventualities. We also ask the children to risk-assess independently, this includes thinking about crossing the Greenway, ensuring we stay together as a group, looking where our feet go and making sure we listen to what is being said.
Once we arrived at the Brook, the children listened to the boundaries and expectations that were set out. The children began to explore the Brook and worked out for themselves how deep they could wade without filling their wellies with water! Both the morning and the afternoon groups were interested in the sound of the water and naturally progressed to experimenting with different sized rocks and stones. Overarm, underarm, sideways and accidentally; stones were being tossed.
As a group, the children decided that to be safe, only the children stood at the front could throw the stones. This activity involved the children communicating with each other their thoughts and ideas as well as introducing ideas around ‘which stone makes the biggest splash?’ and ‘which stone makes the loudest sound!?’ Continuing the theme of this week and being so lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside, Tuesday consisted of a walk on the Greenway.
Over the past few weeks the children have been showing an interest in the all of the fruits that are growing at the moment. In the Orchard particularly there are plenty of apples on the trees and the children keep asking when we can pick them! So on the Greenway, the children picked lots of blackberries. When we returned, the few blackberries that were left and not eaten, were returned to the kitchen so that Valerie could make some lovely jam!
The rest of the week was based around the more familiar area of the Paddock and Cabin. Although these areas are more familiar to the children, we are still amazed with the new things they discover and the different activities they want to do. So some children wanted to explore the dens that have appeared from the Summer Forest School Children, whereas some children wanted to do some sawing and hammering.
Anything and everything took place this week. As always we try our best to challenge and extend the children's learning so the relatively open play the children have been doing this week, has given us some more focus for the next few weeks. The children have also spent a lot of time helping Ed and myself (mainly Ed) with a secret project that will be shared soon!