Four Seasons in One Day

🌲🌳🌲A real mix of weathers this week for the children to explore – shouts of joy and β€˜it’s Christmas!’ as the seasons all got a bit mixed up 🌬 ❄️ 🌞. WE enjoyed swinging in hammocks, making our own rope swings – fantastic knot tying!! – den building, hide n seeking (ideal for a sneaky rest in a hammock), team playing, friendship firming, dandelion pancake making, tree climbing, whittling, wand making, Easter egg hunting and whatever else we could come up with! 🌲🌳🌲

🌳Photos taken before school 😊🌳

Chester House Forest School

🌳🌲SUCH a great day at The Chester House Estate with the lovely Beth Allen Wonder in the Wild Forest School and our amazing groups – so lovely to meet you all and see some familiar faces too 😊🌲🌳 LOTS of fun making clay faces, elder jewellery, hapa zome, whittling and making nettle fritters! There ARE spaces available for sessions this week and next – all details on The Chester House Estate Facebook page 😊🌳🌲

Dandelion Delights!

🌳🌲🌳IT’S always sunny on a Thursday – well, we nearly jinxed our run of good weather with our last after school session of the term. BUT the snow/ hail/ gusts all subsided giving us a glorious window of about an hour to get the fire going and get cooking – dandelion petal pancakes rather than scones. Absolutely delicious and super simple. A lovely tasty end with a lovely year 3 group who have done amazing. 😊🌳🌲🌳

🌼 9 oz self raising flour
The washed petals (only) of about 20 dandelions
2 eggs
2-3 oz sugar
12 fl oz of milk
Oil for the pan

Mix the flour, sugar, petals & eggs together and add enough milk to make a dropping consistency pancake mix. Heat the oil in a pan and add a spoonful of mixture per pancake.

We served with butter and honey.

No photos as we ate the lot! πŸŒΌπŸ˜‹πŸ˜ŠπŸ’š

Spring has Sprung!

🌳🌲🌳I’ve spent a GOOD part of the week smelling like fire and with mud under my nails (happy days!) – having an impromptu β€˜inspire’ session for year 6 helping to give ideas to bring alive Camp Half Blood (Percy Jackson). They did amazing making mini camps! THEN spending the rest of the week celebrating Spring with hapa zome, whittling with Elder, some mini bee making, some paper butterfly and flower making on Willow sticks, mud cafe making, some wand making, Spring tonic drinking, den building, camp fire making, hot cross bun eating, game playing and just enjoying the sunshine. Happy sunny days – so lovely to feel the warmth on our faces β˜€οΈπŸŒ³πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸ’š

Spring CPD

🌳🌲🌳EXCITED to have completed the first module of this led by the amazing Marina Robb – The Outdoor Teacher. Great masterclasses, session plans and ideas building on, developing, reaffirming and extending my existing training and practice. Loved the masterclass on Forest School Practice – revisiting my notes from the brilliant FSL training at Everdon Outdoor Centre, Northants. Looking at nature centric models, the wonderful Joseph Cornell and Jon Young. 🌳🌲

🌲🌳I’m definitely a Forest School geek πŸ€“ πŸ’š (and I know a few of YOU are too!) – loved it and can’t wait for the next module. 🌲🌳

Tree Gratitude 🌳🌲🌳

🌳🌲🌳HURRAH for the weekend! It’s been a busy one yet Friday took a while to arrive. SO lovely to end the week with some sunshine BUT we enjoyed the rain too! 🌳🌲🌲

🌳🌲MOSTLY we have been mud digging, mud pie making, construction building, wood craft art making and puddle splashing. Invite letters from Mr Badger in our Message Centre went out for a tea party (@ Can I Go and Play Now 😊) which we found camped out in our Spinney in a den made by our Year 3 after school club. Imagination Land EVERY day 🌲🌳

🌲🌳WE have met trees, explored their wonderful possibilities made bubble wands and pipes from Willow and Elder, been amazed at our Silver Birch tapping, charcoal from Willow, GAVE our thanks, made dens, popped popcorn, climbed trees, prepared food for Mr Badger, moved like foxes, hid like rabbits, read The Busy Fox 🦊 and lounged around on hammocks 🌲🌳🌳

🌲🌳Happy days with great groups🌲🌳

Photos taken before school 😊

Best job EVER! πŸ’š

πŸŒ³πŸŒ²πŸ’šYay for Friday! ALWAYS appreciative that, let’s face it, I have the BEST job in my school (not without its challenges and also a matter of opinion I am sure 😜) having the opportunity to play. BUT there’s no such thing as JUST playing with our adventures and co-playing as there is also so MUCH invisible learning going on to help support confidence, nature connection, understanding the world, arts and crafts with natural materials, self esteem and physical development – gross and fine motor skills BEFORE we even start to link in the curriculum (if we need to) AND that’s just the beginning! 😊🌳🌲🌳

🌲🌳🌲THIS week we have enjoyed muddy tea parties, icey dishes, exploring and painting daffodils, whittling, checking in with how we’re doing, stomping like bears, hiding like foxes and rabbits, clay face making, swinging from trees, making music with pots n pans, wood and sticks, making beeswax clay t-lights, using bow saws to make our own cookies, hammock swinging, camouflage hiding and a bit of Silver Birch tapping for the grown ups 😊🌲🌳🌲

🌳🌲Happy Friday – have a great weekend! 🌳🌲😊

🌳photos taken out of school hours 😊🌳

Bushcraft CPD Day

🌳🌲🌳TO kick off our programme of CPD with the lovely Beth Allen – Wonder in the Wild Forest School and Dean Humphreys – Tea on the Wildside: THIS! πŸ’š. The CPD is aimed at Forest School Leaders and Outdoor Practitioners and an Information Sheet setting out course requirements will be sent out separately. As this course is specific to tool use we ask that all practitioners have been trained in and are insured for tool use. πŸŒ³πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸ’š

World Book Day

🌳🌲🌳A short week for me this week BUT loving World Book Day and β€˜being’ Percy (the Park Keeper) for the day. Our school had a pyjamas, favourite toy and book day but I needed a bit more on being outside – BUT let’s face it, I didn’t really look ANY different πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ … The books I chose to share were Stanley’s Stick and, of course, Percy the Park Keeper and the Secret Path complete with trusty wheelbarrow and animal friends.🌲🌳🌲

🌳🌲🌳FOR the after school Forest School club we started with a lovely folk story about Mother Elder, then tried our hand at whittling Elder using potato peelers and knives – taking our time to explore the smell and feel before playing a tracking hiding game using sticks to mark the path. Not an easy task at all and they did amazing. Finishing up with our free play opportunities, hot chocolate and crumpets. Looking forward to next week πŸ’šπŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸŒ²

New term tracks πŸ¦Š

🌳🌲🌳A lovely start to the new term this week with our HOOK being based on animal prints and trails, GAMES for grounding and connecting, CHALLENGES for detective work – which animal am I? IDENTIFYING tracks and finding the animals, WORKING together to build dens and plenty of opportunities for free play and for OBSERVATIONS to be made for the next session. Typically over running for the after school session (!) so losing our time as a group for REFLECTION on our first session together BUT we will have the opportunity to open the session with this next time 😊🌳🌲🌳

πŸŒ²πŸ’šπŸŒ³IN my sessions I always try and bear in mind Cornell’s 4 stages of flow learning (I am a big fan!) – awaken enthusiasm, focus attention, experience directly and share inspiration.πŸŒ³πŸ’šπŸŒ²