This week saw us welcoming back our Reception class after the Christmas break and wishing them a happy new year.
It was very cold yesterday, but it didn't stop the Reception children from being enthusiastic and embracing the activities we had available for them to explore. We started with a hunt for some story stones that gave the children clues about what the focus of the session would be. They worked together to determine that the story was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. All the children joined in and helped act out the story around the fire, before cooking and tasting some porridge just like the three bears.
We played some games to warm up and then introduced the children to den building using ropes and a tarp. They have started to learn how to create a ridge line between two trees using 'Sammy the Snake' to tie a timber hitch knot. The children then worked together to peg out the corners of the tarp to create their own den. We were so impressed with the way they are beginning to work together in teams and think about their peers, sharing the jobs and roles. We will carry on giving them experiences to practice this new skill this half term.
We were excitedly greeted in the afternoon by Year 5 who ran at us singing our Forest School song as they headed to base camp. They were quick to remember the songs, rules and routines that we introduced last year when they were in Year 4.
This year, we hope to have more discussions about what impact Forest School is having on them as a person and invited them to reflect on their Forest School experience of last year and share what we were looking forward to working on this half term, whilst making friendship bracelets under our beautiful Hornbeam trees. We recapped on the personal skills that we focus on in Forest School and the children worked in teams to create land art to reflect on these. They worked well in teams and explained their creations to their peers showing developing confidence and ability to express themselves.
An early hot chocolate was needed to warm us up and then the children had some time to explore. Some chose to begin extending their whittling skills and were introduced to the sheath knife. They worked carefully and created tent pegs. Other children helped build the fire and toast some marshmallows. Much needed on what was a very cold day!