The Year of the Pig

The weather has warmed up and we were excited to be celebrating Chinese New Year with the Reception this week, by exploring the story of the Chinese Zodiac. We had to hunt high and low, through the Willow trees and over branches to find the different animals. We swam them across the river to tell the story of the Great Race and put the animals in the order they finished the race.

So far we have enjoyed cooking lots of tasty food on the fire, but this week we explored what else can be done with it by making charcoal. The children were able to use descriptive language to talk about the Willow sticks colour and flexibility before they went inside the box on the fire. We watched carefully as the flames and smoke twisted out of the box, and described the colours and smell. When we opened the box, the children were surprised to see the brown twigs had turned black and brittle.

We all enjoyed drawing Chinese symbols using the charcoal we had made. It was quite hard as you had to press very softly.


This week the parents were welcomed into the session with our Year 5. We started the session with their favourite game, Secret Stone, before introducing a challenge. The children (and parents!) were challenged to use bud guides to identify 8 different trees on site. They worked hard to distinguish between the different trees and enjoyed this task. It’s quite tricky as buds like the Cherry tree and Oak tree look very similar.

The children then created a frame using Willow or other sticks and tied in some material, on which they drew a memory or achievement of Forest School.

Everyone enjoyed toasting Smores to finish the session, with a cup of hot chocolate!

Thank you to all the parents who gave us such great feedback:

He always comes home excited to tell me everything he got up to in Forest School. And is always keen the night before to get his clothes ready so he can fully participate. It is a highlight of his week.
— Year 5 parent
At a time when video games are everything to my child, Forest School ensures he has a good experience with nature and more enthusiastic to spend time outside.
— Year 5 parent