What is Forest Schools?
“Forest Schools is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning in a woodland or natural environment with trees.” FSA.org
At Horbury Bridge Academy we have a small forest school area attached to our grounds where the children can play, investigate, experiment and discover in a safe environment. Areas that are developed within forest school learning include; managing risks, team work, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, communication and listening, following instructions, creativity, self-esteem, self-confidence and physical, mental and emotional well being.
We now have a pond in our forest schools area along with 5 tadpoles and a ‘suck blooder’ or as we more commonly know it as a leech. As part of nursery and receptions book ’Tadpoles promise,’ the children will be observing the changes from tadpole to frogs and also any other wildlife the pond might attract. The other classes are also eager to learn more during their Forest school lessons.
Christmas in Forest Schools
In December all the children have been enjoying making lots of interesting things in the Forest School area. All the children had a chance at making their very own Reindeer using the outdoor area and tools. KS1 had to find the correct size materials to assemble whilst KS2 had to cut, whittle and drill their pieces to fit together. All the children thoroughly enjoyed the task and were very proud with their final reindeers!
Blessing our chickens
In February, our chickens laid their first eggs.
Lots of us tried them as scrambled eggs and Father Andreas led a special prayer and blessing for our chickens.
Our new shelter in the outdoor learning area.
Year 5 enjoyed making a semi-permanent shelter by securing the branches in the ground, lashing them together to make a frame then covering it in with ground sheets. They were rewarded with a mug of hot chocolate. We now have to work on camouflage.
Chicken Handling Day
Staff from Bank View Farm visited school with a variety of their own chickens and equipment to lead a training session for all every class
They taught the children and staff how to feed, clean out, catch and hold a chicken. This will help us to understand the responsibilities of looking after our own animals. To view the photos from the day please follow the link Chicken Day – Photo Gallery
Class 3 children have been taking part in outdoor learning lessons, building up to making a camp and lighting a fire. They were given 2 tarpaulins, ropes and a few tools to construct a shelter for their group that they could then sit under to enjoy their hot chocolate. They used a kelly kettle to boil the water and made their own skewers to roast the marshmallows. All the children agreed that putting up the shelter was a lot harder than they thought it would be but they learnt how to secure the ropes and how to improvise with branches and twigs to make the poles and pegs.
Quotes from the children included:
“It makes you realise how hard things are.”
“When we do activities outside like this, it helps you be yourself.”
“I liked building the fire and having to blow it to keep it going.”
“It‘s better to be outside doing this than inside on computer games.”
They made a good job of the shelter and deserved the hot chocolate and marshmallows at the end!