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Church of England Primary School

Small school, big hearts. Wise, Responsible and Kind like the Good Samaritan.



Last Tuesday, Year 5 had the opportunity to return to the St. Hugh Forest School area for another Forest School experience. The weather forecast predicted a very rainy day, and we were prepared for it, but we didn't get a single drop of rain.


After reviewing a few safety rules and the boundaries of the allotment, we organised a giant hide and seek game with the children against the grown-ups. This time, Year 5 emerged as the winners. After searching for them for quite a while, four children were still hiding, so we have to use the Forest School bell to call them back. Unfortunately, they didn't tell us where they were hiding, but we do know that some of them had climbed the trees. Well done to Jessica, Archie, Jack, and Rufus; you are definitely very good at that. We also played games like "the shrinking boat" and "the longest line," where the children displayed ingenuity and teamwork to be the best team.

After lunch, Year 5 had the choice between two activities: swing building and whittling/woodwork, with the opportunity to try both. Ropes, wood, and tires were available for use, but each team was free to decide how they wanted to used them. Under the tent, the children used potato peelers and knives to whittle the sticks. With support, some children even made a mallet to take home. We returned to school feeling pleasantly tired, just in time for home time.


A special thank you to Mrs. Houston (and Rocky) for accompanying us to the Forest School area, to Mrs Viner and Mrs Withers for their great support throughout the day. Without them, this truly special day for the children would not have been possible. 



During the last week of term 4, Year 5 children have been lucky and have benefitted from two full days of Forest School experience at St Hugh's Forest School area. 

After having gone through a few safety rules, we spent a big part of our first day playing team building games. We played hide and seek in the Forest and even if we did our best, the grown-ups team lost against the children wink

We played ninja sticks where our partner drops a stick and we have to catch it before it falls on the floor. This game may seem quite easy but it is far more difficult when people are wearing a blindfold. 


We also organised two teams of nine players to play the longest line. During this game, the two teams have 5 minutes to build the longest line using their bodies, coats and sticks. the only two requirements are to have the same starting line and no gap in the lines. To play this game, the children used their communication and listening skills, team work abilities and good imagination to make sure their line was as long as possible. What I loved was the fair-play of the winning team. It is good to win but it is better to do it with elegance and humility. 

In the afternoon, the children were divided in teams of 4 or 5 and they worked together to build a shelter with natural resources, tarpaulins, strings and ropes. 


Our second day was a cooking day. After having established some safety rules to follow around the fire, the children looked for some sticks and dry wood in the Forest to light the fire up. Whilst I was lighting the fire, the children had the opportunity to use some clay and their imagination to create something. Like the playdough used with Acorns, the clay develops the fine motor skills but also has a really relaxing virtue.
At Forest School, some activities are planned and the children are encouraged to try them but there is also a good balance of freedom where the children decide how to use their Forest School time. It is a good way to develop wisdom and responsibility. We just ask them to make sure their activities are safe and won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. 

Lots of children decided to play "manhunt", a more elaborated version of "hide and seek". After an early lunch, the children joined the fire area to prepare their toffee apple and marshmallow sticks with a potato peeler. They did the cooking in small groups.


After each of these two days, my watch informed me that I have been walking more than 10 km so did the children!   


Definitely a good experience that we would love to reiterate soon.