Week ending Friday 4th March 2022. We have taken advantage of our newly built outdoor classroom this week for some of our Forest School sessions, whilst the wet weather has continued. Although getting wet and muddy comes hand in hand with Forest School, sometimes the rain can prove a little challenging to work in whilst we are creating pieces of work. Our Tuesday sessions this week, have focused on celebrating some of our British Values such as St David’s Day and Shrove Tuesday. Where some of our EYFS children participated in role-play and used both their imaginative and creative skills to make mud pancakes using natural resources. Daffodils were the main theme for St David’s Day and pupils were encouraged to smell, paint, explore and make a daffodil using playdough. Fish Class were introduced to tools this week and used the peeler to whittle pieces of willow and decorate them using their own design to make forest friends. We had some interesting ideas and some of them even put a pom-pom hat on their creations. All of our pupils will always receive a visual and verbal safety talk, adapted to their understanding, detailing key information about the tool and how we use it safely before any work commences. Pupils are always supervised and assisted by qualified adults throughout the session, in accordance with the Forest School guidelines. As the children progress through the year groups, some are able to demonstrate their safe practices and use their reflective knowledge about tools, working with them confidently and safely. Other classes have been looking for signs of spring around the Forest School area and found some amazing results, confirming that spring is definitely on its way. Pupils again used tools to make a willow frame using the square lashing technique, joining the pieces of willow securely together. Some pupils found it slightly more challenging and will be practising their newly learnt skill over the forthcoming months in other projects. Children playing warm-up games at the start of a Forest School session provides children will valuable time, not only to adapt to their new learning environment but also promotes and builds resilience, physical strength, communication, turn-taking skills and encourages new friendships which may not necessarily occur naturally. This week Rays class played the game ‘You’re only safe if ….’ Which is a game where a leader comes up with ideas and informs the children that ‘they are only safe if they are touching something green/soft/living/manmade/off the ground….’ The last one to touch the item is out, the children are usually very creative in their thinking during this game and the leader aspect builds on a child’s communication skills, self-esteem and confidence.