Forest School

We have been very busy in Forest School over the past few weeks. We have been learning all about different animals and how animals use their senses to survive in the wild. We began our learning by looking at how animals use their sense of smell to detect where they are and if there is danger nearby. The children then used the natural resources around the forest to make their own forest school scent to spread around the forest for the animals to find. Following this, we then looked at how animals use their sense or hearing to stay safe. The children played a variety of different games that needed very good listening skills in order to not get gobbled up by a predator.

In Forest School this week we were looking at how we could use different natural resources to create pieces of art. Some children opted to use the trees and leaves that had fallen on the floor to create pieces of work, whereas other children made mud and used their hands to create hand prints or mud faces. This was very messy but lots of fun and we all really enjoyed getting stuck in (even the grown ups).



I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and I will see Paddington Class for Forest School on Friday!


Miss Leatherland 🙂

Forest School Fun!!!!

Year 1 have been very busy in the forest the last two weeks from making dens to feeding the birds we have got up to allsorts.

Year 1 have been listening very carefully in the forest to see if we can hear the fairies returning, however we noticed we could hear lots of birds tweeting. With this in mind, Year 1 have been working together to make bird feeders for the birds. The children then choose the trees they wanted to hang the feeders in and Miss Leatherland tried her best to put them as high up as she could. Can you tell someone how we made the feeders?


We have been playing lots of fun games in the forest, including one, two, three where are you and sleeping dragons. The children thoroughly enjoyed having to sneak around to make sure they did not wake the dragon or get caught!!!

Today in forest school, Matilda class have been using the resources in the forest to make dens. In groups the children searched high and low for different sticks to form the structure of their den. Once the children had arranged the structure and the roof they began adding home comforts such as a pot of magic soup and a spade as a spoon. Additionally, due to it being very muddy from the rain, the children have been on the hunt for bugs and boy did they find a lot!! Miss Leatherland and Ms Morrison were very impressed with the amount of worms the children found hiding under the logs. The children were very careful when using magnifying glasses to take a closer look!

We have had such fun in forest school the last two weeks! I can’t wait to see what we get up to next week!


Miss Leatherland 🙂

The fairies have returned!!!

Brrrr, Matilda class had a very chilly forest school session on Friday. We all put on our winter woollies and braved the cold for a fantastic forest school session. The last time Matilda class visited Forest School, Flora the fairy and her friends had been to visit to ask the children to build a shelter for them.

The children rushed up to the forest to see what had changed and were amazed to see a fairy door and another note.

The children knocked on the door, however Flora and her friends were not in. Some of the children decided that the fairies might need some Christmas decorations in the forest and rallied together to make the decorations out of natural resources. Amazingly, some children saw Flora fly by and had a chance to speak to her.

  • Ellen: Dear Year 1, I want to thank you for making my house. Love Flora.
  • Lily: When I knocked the door three times, a fairy came and spoke to me. Dear Matilda class, I really like the way you built the houses and protected us from the snakes. Thank you, Love Flora
  • Emily: Dear Year 1 and Robinson Class, I hope you have a lovely Christmas thank you for our gifts. Love Flora.
  • Archie: The fairy and her friends had blue and purple dresses with blonde short hair.
  • Ellen: Flora had blonde hair with pink sparkly shoes and a blue dress.
  • Oscar: The fairy had red glittery shoes and a blue dress.
  • Emily: Flora had nice long blonde hair, she had a red dress and red shoes.










Other children had a go at using sticks and wool to create weaving poles. The children had to make sure they found sticks that were the same length and width. They then cut the string at the length they thought they needed to weave the string between the poles.





Well done Matilda Class.


Miss Leatherland 🙂


We have had a visitor….

This week in forest school the children went into the forest as normal however….. they noticed something different in the forest.

Underneath one of the trees the children found fairy dust scattered along the ground. The children were fascinated by the fairy dust and found a letter close by from Flora the Fairy. The letter read:

Dear Year 1 and Robinson Class

Overnight I crept into the forest to build myself a shelter. However, it was so cold and windy that I could not find what I needed. Please could you build a shelter for me and my friends so we can return and sleep safely?

Thank you children.

Miss Flora the Fairy




The children rushed to Flora’s aid, using the forests natural resources to create homes for Flora and her friends.

“We can make a trail so the fairy houses connect for them to see in the dark.” Ellen

“We need some pencils to write the fairies names on the houses so they know where to go.” Declan

“I think the fairies will love our houses, I can’t wait to see if they return.” Niamh

All of the adults were so impressed with the children’s commitment and determination to build fairy houses. The children showed fantastic teamwork to find the resources and build very impressive and creative homes. (One home included a flag and a swimming pool)


Well done Matilda and Robinson class.

I can’t wait to see if our visitors return!!!!!

Miss Leatherland 🙂

Going to the forest…..

Wow what busy bees we have been in the forest the past few weeks!

In Matilda class we have been searching for bugs in various places and putting them into our bug hotel. The children used magnifying glasses, beakers and pencil brushes to carefully scoop the bugs into their beakers to take a closer look. In total Matilda class found an astonishing 35 bugs hidden in the forest!! Well done guys!!!





Paddington class have been playing 1,2,3 where are you in the forest. Half of children go and hide whilst the others have to go and find them. The children came up with some unique hiding spots and worked together as a team to find each other. Paddington class have also been on a bug hunt and were amazed at how many bugs they found hidden under the logs. The children were very careful when collecting their bugs and loved taking a closer look at the bodies of the bugs using the magnifying glasses. It was lovely to see the children growing in confidence as they climbed some of the trees in the forest. Well done everyone!

Last week Matilda class carried out lots of important tasks in the forest. Firstly, the children had to locate different objects in the forest by thinking outside of the box. The children had to find; something rough, something round, something beautiful to them and something fluffy. The children did a fantastic job with some very creative ideas.





The second task the class carried out was to become park rangers. The children rallied together to tidy up the leaves in the forest that had fallen with the seasonal change. The class worked together using the resources to create a humungous pile of leaves making the forest a lot tidier.

In between tidying the leaves and locating objects, Matilda class also made stick men using just sticks, string and leaves. It was fantastic to see the children’s creativity sparkle as they used leaves for the hair and made clothes out of the string. Fabulous job guys!!!!!

I can’t wait to see what happens in the forest this week……..


Miss Leatherland 🙂

Park Ranger Visit – Year 1

Over the past two weeks Matilda and Paddington class have had a visit from the Park Rangers at Forest School. They came to tell us more about what a Park Ranger does and how we can all help to look after the woods. We were given ‘junior park ranger’ stickers to help remind us of our important role.

All of the children listened very well and had some good questions to ask. We then enjoyed exploring the woods with the rangers who could give us some expert knowledge about the plants and insects. This is what we found out……….

Rules to follow when in the woods:

  • Don’t litter – this is harmful to the environment and could hurt animals.
  • Look after the trees, don’t cut them down or break them. Park rangers only cut down trees if they are a danger or ill.
  • No fires or BBQs – this could be very dangerous if out of control.
  • Be careful around water – don’t swim in rivers or lakes, you could get hurt or become ill from the water.

The Park Rangers told us there are 204 parks and open spaces in Northampton and only 3 Park Rangers, so they are very busy and need our help!

The children were very interested in the Park Rangers uniform. They wore high visabiity jackets so that they can be easily seen in the woods, and had extra thick clothes to avoid being hurt by trees and plants. Their shoes had thick soles incase they stood on anything sharp, and they all wore hats when it was sunny. They also had walkie talkies and body cameras to record any activity observed in the parks which might be bad.

We also got see the Park Rangers vehicle which was a 4×4 and had orange flashing lights!

The Park Rangers bought along a recently cut down tree branch and tree stump. Together we used magnifying glasses to take a closer look and had a go at trying to find out how old the tree was by counting the rings.

All of the children enjoyed the Park Rangers visit and learnt alot. We hope you continue to remember your junior park ranger role, and help us to look after the woods.

Mrs Read 🙂

Hot Weather

Gruffalo and Paddington class please ensure you have suncream applied in the morning before school, bring some with you to put more on, and have a hat and water bottle in school. It will be very hot tomorrow at forest school!
Mrs Read 🙂

Using tools safely.


Paddington & Gruffalo class have been learning how to use tools safely today at Forest School.
We have been using vegetable peelers to strip the bark from sticks to investigate what is underneath.
This has lead to some great discussions in small groups, talking about the colours, textures and why the bark is there.

Last day in the forest

Today was our last day in the forest. We had a very early start and had to leave the hotel by 7am, as we had a long walk and needed to be in the woods ready to start at 8am.

Our day today involved working with the Swedish teachers with no children in the woods, just us. We were very lucky to have 7 Swedish teachers with us who all planned different outdoor learning activities to show us, and for us to try so that we could share ideas and bring home new activity plans to use with our own children in school.

We had lots of fun working in teams trying out the different activities which ranged across the whole curriculum and through all ages. Some of the activities included:
Geography – reading and making maps, creating landscapes.
Science – searching for insects, creating food webs, classifying,
Maths – measuring, counting, making patterns, shapes, learning co-ordinates, creating equations.
English – learning language, giving and following directions, grammar work.
Art – making pictures using nature.
DT – using tools and creating fire, cooking lunch.
PSHE – teamwork, discussion about needs, wants and survival.


After a busy morning of activities we were all ready for lunch, however this also required some hard work. We had to cut up logs for the fire, make the fire, chop up the vegetables and then cook the food ready to eat. It was delicious!


We feel very fortunate to have been part of such an amazing trip, and the staff in Sweden have been so welcoming and accommodating, sharing such excellent outdoor learning practise. We have so many new ideas to bring back to England with us and can’t wait to share them with everyone at SDS.

Mrs Read & Mrs Chamberlain. 🙂

Forest Learning Day 2

Another jam packed day at Forest School today for us. Again we had an early start a had to travel to school by bus this morning as it was a little further away. On our drive there we drove past the children walking to the woods who were all very excited to see us and waved at the bus passing.

In the woods we were split into groups to go off and explore. This morning we were with the younger children.

The first activity involved teamwork and required the children to listen to and trust each other. They had to balance on a log and switch places without touching the floor to put themselves in height order. Once in height order they made themselves into a caterpillar, holding onto each other’s shoulders. Then everyone but the leader closed their eyes and they walked round the woods.

The children then had time to practise their knife skills. They were each given a knife and a stick to practise shaving the bark off. All of them were very careful, and handled the knives confidently and safely. Myself and Mrs Chamberlain also had a go and carved a magic wand out of our stick!

It was then time for ‘Fika’ which is break time. We all walked to be forest school meeting place and had coffee, cake and fruit with the children. After Fika the children were set a challenge to look at maps and identify landmarks. They then had to represent these maps on the floor using natural objects. They looked really closely at the details and were very creative with the materials they found.

Next it was time for lunch, again we were invited back to school to enjoy lunch with the children. Once in school we removed our shoes and helped ourselves to a very healthy lunch of meatballs, pasta and salad. The children were very proud to show us round their school and share their school work with us.

This afternoon we went to the woods with the older children. Their first activity was to lay down peacefully in the woods and listen for the sounds they could hear. We lay for some time looking up into the tree tops and at the beautiful blue sky. We then sat up and the children identified which birds were in the woods by the bird songs they could hear.

The next challenge was to identify different types of moss. The children were given a chart with the names of moss which they had to find and place on the grid. They were very good and could identify and name the characteristics of each type of moss growing.


After a busy day in the woods, we were invited to a different school to share our good practice and deliver a presentation to the other teachers both from England and Sweden. It was great to listen to others share learning from their school too. We then all sat down to eat dinner together cooked by the school chefs.

It was also really interesting to have tours of both of the schools today to have a look at what their classrooms and learning environments look like. Can you spot any big differences between Sweden and England?


We are now very very tired, and need to get to sleep as we have a 7am meeting time in the morning!

Mrs Read & Mrs Chamberlain. 🙂