Y5 'Potato Club'

So, we started off our Forest School session by renaming it. One of the girls asked me what PSHE stood for, so I asked them to guess.... and they came up with Potato, Spinach, Ham and Eggs.... later on, one of the children dug up a load of potatoes from the veg beds for everyone to take home.. and the name 'Potato Club' was born (and then they all asked if we could make chips at Forest School... watch this space!)

After our introductions we had a little chat about listening, safety and building out Forest School community (this meant looking after each other, ourselves and the site), and I have to say I was totally thrilled with how well they all listened, shared, helped each other and generally were lovely for the whole session.

Many of the children knew exactly what they wanted to do - a group of the boys set to work moving pallets and logs to build a treehouse. It was heavy lifting but they worked together, discussed what was safe and what wasn't, how they were going to engineer the roof and doors, and importantly, how they would get the pallet in the tree. After much deliberating they realised that the angles were too tight and settled for logs instead.

A group of the girls enjoyed picking blackberries to mash up and make some ink to tie dye some cotton. This was tricky as the blackberries in the nature reserve are almost over so we had to scale some of the brambles to get deeper into the scrub. Those that had done normal tie dye before described the process to the others and we had a lot of great teamwork helping each other tie knots. The excitement of what patterns would come out was so delightful to see and the girls then experimented with different berries and grass to see what other colours they could make. We did discuss what else could be used as a dye so don't be surprised if they raid your spice cupboards!

Over the session we also had a good time dipping for treasure in the pond. There are a load of newt tadpoles/newtlings in there at the moment amongst dragonfly nymphs, diving beetles and skaters and the children enjoyed reading the ID charts to work out what they were. One big creature did try to eat the newts so the children decided to put him back in the pond asap!

We also got the ropes and hammocks out and lots of the group had a go throwing the heavy ropes over branches to make swings, or scaling trees to tie knots. They showed great determination and team work because it wasn't easy, but the results were worth it. Lots of swinging and using their upper bodies to haul themselves up... it was a great work out!

Here are a few pictures from the session.. I cant wait to see what we get up to next week. Thank you Y5 for a wonderful first week with you :-)