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Birchwood C of E Primary School

Learning together, through faith, fun and friendship

Reception Class

10th July 

We had a lovely final day in the woods today.  The children used many of the skills they have been developing over the past year to help negotiate problems, use equipment safely, resolve conflicts, play together and enjoy exploring the woodland independently.

We are hoping to carry on developing these skills when we move into year one.  See you then!

26th June

Today was scorching hot, but we stayed super cool by having a water fight in the shade of the trees.  It was great fun and some us got very wet indeed!  We created potions,dens and secret places to be still and quiet in.  What a busy day.

19th June

The wild flowers are really in bloom at the moment and we learnt the name of some new blooms.  A lovely purple flower named self-heal.  We found white and pink clover, buttercups, Daisies and even the Cherry tree in the wood has fruit growing on it.  Lets hope the birds don't eat all the cherries before they ripen and we get to taste some! We enjoyed exploring the wood, climbing trees and making lots of funny faces using mud and natural resources from the woods.

12th June

What a busy day!  It was great to get back into the woods after two weeks off school and the children enjoyed exploring the areas and making sure the paths were clear and the birds had enough food.  We climbed trees and built dens.  We had a small fire and ate nice food.  It was a fun day.

15th May

Today was a beautiful day.  Lots of sunshine and warm weather, lets hope it lasts...

We have been continuing our fariy tale theme in the woods today and all the children had a good look for a special piece of wood they could use for their magical wands.  Once they had been found the children decorated them as they wanted with paints or natural resources.  We will take them back to class to add some more details and work on our special wishes.

We also began cutting some Elder tree twigs in preparation for our next session in the woods.  The children really enjoyed pushing out the centre of the branch and creating a tube.  We thought they looked like pieces of pasta! 

8th May

What a busy day we had today.  Over the past few weeks we have been chopping back the overgrown brambles and cutting out the deadwood.  Today we decided to burn as much as we could and the children enjoyed two great fires.  

We listened to the story of Hansel and Gretel and the children were challenged to create their own paths to find their way back to the campfire.  Some of us used sticks, some used leaves and grasses.  Some created arrows to follow, others long lines.  We then swapped groups and followed each others paths and gave them a score out of 10!

We had chocolate biscuits around the fire and told our own stories.

We learnt the name of some of the spring time flowers and we learnt how important insects are in our eco- system.


24th April

As we knew the weather was going to be poor in the afternoon, we decided to all go out this morning.  We split into three teams.  Each team designed a different obstacle activity to use in our obstacle challenge.  They were all completely different, and once we all knew how to use each obstacle the children took it in turns to race against the clock. 

Come to sharing assembly this Friday to find out who was the fastest!

17th April 

What a great day learning new skills.  Today we created our very own wooden necklaces.  The children used the bow saw and hand drill for the very first and were all very sensible.  They listened well to the safety talk and followed the instructions while using the tools. They remembered to stay a safe distance away from anyone using too.  We were all very proud of our achievements.

10th April

What a wet day to return to after Easter!  But that didn't slow us down.  The children really got stuck into the mud...literally, and all needed to be hosed down once we arrived back in class.  It was great fun!

We noticed many of the trees and bushes are putting out new shoots and leaves.  The blossom is steadily increasing to look like snow, and all out flowering bulbs are doing really well.  

We played lots of team games today and thought about how it feels when we win and when we lose.  Many of us persevered at the games we played; which is fantastic and we all agreed that if you don't  win you keep on trying till you do!

27th March

Today we played some new games and worked on taking and managing our own risks.  The children followed a rope path and couldn't take their hands off the rope.  Sounds easy, but they were all blindfolded!  All the children participated and were fantastic, persevering to the end; and showing great enthusiasm on their accomplishments.  Many were eager to have another and another go! 

As it was a very rainy day today, we put up a shelter and created a seating area so we could eat snack in comfort.

We spent some time planting vegetables in pots.  We planted peas, cress and spinach.  We also planted our small world garden area.  This area is for us to play in with our toys, and there are a few smelly plants such as lavender, rosemary and lemon fir that will smell wonderful as we brush against them. 

20th March

Today the weather was much milder and we made the most of it being dry.  We played 'Capture the flag' and the children were very keen to design flags that looked amazing.  We built a jail and decided where each team would have 'base' before setting out on the game.  Lots of running around involved and helping our team mates when they were put in jail.  In all a very busy and noisy session today. 

13th March

Sorry no forest school today.

6th March 

Today we could feel that spring was really in the air!  The buds are beginning to open on the trees and blossom is appearing.  We foud some unusual toadstools named Scarlet Elf Cap, and have learnt that they are quite rare.  We will protect them while in the woods.  

We went on a hunt for the Gruffalo this week and entered the Deep Dark Wood.  The children in early years and KS1 have been working on this book and we had great fun exploring it outside of the classroom.  The children hunted for Gruffalo bady parts and used their knowledge of the book to descibe the beast.  After listening to the story in a Gruffalo den we created our own characters from the story.  Can you spot a fox, a mouse and several snakes.  There is also a fantastic owl perched on a branch.

The wildlife was also very active today and we have several inquisitive robins who were very tempted to eat food from Mrs Fagan's hands...

30th January

This week was a lovely bright sunny day.  We noticed the catkins appearing on the trees and this is a good sign that spring is on the way.  Over the weekend the woodland has had a tidy up and lots of wood chippings have been put down.  We used the time to extend the pathway and cover up the very muddy areas that we have created over the winter.

23rd January

What a busy day today! We built some small traps with food in as we wanted to find out which animal would walk in to the sand and eat the cat food.  We were hoping for some hedgehog footprints but, we found only cat prints the following day.  We will try again later in the year and we may get something more interesting. 

The children helped to build some shelters to hide in so we could do some bird watching.  We were very still and quiet and were amazed at all the blue tits, blackbirds and robins that came to eat the food we have been putting out.  The blue tits were also checking out the bird nests so fingers crossed one of them is used for a nest this year.  

16th January

Today was a muddy and damp day.  We played some fun new games which involved lots of running about to help keep us warm.  We looked at what the birds have to eat at the moment and decided to make some extra high energy food to keep them going.  We made fruit kebabs and carefully threaded the food onto wire.  It was quite tricky, but great for our fine motor control.  We put up a tarp to stay dry but decided to have a competition to see who could get the muddiest!  Can you spot our winners in the last picture?

9th January

Happy New Year! Today was very cold in the woods so we decided to build a fire and eat some warm marshmallows.  The children found a twig as long as their arm and using the potato peelers whittled the end to a point so they could kebab the food easily.  We all enjoyed the warmth from the coals and of course the yummy food!

5th December

This week the children have been creating some Christmas decorations to take home with them.  We selected large leaves, and decorated them with sparkles to create trees.  They spent time in the hammock and have improved their tree climbing skills.  

Working independently and choosing how they want to spend their time is an necessary skill that develops self-reliance and confidence.  


This week the children spent time exploring the woodland areas on their own.  They took turns in the hammock and remembered how to get in and out of it safely.  We had hot drinks in the woods today and used the Kelly Kettle to boil the water.  It was very warming on a cold and frosty morning!

We also played a game called the 'Human Camera'.  This is where you have to guide your camera to a place you find interesting or pretty and show them the view.  The only problem is the camera has to wear a blindfold and is guided carefully by their partner.  This is a skillful job and one that requires thought, to care for the person who cannot see.  Good job Reception!

14th November

Today was a good day to recap on how we can keep ourselves safe in the woods.  We all had a good think about how we should behave and move to look after ourselves.  We played some team games and worked together to come up with a team name, action and sound.  Then we tried to scare the other team!

We also tried out the hammock for the first time, we all thought it was great fun and enjoyed swinging gently and sometimes a bit faster! We only had a few falls when getting in and out...

Some of us were brave enough to climb the tree and although we only got a little way up we will get better as we grow stronger and more confident.

We have also cut up our old pumkins and left them in the woods for the animals to enjoy.  We will watch their progress over the next few weeks to see how they decay and rot.

Some children had a go at making  traps in the trees for the sneezy dragon others created art using the leaves.  Can you see our hedgehog named Spikey in the photos?



7th November

What a wet day it was today!  However this did not stop our eager explorers from having fun in the woods.  We enjoyed splashing in puddles and got very muddy.  We found a great way to wash our hands using the rain water that poured off the tarpaulin.  It was just like a tap.

We built a shelter to stay dry and decided we needed somewhere to sit, plus a doorway to come in and out of the shelter.  The children helped to tie the ropes and selected the right sized pieces of wood for the seat and the door frame.  Some great imagination and use of maths language during our sessions today.

31st October 

Today is Halloween and the children had great fun in the woods creating their own magical wands and potions.  They had to make sure the stick was a certain length before it could begin transformed into a wand.  The children found lots of lovely natural resources from the woods to decorate their wands and secured them using some basic weaving skills, well done.

Next they found 10 different items to create a potion.  Would it smell sweet and fresh or earthy and pongy?  Each potion was different.  We then gathered around our cauldron to make a wish before throwing our ingredients in.  Amazingly Mrs Bradley wished for chocolate biscuits and her wish came true because we found a packet in the woods and all enjoyed a special treat, YUM!


Today we spent time playing lots of new games.  We tried to create different shapes using a rope.  We realised how important it is to communicate when we need to give instructions otherwise it makes it very difficult to solve problems.

We also hunted for pictures of animals we would find in the British Woodlands.  Some of us knew the names of the animals.  We found out lots of information about them, and we all learnt the name of animals we didn't know before the day began.

We created some art work using autumn leaves and enjoyed running around the woods and rolling down the hill!


What a fun day we had!  The children continued the adventure of the sneezy dragon and have been busy creating traps to catch him.  They have also designed some sneezy cocktail potions to give the dragon.  This medicine should hopefully stop him from blowing down the houses of the little folk who live in the woods!  

We also had a go at making friendship bracelets.  These are special bracelets that need two friends to create one bracelet, they are very tricky and require lots of concentration and patience to complete.  Well done to all those who had a go at making these.

We even had a visit from Mr Owen who loved our fantastic inventions!

This week we played lots of games to help us work together.  We are still learning each others names and these games helped.  We loved playing squirrels in a tree and 123, come back to me.  We learnt how to stay hidden in the woods and used camouflage paints to help.  We all enjoyed getting a little muddy!
Week one was great fun.  We found out that there are some little friends living here but the sneezy dragon has blown down their house and so we helped to re-build them.  We also found out about the friendship tree and how to stay safe while in the woods.  We played 123, come back to me and squirrels in the tree.  We had lots of fun!