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Birchwood C of E Primary School

Learning together, through faith, fun and friendship

Year One

23rd May

Today we finished our elder bead bracelets and necklaces, they look lovely and the children worked carefully on the process.  We made mud faces and found lots of places to hide while playing our games.

16th May

We were busy today digging up some of the daffodils that have finished flowering.  We wanted to move them to the edge of the woodland so next year they don't get trampled on when they begin to grow.  The children worked really hard to dig out the bulbs carefully then replant them in a quieter area.  We look forward to another stunning show next year. 

We have found some elder trees in our woods and this week some of us have been learning how to cut and clear the stems.  We peeled off the bark and have let the wood dry out in preparation for using the wood next time in the woods.  

Lots of independent activities are taking place as well.  The children enjoy making dens, traps, looking for creatures and running around or climbing trees.  Its lots of fun and very energetic!

9th May

Today we focused on clearing the woodland of fallen deadwood.  Over the past few weeks we have been steadily chopping the dead brambles and dog rose away, and created bundles to burn when the weather was dryer.  Today we lit fires and cleared a great deal.  The areas look a lot better and we have more places to explore now!

We ate chocolate biscuits and enjoyed watching how the fire moved, popped and hissed.

We discovered that once the fire had been put out we could use the charcoal to draw with.  The children used it to create pictures write and draw.  We also thought it was a good idea to create tiger stripes on our faces!

We found that many of the spring flowers are in bloom in our woods and we discovered the names of some new wildflowers.  We used the identification sheets to help us.  We hope to remember the names of the flowers to tell our families and friends. 


25th April

This week the children had great fun learning new skills when using the bow saw and hand drill.  We listened carefully to the tool talks and then with our partner cut a thin slice of wood to create our own cookie to decorate as we chose.  We spent time carefully sanding the wood to make it as smooth as possible.  Next we used the hand drill to make a small hole in the wood and look how amazing our finished pieces are!

18th April

What a glorious afternoon we had!.  Today the whole class came out together to play in the woods.  We split in to three teams and each team had to create a part of an obstacle course.  We then built the course and each child had the opportunity to race through the obstacles.  Each child recorded their times and the winner will be announced in assembly on Friday and presented with a special certificate.  It was great fun and showed how well we can work together in a team to build something.

28th March 

Today the children played lots of team games.  We played capture the flag and each team worked hard on designing a really impressive flag to attach to the stick they found.  We used sticks to make holes and threaded the flag onto the stick.  The children chose their bases and then used great skill and tactics to capture the other teams flag.  Lots of running and laughing involved today.  We all had great fun!


14th March

We were very busy today clearing some of the brambles in the deep dark wood!  We used the lopers for the first time and listened carefully to the tool talk before we began.  

The children also set some Gruffalo traps and played some team games which got us all tongue twisted!

7th March

We had great fun exploring the deep dark wood this week.  We found Gruffalo clues and a Gruffalo den where we read the Gruffalo story.  The infants have been working on this book the past two weeks and we enjoyed creating our own characters from the story using the woodland resources.  

28th February

Today the snow had mostly disappeared, but it was still incredibly cold especially in the wind.  We played lots of games that kept us running around and nice and warm.  We worked on lots of team building games where we needed to work with our friends to finish the tasks or win the game.  Some of us have found this hard today and we talked about how we feel when we win a game and also how it feels when we lose.  

It's important to recognise how these emotions feel and remember them so we develop our self awareness and confidence next time we play.


31st January

Wow!  Today was very cold and a bit wet.  We had lots of hail and a very cold wind but the children were wrapped up well and had great fun outside.  We played lots of energetic games and even got out the emergency bothy bag to warm up when it got very cold.   The trees are beginning to change and we have observed the catkins on the trees which are a sign of spring is on the way!

24th January

Today we wanted to take part in the bird watching activities that are going on this week around the country.  We built our hides so we could sit quietly and observed the birds.  Today the blackbirds and robins were very confident and were constantly swooping in to collect food.  

We also set some little food traps so we could observe which animals are moving through our woodland .  On Thursday we checked these and had lots of cat prints in the sand.  We will try again later in the year and hopefully catch a hedgehog footprint or two.

10th January

Today was a chilly but clear day.  We focused on what has been happening in nature over the winter and what changes we have noticed.  We introduced some new team games where the children have to work together or all fall over!

We also worked on our risk taking today.  We built a Burma Bridge where the children had to concentrate on balance and strength to move from one end of the bridge to the other.  The children showed perseverance when they were attempting to light their fairy fires in the shell.  A great skill to develop and we will continue to work on this over the year.


29th November

Today the children have been creating some Christmas decorations using leaves, twigs and sparkles!  We played lots of group games and using the kelly kettle made hot drinks to keep warm.

8th November

This week the children were busy with a challenge.  They had to try and walk across the Burma Bridge without falling in to the crocodile infested swamp below.  It was quite tricky and very wobbly on the bridge, but those who took the plunge gained a terrific sense of achievement, once they had reached the other side.  Some of us even went back for a second or third try!  Next time we will make the challenge a bit more tricky...

Other children spent time planning and creating their own fun, based on what they were interested in doing on the day.  We had some burglars in the woods and a rescue party who built a trap.  Lots of imagination and discussion about our activities.  Well done to all!

18th October

Today was all about team work.  We spent time working with a friend or in a group to achieve a goal.  We needed to help one another to finish the challenges because we couldn't do them on our own.  Learning to cooperate with others is really important.  We realised that talking to each other so we know what we want to achieve is an important skill to learn.

The children hunted for matching pictures of woodland creatures and really concentrated while looking.  They were so well hidden that no one could find the badger! However some of the children had a good theory that the sneezy dragon had blown the picture away when we were not looking!!  More traps need to be set in the woods to catch it. 

We did some tree climbing today and went higher than ever before.  We remembered how to climb safely and all felt amazing when we had finished the climb.  Some found it quite challenging and a little scary but we all did what we felt comfortable with.

There was also time to swish through the fallen leaves and enjoy the sounds it made.  We made some leaf art sculptures on twigs and filled up the bird feeders.  Phew!!

4th October

Today the weather was chilly but dry.  We discussed how important it is to be wearing the right clothes for the weather.  Warm socks inside wellies are very important as well as a warm waterproof coat.

We played some games and helped to set up some traps to capture a dragon who is creating lots of mess in the woods with all his sneezing!  We had some great ideas as to how to trap him and even used messages on the floor for the dragon to follow.

We played a memory game followed by a treasure hunt to find all the missing items on the list.  It was quite tricky to find the seeds from the maple tree which we are all convinced are fidget spinners!

Year one enjoyed getting back in to the forest and were very creative building dens and making leaf mobiles.  They remembered some of the games we played in the Summer term and are learning some new games as well.  We found some amazing spider webs covered in dew and created some of our own webs by wrapping string around the trees.  We then had to step through the webs without being caught by the spider.  It was harder than it looked!