The children were given the task of making nests from forest findings and the two main criteria were comfort and shelter from the elements and from possible predators. They worked in pairs. We actually found a discarded nest on the forest floor, which helped them for inspiration!
SPH have now got their Mud Kitchen up and running so we thought what a chance to have a play in it. The children thoroughly loved the mud and making pies and digging around using the tools. Can't wait to have another go!
Year 5 decided to make the most of the first weeks of Spring and regrowth and new life and create 'The Green Man' image within the Forest School.
The Green Man is primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of new growth that occurs every spring. The Green Man is most commonly depicted in a sculpture, or other representation of a face which is made of, or completely surrounded by, leaves.
He is a Pagan symbol who heralds Spring after a long winter and the renewal of lush vegetation; tying together the old ancient pagan symbols associated with spring with the Christian faith.
The children used the mud from the Mud Kitchen and other parts of the school field and really enjoyed sculpting the face onto the tree trunk. They also added leaves, flowers, seeds, nuts, etc. which were found on the woodland floor to create other facial features. The children also considered the element of symmetry, as the art work we had studied prior to the practical work did have symmetry present within the faces.
For this lesson, the class were challenged to create a mini-shelter to house a doll. They needed to consider the weather conditions and comfort. There were some really good team efforts - what do you think?
This basic tarp shelter is the first “technical” shelter the children have been taught. It’s exceptionally simple and achievable but can be used to great effect to shelter from the rain or sun. We also learnt how to make a half hitch knot and a double half hitch knot to secure the rope across two trees. The children then improvised with the tent pegs by using short, sturdy sticks knocked into the ground, using a large pebble or stone. Some groups even made their shelters 'pretty' by adding seats and flowers to make others welcome!
Rather than using a rope for a ridge line, the ridge pole shelter requires a branch or log for a ridge pole. The children used the same two trees as last week, close enough to tie a pole between and find a pole (up to arm thickness in size) to fit between the two trees with a little overlap. They then used the square lashing knot to secure the ridge pole to the two selected trees at shoulder height. Next, the children laid the tarp over the pole like a washing line, making sure that the tarp is equally hung on both sides. Using string if necessary, they pulled each corner of the tarp out and pegged it to the ground. If they didn't have string/pegs for this activity then they weighed down the tarp and ensured it remained taut by resting heavy logs or stones on it.
The tarp lean-to is reminiscent of the simple ridge line tarp set up from one of our previous lessons. The lean to is a great solution for when minimal shelter is required, or when it’s necessary or preferable to retain an open field of vision. As long as the main body of the tarp is between you and the prevailing weather, this tarp up set up is a winner. We once again used the double half hitch knot to secure the rope around the trees and to attach the string to our makeshift tent pegs. Not all groups were successful this week so here are the two groups who managed to work together as a team and succeed!