Saturday, 2 February 2019

January update

Our Forest School groups have continued this year on Friday afternoons led by Angela Lamb (Forest School Leader).This experience enables the children to make connections with nature, explore woodland and notice changes in the seasons first hand. Children learn new skills including working with wood working tools and also get involved in reciprocal and resourceful activities such as den building, climbing trees and learning to light a campfire safely. 

We would love to offer this really positive experience to more children at Bressingham school and we would like much more of our learning to happen outside. There are some of steps that we have been taking to work towards this. In October, (using money raised by one of our parents who did The Three Peaks Challenge), we had a fantastic team helping to put up some fencing. This fencing helps to define an area for Forest School type activities for Early Years and for use by KS1, KS2  and an after school club.

Also, in October, I started my Forest School Leader Level 3 training. I spent a week from 9.00 am until 5.30 pm every day at the Green Light Trust centre at Lawshall. Most of the training was outside in the Golden Wood or the ancient Frithy Wood and was run like typical Forest School sessions that the children could experience. We lay in the meadow as the rain fell and walked barefoot listening to nature and making connections with it!  We learned about the principles of Forest Schools, we discussed behaviour and what influences it, we learned about risks and hazards in the forest and discussed sustainability.

 During the week, we were learning to tie knots, use tools and to teach children to do the same. I made a mallet, a tent peg, a flag, a shelter, a fire and cooked sausages, dropped scones, baked apples, potatoes and toasted marshmallows. I also made a lot of new friends.

Over a weekend in November, back at Lawshall I completed a 16 hour outside First 
Aid course. Much of this focused on minimizing risk but some of which took place in the dark!

In the Christmas holidays, I completed my first set of assignments. I had to write about the factors that influence behaviour and how these could impact on development and learning at Forest Schools. I completed a handbook about the structures and biodiversity of native broadleaf and coniferous woodland ecosystems, identified flora and fauna on our school site, described woodland management methods and their significance to sustainability. My next assignments are due in May!

Meanwhile, a member of our Bressingham Forest School Friends helped me to put together a grant application for £500 worth of equipment and further training through Learning Through Landscapes. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful with this but there were so many applications from other organisations and we can reapply. However, we were successful in our application for hedging and trees through the Woodland Trust and the hedging will be arriving in the middle of March.

Mrs Porter and I have been in touch with a local tree company and with Redgrave and Lopham Fen about sourcing stakes, branches and tree discs for use in making dens and using tools. We would love to hear from anyone who may be able to help with some tree work and finding resources.

Our immediate next steps will be to:
To arrange a planting session at the end of March, possibly over the weekend of the 23rd or 24th of March.

To apply for any grants we can find to enable us to buy equipment of approximately £500 to get us started and further finance to help us to buy a new storage shed.

To source stakes, branches and tree discs.

We will let you know how we get on!

Saturday, 12 January 2019


Welcome to the new Bressingham Primary Forest School blog. 

Keep your eye out for new posts coming soon!