From understanding comes strength

BANCHORY ACADEMY

Forest School Friday Group

Friday 8th September


Today we were learning how to use different tools safely. We used them to build a shelter toilet in the woods. We completed our RSPB ‘Look Closer’ challenge by examining a natural object which we then drew and labelled.


Friday 15th September


Today was all about fire. We learned how to light and extinguish a five minute fire safely. We then used this skill to light the Kelly Kettles to make a hot drink. We learned about lighting a big fire in the fire pit. Everyone showed great perseverance and enjoyed success.


Friday 22nd September


We learned some basic knife skills today which we used to whittle long pieces of willow. We used these to toast marshmallows on our camp fire.

We thought about what we have learned previously when building shelters and used this knowledge to build mini shelters. They had to be able to withstand a bit of wind and be as waterproof as possible.


Friday 29th September


Our focus today was storytelling and responding to texts in different ways. Through our story we learned about the different types of animals that are native to Scotland and discussed habitats.


Friday 6th October


Today we looked at different types of fungi and discussed where they liked to grow. We are continuing to use all our senses to learn about and explore the natural environment. Our story book was the stimulus for talking further about habitats and we built a log pile for insects to live in. We had great fun playing the ‘Who am I’ animal game. By asking questions and getting only yes/no answers we guessed who we were and also learned about native Scottish animals.


Friday 1st September 2017


Our focus for outdoor learning today was ‘look closer’. We visited the new Bellfield Garden which is being created in the village to see how we could help. The wooden carvings were wonderful and we now have many ideas for what our group can do in the garden.

Last week we looked at all the different colours we can see in nature and we explored the natural environment around us. Today we built on this firstly by doing a mini treasure hunt. We collected as many small natural items as we could find and put them in our mini pots. Each item had to be different from each other; a blade of grass, a seed, a berry and so on. Up at Captains Wood we emptied out our pots and looked at all the things we found. Using our senses we described them and counted them.

We continued to use our senses by playing a tree blindfold game. Would we be able to identify which tree we had been feeling once our blindfolds were off? We enjoyed a variety of games and enjoyed playing outdoors and working together.


Friday 3rd November


We learned about trees today by using tree id guides which helped us look closely at the shape, colour and texture of leaves. We discovered that Captains Wood has no Rowan trees and no Horse Chestnuts but it did have Oak, Beech, Sycamore and lots of Holly.

We listened to the story Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and made our own stick men. Finally we made a tracker box to see if we can capture the footprints of any tiny creatures that live in the woods.


Friday 13th November


We learned about trees today by using tree id guides which helped us look closely at the shape, colour and texture of leaves. We discovered that Captains Wood has no Rowan trees and no Horse Chestnuts but it did have Oak, Beech, Sycamore and lots of Holly.

We listened to the story Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and made our own stick men. Finally we made a tracker box to see if we can capture the footprints of any tiny creatures that live in the woods.


Friday 10th November


Our woodland session today was about collecting and scavenging for a variety of items. These included some scope for creativity such as something thin, a treasure to you, something with a hole in it and so on. We listened to the first chapter of Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine and used some of our own natural items to create a marvellous medicine. The more ghastly the better!


Friday 17th November


We walked through a different wood in Banchory today and collected a variety of different leaves. We looked for different colours, sizes and shapes. We are getting better at identifying trees and leaves. Using the leaves we showed our creative side and made tea light jars and an animal leaf picture.


Friday 24th November


We worked in two teams to do the stick challenge. Each team had 10 sticks and a ball of string to see who could build the tallest tower. It required good team work, listening to each other, suggesting ideas and trialling different ideas. Both teams worked well and showed great perseverance. We made Christmas cards with a variety of natural materials and even did a wee bit of sewing.


Friday 1st December


Today we carried on with our leaf theme and cut leaves out of cardboard and decorated them with wool. We also made a nature snapdragon which focused on different trees and animals you can find in the forest.


Friday 8th December


We made storyboards in the woods today to recreate two well-known children’s books. Each group retold their story in four frames and the other group had to guess which story they had represented. Everyone did an amazing job and both groups successfully guessed the stories. We made Christmas biscuits in the afternoon to warm us up on a very cold day!


Woodland week 1 – Wednesday 23rd August 2017


Our first week in the woods was a wet one! We headed to our site at Corsee Wood after loading our minibus. Our first task was to put up the canopy to provide some shelter and then we did a group risk assessment so we knew which areas to stay away from and to familiarise ourselves with the new environment. We made a big camp fire to keep us warm and everyone set about learning about how to set up the camp area. It was too wet to do many activities outside of the canopy so pupils learned about all the different tools we use. After an introduction to knife skills the pupils tried it out by whittling a stick to a sharp point. We made hot drinks using the Kelly kettles and Lunch today was chicken wraps which we cooked on our skillet. A warm lunch was very welcome on such a wet day. After a small break in the weather pupils were able to use the different tools to cut dead wood for our wood pile. They used Laplanders, bow saws, loppers and secateurs. It was a really great start to our outdoor sessions and everyone did so well coping with such a bad weather day. Well done everyone.


Friday 15th December


Our pupils were proudly presented their bronze RSPB Wild Challenge certificates by Mrs Wight today. They have worked incredibly hard to help and care for nature and the award was well deserved. Pupils are now working towards their silver award. We explored Captains Wood and collected natural materials before making a ribbon Christmas tree and wood slice tree decorations. We had great fun making salt dough and painting the decorations we made.


Friday 22nd December


We started learning about mapping skills and drew simple pictures from various vantage points so our partner could guess where we had been. To continue our RSPB Wild Challenge work we made two different bird feeders to hang at home and around the school grounds. We learned what types of birds favoured the seeds we used and how to care for birds in winter.


Friday 19th January


We made clay faces in the woods today and thought about features, use of natural materials and creativity. Our natural headbands were finished ready to use in our woodland games in coming weeks. We started to research birds so that a bird poster can be made next week. We will be completing the schools RSPB Big Bird Watch in coming weeks and are building up our bird knowledge.


Friday 26th January


Pupils made leaf windows using a variety they had collected. They looked really effective and helped us work on remembering the names for different leaves. As part of our RSPB Wild Challenge we are learning about birds. Today we worked on our bird information posters and made a clay bird trying to include particular characteristics. Pupils worked so hard on their posters and we are looking forward to sharing them once they are all completed.


Friday 2nd February


We visited Woodend Barn Wild Garden and looked for homes for nature. We found a variety of different types of homes from ponds and hedges to compost heaps and bat boxes. We completed the word challenge to find 23 hidden words within the garden. We took part in the RSPB schools big bird watch week by observing the variety of birds that visited our site over the period of an hour. We recorded what we saw and found out a lot about local bird life.