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 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!


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.


Friday 16th February


We visited the woods and listened to a story about a Robin looking for shelter in the forest. We heard about the different mythological names for trees and woodland spirts that live in the woods. We created our own woodland spirits and gave them names. In the afternoon we created mini poems with stones which had random words written on them and played ‘What’s in the bag?’. There was a variety of objects in the bag from the woods which we had to try and describe by feel and the other people in the group had to guess what we had.  



Friday 23rd February

We returned to fire making today and all pupils made a 5 minute fire unsupported. They showed confidence and skill, remembering the lessons taught previously. A woodland obstacle course was our focus for the rest of the day with pupils working in teams to create two different obstacles. There was great imagination and attention to details as they selected and used a variety of woodland objects to create their course.


Friday 9th March


We completed two more of our RSPB Wild Challenges today. We experienced different types of weather after the recent snow and found our woodland site muddy and wet. We enjoyed playing games together in the woods. Our pebble story telling was developed and some great ideas were shared. Homes for mammals was introduced and pupils began learning about different types of mammals and where and how they live.



Friday 16th March

It was a cold, wet and windy day in the woods and all pupils did extremely well working on such a horrible day. We completed an egg box treasure hunt looking for a variety of natural objects. There are still not many signs of spring in the woods except for a few snowdrops popping their heads up! To continue our ‘help nature’ section of our RSPB Wild Challenge we made a hog house. We continued to develop our knowledge of mammals and worked together to create a sheltered hedgehog home in the south facing part of the woods.


Friday 23rd March


We visited Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve today and explored Burn O Vat. We walked the trails, played in the streams and marvelled at the waterfall. During our walk we completed our ‘Spot It’ birds and mammals RSPB challenge. It was a nice enough day to have a picnic lunch outside. We finished up with an Easter egg hunt and played a camouflage game of birds and foxes.