News

Forest School Blog
May 3, 2019

Forest School Club have been very, very active and as a result our jungle is a bust place. Please read on for more information and there are still places if you are interested in your child attending (contact details included at the end of news roundup).

Spring term first half 2019.

After school forest club and outdoor play and learning.

The forest school is back down around the summer fire circle, for this spring term, and surrounded by budding trees and profuse amounts of wild garlic. The birds are in full voice and the slow worms are coming out of their deep, winter burrows to warm under the new mulch in the outdoor classroom. The pond is now full again and we will soon see newts and hopefully also some frogs.

A huge amount has been happening in the woodland area during the winter. The new outdoor classroom is taking shape, but there is still plenty to do if any of you parents/grandparents/siblings feel like shaking off your winter lethargy and joining others in getting out to do some digging and building. All help is much appreciated. The round shelter in the woods is now watertight and has been well used already, during the inclement spring weather. An exciting find while working on the outdoor classroom has been an original stone wall and we have a stone-walling expert, Tom Hynes, coming in (potentially also with the help of his conservation students from Petroc), to help us to repair and extend the wall. Stone walls and stone-faced hedges are a common feature in rural Devon and it is an excellent opportunity for the children to experience this rural skill first-hand.

Over the winter the Kid’s Kingdom became a glorious, child-built construction of planks, logs and tyres over a big, muddy puddle and great fun has been had by all. We have also introduced more natural den building materials, and the children have been helping to problem solve in our attempts to move old tree stumps, removed during the levelling for the outdoor classroom, to their new position in a stump garden we are developing. This will provide valuable, safe habitat for mice and other small creatures and for native woodland plants. The high winds gave us an opportunity to make paper birds, decorate them and fly them in the woods and making our own paints and paintbrushes is back by popular demand.

But that isn’t all…with the assistance of Hayley Hayle, another HE student, we are also working towards the first of a series of RHS school gardening awards, with the veg garden undergoing improvements and new resources being developed to support this. We are also developing an edible woodland garden, to demonstrate a very different, low impact, low-maintenance approach to food production. The children continue to be fully involved in all of these projects.

In recognition of the hard work that the pupils, school staff, Mudtastic and members of the community, have put into focusing on outdoor activities, the school is now the Devon finalist for the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award.

We completed this half of term with our usual cooking day around the fire – vegetarian sausages, nettle and wild garlic fritters, marshmallows and hot chocolate. The end of a very productive and enjoyable start to the year.

Forest Families Group

After the relentless high winds and chilly temperatures finally eased off at the start of Spring the forest family fun kick-started in the jungle mid-March.

The woodland puppets used during each session have had a noticeable impact on language development with our younger members and the fun just keeps evolving as the puppets encourage new relationships, feeling safe and secure, as well as a sense of self confidence and awareness in the natural environment.

Over the past few weeks the children have been planting seeds to take home and nurture the process of watering, waiting for the first sign of green to pop through the soil. We have also been making bridges for the woodland animals to enable the creatures to move around the jungle from one tree to another with a little problem solving thrown into the mix. Each week paint and clay activities at the ‘making tree’ are a hit for most, along with child-led free play and our woodland game 1,2 3 where are you? Increasing self-belief through freedom, demonstrating independence and growth.

During the summer term we will be focusing on movement and physical skills, mark-making sessions, mini den building and full mud kitchen action, now that our toddler size mud kitchen and café is set up ready to go!

If you would like more info on either of these sessions, please contact Jayne for details.

To contact us: enquiries@mudtastic.co.uk or talk to Jayne on 07984655688


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