Term 3 Week 3

Okay so it may seem like, if you've been following the sequential events of time for any period, that a week just disappeared and it has, because last week I wasn't here.  I was in a Forest.  But other people (important people), knew about it, so its okay.  And I was supervised by an adult also, though not at all times because sometimes its important to get some "alone time" in.  

In short I was away on the beginning of my level 3 Forest School Leader award as we are intending to incorporate Forest School into our curriculum.  Tell you what though, a lot of work is going to have to go into this one, I have to write two essays....possibly four....I'm not entirely sure but suffice to say there is a good level of paperwork coming my way, but fortunately I don't have to make my own paper first.  

So I came back from my tree-hugging, "me time", wilderness wandering experience to hit the ground running because the moment I walked through the door people be like "WE WANT OUTDOOR LEARNING!" - they'd been outside already but they still wanted to come outside...I think largely because I accidentally took the shed key with me on my journey and so they couldn't get access to the supplies and while sharing is caring there comes a point when you have to take ownership of your own departments possessions (For those of you not used to my sense of humour, that was a joke, I absent-mindedly took the shed key with me).   

Anyways so lets begin our review of the week with Grasshoppers coming out and they've started their allotment patch which is great to see.  We want eventually each class to have its own plot which they will look after and grow their own veggies and fruits, flowers etc.  Also their teacher and I have been quite diligently building up the compost pile ANNNDDDD now after around 6 months we've got this cracking black compost coming through that we've been able to add to some of the plants growing in Outdoor Learning.  Which reminds me, I need to do an update video of the area...but not yet....because you can't rush these things.   Next up was a dual class experience with Dragonflies and Spiders coming out to do some weeding of the dandelions that are quite prolific in our area.  To be honest, I'm not overly fussed at the minute that they're there because you can eat them and make "coffee" out of the roots (if you like that sort of thing), but weeds are weeds and I want fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers.  So they've got to go.  But the children in those classes had a good go at digging them up and removing them for me.  Hopefully we can build on that. 

Next up? Bees class.  Doing a re-enactment of WW2 and code breaking, we had to search all over to find the codes and then use our super secret code cracking device to discover what the enemy was saying next.  Finally for Monday, Woodpeckers came out to sow lettuce in some pots.  I'll try to put those somewhere safe and we'll track the progress of them as the weeks go by. 

TUESDAY:  Poplar are doing "three little pigs" in English and so we went to see if we could find any little pigs and the big, bad wolf in Outdoor Learning.  I've no idea what Elm did but they came out and had a go at something.  OH YEH! THAT WAS IT! They did some weeding for me too.  Which they tied into their maths lesson (check that cross curricular people).  Its exciting in some ways to see the children getting more and more into the gardening side of things.  We've got a LOOOONG way to go before we have consistent rewards for our labour but hopefully in time.  Farmers market, anyone?  

Who else?  Foxes! Foxes added some waterproof coating to their bird box that they made.  Which sounds a little wrong doesn't it?  Foxes making bird boxes?  Almost like a Spider offering a fly a place to stay for the night....anyways they took turns at carefully applying a coating onto the wood and we're looking at putting it up somewhere in Outdoor Learning soon.  I hope the birds like it.  Finally Oak came out to have a go at searching for The Big, Bad Wolf and the three little pigs in their session.  I think we're still finding them....

Wednesday: Hedgehogs came out to line their planter that they made so that they can then put soil into it to try and grow veggies in their class.  

Thursday:  Badgers started by wanting to go searching for hidden objects under our jungle canopy followed by Beech class who came to work on their communication targets.  Finally Maple came out to spend some chillout time together in the tents while finishing the day with a story and sitting under the tarps.   

Friday:  Friday came about quick! Totally wasn't prepared for that.  But Owls came out after seeing the success of the potato seeds in Elm classes bag and decided they wanted to have a go as well, and who was I to say "no".  So now Owl class has a planter bag with potato seeds in.  Perhaps we'll set up a chip shop as well.  We could do the fish on the fire pit and...well I'm not sure how we'd do the chips, but they say home grown potatoes taste better.  Watch this space.  Sycamore.  LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT SYCAMORE! This lesson was cracking.  Bit of a challenge for them admittedly but their teacher had asked can we start doing Orienteering with them, and so orienteering we did.  The start is to get their teamwork skills engaged and so we did some teamwork games and at first some of them really struggled and admittedly, although I simplified the game more than originally set out, some still struggled BUT eventually they all, in their little groups, began to work together.  This was a proud moment for me.  But unfortunately I didn't manage to get any photos! GUTTED! But hopefully we can build on this and get them working together as a team more and more.  

I paid a visit to a local allotment with Butterflies, so they could learn about how Britain managed to feed itself during WW2 before swiftly returning back to school to spend the end of the day with Caterpillars class and taking some of their children into our "wood walkthrough".  

So that was my first week back in Outdoor Learning.  Highlight of the week?  Well Beech had a good time with their communication targets and so why don't you spend a few moments and have a look at them.  

 

See you soon! 

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Swinton

Springwood Primary School (Years 1 – 6)

Barton Road

Swinton

Manchester

M27 5LP

Tel: 0161 778 0022

Craig Hall

Springwood Primary School

Preston Avenue

Irlam

Manchester

M44 5XB

Tel: 0161 921 2170