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The Year 4 children certainly had a windy one for their last week! It was touch and go about whether we were going to use the area of the valley which is our usual spot but after careful consideration it appeared safe. However, It certainly proved a challenge to the groups as the session progressed.
The main focus this week was for the children to light their own fires that lasted for 5 minutes in small groups. They would need a fire steel, several pieces of cotton wool, a few pieces of kindling wood and plenty of thin sticks! They also had to find the right site, lift the base of their fire from the ground (to protect it) using thick wet logs/sticks and shield it as best they could from the wind. Quite a lot of perseverance was shown in a couple of groups and they kept trying right until the end. There were a few groups that, unfortunately, found the challenge of elements and their lack of will too much, meaning that their fire lighting effort was unsuccessful. The Year 4s will get another go next year so the learning experience will stand them in good stead.
The group also decided to make shelters (in addition to the main one) as part of their exploration time, having learned from the hail onslaught of last time! Luckily there was no such event this week.
As it was the Year 4s last week the group were treated to marshmallows and hot chocolate, marshmallow toasting being a first for most of them. Choruses of, “Is this ok?”, “Mine’s fallen off!” and “ Yum!” rang around the campfire!
The Year 5 children in Hazel have 2 weeks of small group to look forward to know and we should be able to get a bit more in depth into some of the skills and this will stand them in good stead as they go into their Year 6 Forest School session.