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(Group A Week 3)
The last week for these Year 2 children was a very special one indeed and after the usual litter pick, the fun could begin! The weather looked a little ominous so we split into groups to raise a shelter, just in case. This week we were lucky enough to have Robin’s dad join us to help out so we had plenty of adults to support the tying of ropes and getting it over high branches.
With a shelter sorted and a dry area ready (remember, just in case!) we could concentrate on the main focus this week which was fire! We discussed the safety aspects and how we could relate the idea of a blood bubble to that of a fire circle, giving the people responsible for the fire enough peace of mind others wouldn’t be in danger. The children learnt that a fire needs three things to light: oxygen (in the air around us), fuel (in our case this would be sticks and cotton wool) and also heat (provided by a spark from the fire steel). After the age old discussion of the fact that to get the fire going initially they would need lots (lots!) of thin sticks, the children set about on stick hunt. In not much time at all the main fire was roaring and the children could get into groups to make fires of their very own, watched over by a helpful adult! Initially, there was varying degrees of success. Some were very confident with the fire steels and had collected fuel well (the fight thickness and plenty of them). Others however tried to go too big, too too soon! After a quick repeat example of the sort of sticks they would need, all of the children soon had their own small blaze going. We also talked about how to put the fires out and dispose of our ashes responsible to keep our area of the valley looking as it should.
The children then had some free time to use all of the skills they had learnt over the previous weeks. There were shelters going up, a swing was made, some even decided to continue to nurture their own little fires. While this was going on, the kettle was filled ready for making hot chocolate, some ash branches were harvested and sharpened for the impending marshmallow feast!
The treat time was a massive hit and the children all gathered around the fire to taste their marshmallows. Some became so toasty that they ended up in the fire, slipping off the sticks to make a gooey, sticky, hot mess. The marshmallows were so popular that most children even came back for seconds!
These children will not be back in Forest School until they are in Year 3 and in that academic year it may even be the spring term of 2018! A long old wait but one in which they will hopefully hold fond memories of the times they had and the skills they learnt.
The other group will come next week and hopefully have as much fun as we had this week. Finger the rain will hold off for them too!