Outdoor learning at Langford
Langford Village School would like to thank Yarnton Garden centre for supporting our outdoor learning programme last year, 2016-2017, through donations of soil and seeds.
Fun learning outdoors in all weathers!
Forest school is currently run in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. All sessions are led by the Forest School Leader, Mrs Flear. In Years 1 and 2 there is an additional focus on biology - learning about our environment and sustainability.
All children are expected to have Wellington boots and suitable clothing for Forest School (you do not need to get any special clothing, old comfortable clothes will do - see the list of suggested items in the letters sent out informing you of the dates when your child will be going to the woodlands). Generally clothing should be things you do not mind getting dirty, or even torn, and should always cover the arms and legs (even in hot weather) for protection. Clothing should also be appropriate for the season. Waterproof trousers are provided by the school although you are welcome to bring your own.
Forest School is all about making choices, becoming confident, independent and resilient. Children learn to respect themselves and others as well the environment. They learn about nature through playing in, and with, nature. Children learn to recognise and manage risks, meet challenges, celebrate successes and learn from challenges. Forest School learning includes:
Thank you for creating this fantastic opportunity for Elsa and the other children of exploring nature nearest to us and teaching her how to love, respect and look after it. This is an invaluable experience that will impact on her whole life. I am extremely pleased; this will be part of her memories from her early school days. She loves her ‘woodlands’ lessons. Thank you!
Mrs D Gale February 2016
We would like to say a big thank you to all those parents who have helped at last year and to those who are continuing to volunteer and support learning at Forest School.
Last year Forest School did not start until Term 3 as Mrs Flear was working in Nursery. However, we then had a full and successful programme running until the end of the school year.
Forest School and science in the Langford Woodlands
Forest School has now started for both the Reception and Nursery classes. In Nursery and Reception we will be concentrating getting the children to familiarize themselves and become comfortable on learning in this new environment. They will learn the Code of Conduct and the basic rules of RESPECT and SAFETY. Reception will be listening to stories and doing activities linked to the story. We will be focusing on developing the children's creativity in responding to stories through imaginative games and construction. Plus, of course, we will be observing and discussing the changes and patterns they observe in the natural environment. We will also be learning Forest School skills such as tying knots, working with natural materials and climbing trees.
Year 1 will be looking at the seasonal changes in weather, plants and the variety of animals they observe. They will be starting to learn to identify and name some of plants which grow in Langford Woodlands. The children will also be introduced to many different woodland creatures and start thinking about what they eat - whether they are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores. We will be doing a food investigation to find out which of the berries and nuts in the Woodlands the animals prefer. The children will, of course, also have plenty of opportunity to explore and develop their own interests in this natural setting.
Year 2 will be talking about how we know whether something is living or not and what living things need. They will be looking at the habitats in our local area (woodlands, pond and field) as well as microhabitats such as under dead wood logs. They will be finding out about how the animals and plants in these habitats are suited to their environment and how they depend upon one another. We will also be learning to care for, and enhance, our environment, for example through planting native woodland bulbs. As the term develops they will be considering which animals and plants like to live in woodland habitat and which prefer grasslands and discussing how they are suited to these environments and how these habitats provide for their needs. As Christmas approaches we will be looking, in particular at the plants traditionally used to decorate homes at Christmas time. Year 2 will also still have time to follow their own agenda and develop their skills.
Nursery will continue to develop their confidence and independence when playing in a natural woodland setting. They will become increasingly familiarity with the Woodlands; learning to identify seasonal changes and potential risks in the environment. They will become more confident at identifying the risks in specific activities they choose to do and learning what they can do to help keep themselves safe when playing in woods. They will continue to learn some woodcraft skills such as tying knots and how to care for their environment through composting, rubbish clearance, and feeding animals.
Reception will continue observing and learning about the seasonal changes in the Woodlands environment as we move from winter into early spring. The focus will continue to be on fostering their own interests and responding creatively to experiences and stories using the natural materials present in the Woodlands as well as resources linked to these stories or to nature. We will also be learning how to tie some new knots.
Year 1 will be further developing their understanding of animals, particularly woodland animals, and finding out about the differences between mammals, birds, retiles, amphibians and fish. We will be observing and recording the weather and plant changes in the Woodlands as we move from winter to early spring. We look forward to the emergence of spring bulbs and blossoms and new leaves on the deciduous trees. Towards the end of the spring we will start to look at the animals and plants in the pond area too. The children will still be able to explore and develop their own particular interests in this natural setting.