Forest Schools

We currently have two Learning and Teaching Assistants who are working towards achieving their Coastal Schools certificate. They have already achieved their Forest School qualification two years ago.

The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment.

Many Forest Schools activities enhance the creative curriculum - an approach to teaching and learning designed to support children's natural curiosity. Sessions are designed around the needs of different groups and around a theme. Many areas of the National Curriculum are covered during a Forest Schools programme without the programmes being curriculum-led - the ethos of Forest Schools is that they are learner-led. The activities will act as a stimulus for many more activities back in the classroom. However, in order to make this site easier to navigate, example session plans are searchable by curriculum area.

Here is a taster of what we have been getting up to so far...

Forest Schools week ending 6th October!

posted 12 Oct 2017, 13:11 by Vicki Bowes

Our children have had a very busy Forest School week! 

Year 1 made Stone Soup and learnt how to stay safe around a fire.

Year 5 practiced putting an unconscious person into the recovery position and how to use tools safely.


Year 3 built hibernacula's for their hibernating hedgehogs, they tested the temperature to check if they had provided a cosy nest for them.

Leaf Crown Making with Nursery!

posted 12 Oct 2017, 13:02 by Vicki Bowes

In their Forest School session the nursery children visited our forest to collect leaves, they then made leaf crowns with them.


Knot Skills with Year 1!

posted 12 Oct 2017, 12:54 by Vicki Bowes

Year 1 are learning and practicing knot skills in their first forest school session of the new academic year.

Habitat Haven!

posted 14 Mar 2017, 05:34 by Vicki Bowes   [ updated 14 Mar 2017, 06:48 ]

Year 2 are helping the academy wildlife by creating habitats for their chosen specific mini beasts. By learning about the conditions that their mini beast thrive in they sourced materials from our site to build a habitat in our Habitat Haven.


Year 1 are using magnifying glasses to get a close up look at the habitats in our Habitat Haven. A worm, beetle, wood louse and slug were found and very carefully placed in a bug jar. The children then passed this jar around to closely view their finds. The animals were then carefully placed back where they were found into their natural habitats.


Week ending 17.02.17 in Forest Schools!

posted 17 Feb 2017, 03:33 by Vicki Bowes

This week in Forest Schools Year 1 and Year 2 have been learning how to build a birds' nest using their beaks. They had great fun at putting their hands behind their backs and trying to pick things up with their 'peg' beaks!


Year 3 have made Neolithic jewellery and Neolithic toys to link in with their Stone Age topic.


Scarecrow Factory Exhibition!

posted 9 Oct 2016, 11:19 by Vicki Bowes

Please join us as we unveil our collection of 27, Roald Dahl character inspired scarecrow creations! All of which where designed and made by the children during their Forest Schools lessons.

Summer, Week 12 - Year 2 Forest Schools

posted 10 Jul 2015, 05:12 by Vicki Bowes   [ updated 10 Jul 2015, 05:14 by Tom Kentfield-Wells ]

This week, Year 2 have taken part in a Forest Schools session. Here they are waving the natural art print flags they made...

Caldicotes is getting a nature pond!

posted 6 Feb 2015, 08:14 by Tom Kentfield-Wells   [ updated 10 Feb 2015, 07:33 ]

Caldicotes Primary Academy has the opportunity of working in partnership with the Groundworks Thirteen community programme, who are kindly donating their time and resources for free! This is a complimentary scheme to enable us to develop our site with lots of exciting new projects that will enhance our Eco and Forest Schools ethos over the next three years.

Denise Powell who is leading the programme is just as excited about being involved as we are, she recognises the benefits of outside learning and supports the idea of the Forest Schools approach.

Work has begun this week on a nature pond that will hopefully attract wildlife and provide the children with first hand knowledge of life cycles, pond life and habitat studies, helping to sustain wildlife for the future. 

The initial building work is scheduled to be complete by the end of the half term holiday ready for the children to move in to help plant pond plants and build habitats. This will give them a sense of ownership and pride in their space, their school community and ultimately the wider community in which they live.

Year 3/4 Forest Schools - Spring 2015

posted 16 Jan 2015, 05:51 by Tom Kentfield-Wells   [ updated 6 Feb 2015, 08:12 ]

This term it is Year 3/4's that get to take part in Forest Schools sessions!

In the classroom we have been looking at the Romans and the Celts.

Linking in with this project we have had a go at setting up our own camp! We had to think about what we would need to survive while on the move. We considered our skills and talents then divided into 3 groups, just like a real army may do!

Soldiers would need to be protected from the elements, the first group of children got to work on building a shelter that would protect sleepy soldiers from the weather.

Even in the warmer months it can get cold on an evening, soldiers on the move didn't have central heating to keep them warm! Fires would have been used to warm shelters but also to cook on. There were no take away shops in Roman times!

No army would be complete without weapons to defend themselves. Thinking about the time, weapons would have been made mostly from wood. The children used potato peelers to whittle javelins. We then gave them ‘Caldi-flair’ by decorating them using natural materials and, of course, we had to test them. Charge!!!!!
Queen Boudica would be very proud!

Of course it wasn't all about war! Romans settled here and built more permanent structures, in fact a lot of our modern ways originate from Roman inventions! The next time you are walking to school take a look at the road. The Romans invented them! They also came up with the idea of raising the centre slightly, this allows the rain to run into the drains, stopping the roads from getting waterlogged! Clever Romans!

A commonly used method of building during that time was wattle and daub. Now many artists such as Lizzie Farey use willow weaving for decorative art pieces. A willow wall would be woven( wattle) then covered with a thick layer of daub (mud and straw,often animal manure was added too!)

Here are some photographs of the children engaging in their Forest Schools sessions:

The children had a go at making a wattle and daub wall. We tried different natural materials to see which had the best binding quality! It's a lot harder than it looks!Using a potato peeler the children in Year 3/4 whittled sticks to make Spears:

The children also built shelters to make camp:

They learnt how to whittle sticks to make weapons:

The children collected wood for the fire, then kept warm around it:

Here they are gathering around the campfire to evaluate the session:

Year 5 Forest School sessions linked to the Solar System - October 2014

posted 16 Jan 2015, 05:45 by Tom Kentfield-Wells   [ updated 16 Jan 2015, 05:45 ]

For the past few weeks the children in Year 5 have been taking part in sessions linked to their class topic of The Solar System but with a woodland twist.

We have been learning how to tie an overhand knot and what its uses would be.

Not as easy as it looks is it boys?

We used this knowledge to make a string Martian from natural resources found on the site. We gave him or her a name and a planet to live on.

We even went on a Meteorite Hunt!

The children produced some amazing collaborative outdoor art work with the rocks they found and produced their own Solar Systems.

We have had great fun even when it was wet and windy outdoors. The children did an amazing job of producing Meteor Shower Shelters!

The most fun had to be when we made Mud Pie Planets. Can you guess which planet the boys are representing?

During our sessions we found a very alien looking bug! Could it be from outer space, maybe a Martian from somewhere in our Solar System? Why not become nature detectives and try to identify this insect!

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