We’ve had an amazing day with Rudston Primary School from Liverpool today. To get to know a bit more about how we run our school visits, we thought it would fun to show you what we get up to on a brilliant day. Now we always say fun can be had in the forest, come sunshine or rain, and today we definitely proved the latter! It was a particularly wet and soggy morning as the children arrived in the forest. Armed with waterproofs and wellies we all headed off to have the initial hello and health and safety talk.
Forest Explorers is nestled behind the Delamere café, as seen on the photos. We can be easily missed, so if you ever come to visit us just head towards the café and then bear left, you should see our sign right next to the bike hire station.
Our class today from Rudston Primary was a mix of reception children and year 5 children, with the idea that the smaller ones would buddy up with an older child. It turned out to be a lovely idea, and all the older children really helped out and guided the little ones throughout the activities. After a quick health and safety chat, and introduction to the work of the Forestry Commission in sustaining our wonderful forests and the importance of caring for our nature reserves the children split into two teams. One team would stick with Vikki and practice Survival Shelter Building and the other team would head off with Peter to do a Forest Art session.
Our shelter building class is structured to the specific activity of creating a survival shelter. Each team works through the different stages of creating the shelter, rummaging around to find sticks, logs, branches and other materials to make it water-tight. It’s a lot of fun, the children get really messy and use both their own independence and their skills of working in a team to complete the task.
Over in another area of the site, Peter was leading his team through their forest art session, which generally changes seasonally depending on what is available in the forest. Weather, Rangers and size of classes can also change the course of these sessions, but today the children did activities including foraging for intricately detailed leaves, recreating their own leaves with sticks, stones and leaves and taking part in our 6 touches challenge. The 6 touches challenge is where in small groups, the children look through the forest to find six different pieces of nature, that all differ in size, texture, colour, surface etc. As each piece has to be able to fit into a small space, the children are required to really focus on observing what is around them and to look at the many variations around them.
After an hour and half of each task, the children all pile into our Forest Explorers classroom for lunch and a discussion on how they had enjoyed the morning. After all their hard work, a sandwich and a sit down is much appreciated to get prepped for switching over group tasks in the afternoon session.