A day of fairy pillows, fire and forms! I guess with anything we do these days there is always a certain amount of admin and forest schools is no different. A great deal of thought has to be put in to the whole process. This morning we looked at planning and Environmental impact assessments, and then went out to meet a group of home schooled children who use the Forest school as part of their curriculum. A group of children ranging in ages from 4-9. What really impressed me was their understanding of safety in the woods and their mature attitude to being sat around a live camp fire that Dave had shown us how to light with just bark from a silver birch, kindling and a fire stick! The children came in to the fire circle and prepared their marshmallows for their end of session snack.
After lunch it was time to turn our minds to more practical matters, whittling and safe use of sheath knives, and practicing making a camp fire of our own using fairy pillows (cotton wool pads to the rest of us) kindling and a fire stick.
Once the fire was alight we used a Kelly kettle to boil water for a cup of tea. The whole point of this week is not to necessarily get young children to use adult tools in the wood, it is all about starting to build a complex skill set by breaking the learning process down into small achievable tasks. Each small success builds towards a bigger outcome and with each success you can feel the increasing confidence of the group. The same approach we us at Danesmoor.
Tomorrow is going to be about food and cooking safely in the outdoors. A feast of sausage and bean casserole, mushrooms and Stilton with baked apples and chocolate bananas for pudding.