We are very fortunate to have an Environmental Area within our school community. This area is used on a weekly basis in Year R. We call this day Forest Friday. Other year groups use this area throughout the year for specific lessons for example observing the changes in the seasons, minibeast hunts and exploring different plants.
Muddy Monday/ Forest Friday
These sessions allow children to develop their self-esteem, teamwork, problem solving and physical skills. They use the natural area to explore and investigate. Through learning outdoors, the children are developing into independent and curious learners. Throughout the year we observe the changes in the seasons, we look at how the plants and trees change, we notice different wildlife in the area and we ensure we look after both the plants and wildlife.
We start each lesson by sitting in the log circle. During this time, we are introduced to a new activity of the day. Some activities we have enjoyed are:
- Building small dens
- Leaf animals
- Scavenger Hunts
- Making shapes using sticks
- Looking for habitats
- Planting potatoes
- Making natural paints
After we have tried the new activity, we have time to independently choose our learning. Within the Environmental Area we have a:
- Mud kitchen
- Digging patch
- Vegetable Patch- Children helped to make the vegetable patch and we have planted peas, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes.
- Den building- lots of large pegs and tarpaulins for children to use to make dens and shelters
- Woodwork Bench- Children use real tools (hammers, saws, screw drivers) and soft wood to build models.
- Potion Bench- Making potions and perfumes using water and natural resources we find on the floor.
We often finish our time in the Environmental Area by sitting in our log circle, reflecting on out learning and finishing with a story or a song.
Throughout the year the children have immersed themselves in the natural environment, they often take what we have been learning in the classroom out into the natural environment for example writing Tricky Words in the mud, finding 3D shapes in the environment.