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Learning about Nature

Maintaining the Wood


As well as using the woodland for their play, it is an important part of every session that children learn how to care for, respect and protect the woodland environment.

The children across school helped to maintain the woodland by planting a selection of bulbs throughout the wood. These included, daffodil, tulip and crocus. They have planted a variety of different tree saplings, willow to help soak up areas in the wood that are prone to excessive water. The children have helped to maintain pathways by edging and laying gravel and woodchip.


The children reinforce their fire etiquette each session. They practise getting in and out of the fire circle safely and moving around.

Children are introduced to the fire triangle, focussing on how the removal of any one of the required elements will put a fire out. They learn about green and dead wood. Green wood contains up to 50% water and dead wood is dry and suitable to burn. Children search for dry wood and use the snap test to make sure. They think about different ways a fire out can be extinguished.

The children toast marshmallows using the kneel position. The older children learn how to create their own fires using flint and steels. They explore different grades of wood to discover how to build a fire correctly. They practise how to extinguish a fire safely and to leave the site as it was found.


Shelter Building

The children learn about the importance of building a shelter for living creatures. They are introduced to the principles of shelter building; retention of heat, shelter from the elements, protection from predators.

Children forage for natural building materials, including twigs, sticks, grasses, moss, pine needles, stones and bark. They build a range of shelters -  birds nests, mini shelters and full shelters. They are encouraged to explain their decisions about where they choose to build and their choice of materials.

The children in KS2 use the knots and hitches they have learnt to create a ridgeline shelter. They also learn how to use, coil and store ropes safely.



The children develop their hand-eye coordination and learn how to tie different knots for use in their play.

They learn how to tie an overhand knot as they work with a partner to create a friendship bracelet. They learn to tie a timber hitch which is traditionally used to attach a rope to wood and used to create log dogs and bows and arrows. They learn how to tie a half hitch and then use this in their work - to drag branches and create shelters using natural resources found in the wood. The older children use their overhand knot skills to create a variety of different rope swings. The children work together in a group and show great team work and resilience.


Curriculum Links

Woodland learning experiences create endless opportunities for cross-curricular links to all areas  of the planned, National Curriculum including: science, mathematics, RE, English, geography and art.

The children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 enjoy creating woodland art using natural materials found around the wood. A favourite activity is to use natural materials from around the woodland to create mud monsters and sculptures from sticks!

Children enjoy inventing their own perfumes and magic potions in the wood. They use natural materials, including: leaves, acorns, pine cones, mud, pebbles, moss and grasses. They decide which magic powers their potions would give them...

The children in Year 3 and 4 learn about how the beliefs of different faiths are expressed through art. They understand that whilst some faiths use pictures of prophets and leaders, others consider this wrong. They learn that Muslims create patterns rather than illustrating animal or human form. They enjoy creating Islamic art using natural materials found in the wood.

All of the children enjoy playing in the mud pit. They invent all sorts of woodland meals and observe how the area changes throughout the year.


Mental Health

The children take part in mindfulness 'sit spot' activities. A sit spot can be anywhere - on a log, on a branch, in a bush, somewhere where you can sit and be quiet and connect with nature. It is a place you can return to during the year and gives you the opportunity to observe the seasonal changes, new growth, decay and tiny details you may have overlooked. It also gives you space and a place to be you.


Tree dressing

Tree Dressing Day falls on the first weekend of December. Tree dressing is a powerful way of expressing our relationship with trees and a chance to say thank you to the trees for the vital role they play in our environment.

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