Into the forest & under the stars!

This term has been full of fun and adventure. Hogwood is proving to be a wonderful woodland area to explore, and already we are noticing the children’s resilience, independence and imaginations running free during our dedicated weekly Forest School sessions! Many activities have already been explored, including den building, using real tools, mud painting with sticks, designing a rope swing and constructing an amazing bridge. The children did lots of problem solving and risk assessing as to which logs were suitable – looking at lengths and the strength of the logs. We will soon be abseiling in the forest, and having a visit from the Archers to explain their hobby to us. The rain hasn’t dampened our spirits, and we couldn’t be prouder of the children and their never ending sense of adventure and enthusiasm!

The children have been showing a keen interest in space, and this made a visit from a planetarium even more amazing! The children were treated to a wonderful night sky display, as well as lots of information about this super topic. We were so impressed with the children’s attention to detail and curiosity about their planet (and others around us) and have had fun making papier mache planets, role playing in our very on spaceship, and using the story “Whatever Next” to begin our story making adventures. There have been trips to Saturn, and different ways to travel around our own planet Earth. What fun!

We have been making full use of the beautiful environment we are so lucky to have on our doorstep, and a walk around the village, collecting natural treasures was really lovely. The children spotted – (and smelt!) lots of wild garlic, and this led to some cooking back at preschool using their foraged finds! Snipping the garlic to make some delicious wild garlic pesto helped to develop the children’s fine motor skills .  Alongside this, the leaves and flowers found were used to create stunning nature pictures which the children took great care to put together. It is lovely when ideas and themes are able to be carried through to all areas of learning in these natural, fun ways, led by the children.

With many children preparing for their transition to primary schools in September, there is a focus on supporting them for this change, with outings arranged to help ease any anxieties. Activities specifically for these children focusing on phonics, maths and their independence will also benefit them hugely. Time really does fly when you’re having so much fun!

Exploring and extending

It is so great to have our preschool room back, and the children have taken ownership of the display boards with their beautiful artwork. This is ever evolving, and links wonderfully with our ‘in the moment’ planning strategies, which the children are thriving from. Having time to dedicate to individual interests is working so well, and this has meant the children have tried out such a range of activities. We have a lovely vegetable patch where the children have planted radishes, carrots and peas. They have created labels to help everyone remember where each is planted! Lots of cooking has been done, as well as group games initiated by the children.

Inside, diverse sensory activities have been explored, extending children’s thoughts around textures, colour and shape. They have used clay, marbling techniques, collaging and explored junk modelling on a large scale, with a city being created! These activities actively promote group skills, with children negotiating space, resources and sharing ideas.

Our physical development and maths parent workshop was well attended, with the children enjoying to see our new borrow bag “Magic Maths” which encourages children to play board games with their families, as well as go on hunts for different items which are hard/small/round/long/heavy etc. Using mathematical language frequently will help support them in their life learning of maths concepts. While they are building these skills, they are just excited to be having fun and spending time with loved ones.

After Easter, our Forest Adventures at Hogwood return, with so many different activities for the children to explore and experience. Scavenger hunts, wild garlic cooking, den building, bug hunting, abseiling and many more will be enjoyed! We are all very excited to be returning and feel privileged to be able to take the preschoolers there. Forest School Rocks!

We pride ourselves on forging links with the community, as well as ensuring transitions are as smooth as possible for the children. To support this, we are lucky to be able to have a sports coach visiting each Wednesday after Easter, who also provides the sports sessions at the school. Transition visits will also begin for the children starting school in September, and we will work closely with the schools to ensure this is a positive time for the children.