Year 5F have been itching to make some big dens outside. As part of Forest School I take time to gauge the dynamics of each class and how well I think they will work together on certain Forest School activities. This is important before progressing onto more high risk activities.
Year 5F created some amazing dens, as you can see from the photographs below. But for me this afternoon really inspired me in other ways. The children chose their groups, were reminded of health and safety rules and were told to use good team work and communication skills.
The afternoon started off a little rocky. There were squabbles and a few tantrums. During each session I encourage pupils to diffuse these situations together with little guidance from myself. This encourages children to use better communication skills and better team building skills.
As the afternoon progressed, I noticed a huge difference in how the children were working together. They helped each other to carry wood, they helped other groups to carry wood too, they politely asked each other if they could trade a piece of wood that was not useful to them for another piece of wood from another team, two groups had limited resources so decided to join forces to make a bigger and better den. It was so inspiring to see this change in attitude and how everyone not only helped their own team but also helped other teams. They invited other teams to look at their dens and take ideas from this. Teams praised other teams for their great ideas. What I liked the most was all of this was done without my input. At the end of the session when we shared what we had done, not one child had a negative thing to say about anyone. They all pinpointed something positive about another child in the class.
A few wildlife encounters of course!