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Autumn 2020

Into the Forest with Badger Class...


Badger Class have been immersed in the story 'Into the Forest by Anthony Browne and what better to learn more about this magical story setting than by visiting the 'Big Woods'.


On a bright and fresh Autumn morning Badger Class set off, armed with questions and thoughts about the woodlands.


Firstly, before we headed into the woods we found out about different layers of soil in a field.


Look at all the new terminology we learned!


Did you know that the top layer of soil is called: Organic! This had lots of 'bits' in like leaves and pieces of sugar beet. The next layer is called top soil, it was loam soil which means it was made of more sand and silt and less clay.  this did not have many bits in and was just soil - this is what is good for planting in. Finally, much deeper underneath is sub soil, this is much harder to dig as it is more compacted, because tractors, animals and rain have been pushing the soil down and tighter together.



Across the field and through the puddles we raced into the woods! Our first job was to make comparisons with the soil in the field, instantly we noticed there was so much more organic matter, it was like a woodland carpet had been laid across the ground!  When this was scraped back, we could see that the next layer of top soil was different, it was much darker. We found out that having more organic matter like leaves and twigs made the soil underneath darker.

We became woodland detectives and looked closely at any trees that had been damaged, after each identifying a tree with damage we made our predictions on what may have caused the damage.

What do you think caused the damage in the pictures below?

Mmm... we found out that woodland animals are not as cute and fluffy as we thought, they actually damage the trees by going about their daily grazing and scratching!  We all found a tree with animal damage and one or two of us found a tree with wind damage. Did you know that just like us, trees have limbs too!


After seeing how much damage the woodland animals caused we walked through the woods to another area and went through a gate, this part of the woods had been fenced off to stop animals getting in. We noticed there were lots and lots of smaller trees and it was really thick across the forest floor with bracken and ferns.  We made links with our previous discoveries and decided that lots of animals like to nibble young plants and trees, along with acorns and chestnuts, which stopped them from growing.



Can you see the smaller trees on the left?

Why are the trees in a straight line?


Together, Badger Class asked the most phenomenal questions to extend their learning, here are just a few examples of the depth of their thinking...


* How do you know what is poisonous and what is not?

* What does the fire make a crackling sound?

* Do you use different types of wood from trees for different jobs?

* Why does the heat from the fire make people look wobbly from the other side?

* How much does a tree grow in a day?

* Why do leaves change colour?


Do you now the answers to any of the questions? Badger Class can help you!


There was only one way to discuss our findings and share what we had learnt and that was by coming together around the fire. 



Hedgehog Class discover more about their favourite

pink farmyard animal


On a beautiful, sunny Autumn afternoon the sound of excited chatter could be heard across the fields as Hedgehog Class set off on the tractor and trailer, in search of their favourite pink farmyard animal!  


The first clue of getting closer to the pigs was when some of the children heard them, next one or two thought they could smell them and then as the tractor turned the corner - everyone saw them! How exciting!!


There was much excitement, pointing and smiling with everyone looking closely at the pigs and very keen to share what they could see! 


All of this close observation, could only mean one thing...Hedgehogs wanted to know more!!


Here are just some of the amazing questions... Do you know the answers? Hedgehog Class do!


* How old are the Mummy pigs?

* What do pigs eat?

* What are in the pigs hut?

* Why do the pigs have colours on them?

* How old are the piglets?

* What time do the pigs have their breakfast?

* When do pigs sleep?

* How many babies do the Mummy pigs have?




Team work makes the dream work...


Squirrel Class put their team working and problem solving skills to the test with lots of outdoor challenges.

On a beautiful Autumnal morning our eager Squirrel's had to utilise their map reading skills to locate where they were and how to navigate to the next fields and woodlands.


Finding our own way...

Next was to identify the crops that had previously grown in the different fields. We used the evidence around us to identify: maize, stubble from wheat and potatoes! 

The potatoes we found were not planted their on purpose...ask any of Squirrel Class to tell yiu about a volunteer potato! 

What crops have previously grown here?

A brisk 1.93 mile walk!

Next stop in the woodlands to work with our partner to carry a large log to the 'Big Wood' ready to build a fire!

But before we could place our big logs on the fire we needed to collect lots of smaller sticks.

2 minutes to collect the sticks...go, go, go!!

Recapping on fire safety and extending our knowledge of effective fire building and the role of oxygen - if it works there will be time for toasted marshmallows!

Instructing Mr Hawthorne how to build the fire...

SUCCESS!!!! Look at our genius 15 prong marshmallow toasting fork :)

Team work, stamina, resilience, patience, communication, problem solving, perseverance...the list of skills our fabulous Squirrel Class displayed in our beautiful rural environment is endless.