Adventure Island (Forest School)

At Newton Poppleford Primary School, children from years 1 to 6 have a weekly Forest School session with a qualified Forest School Leader. We believe it is paramount that children regularly spend time outdoors for the associated benefit to their health and wellbeing.

Adult-led activities are offered during sessions and are a mix of nature connection or activities linked to the curriculum to enrich learning that takes place in the classroom.  Activities are varied, open-ended and process-led to ensure children have the opportunity to explore and develop a wide range of skills.  We also link the character curriculum to our sessions and plan opportunities for children to put principles into practice.

At Newton Poppleford Primary School, play is a fundamental aspect of Forest School because we recognise its value. Play is the quintessential element for children to enjoy their childhood and it is fundamental to their quality of life as children. Children’s development, learning, imagination, creativity and independence are promoted through the act of play and are supported by a natural environment with open-ended play provision offering freedom and choice. We have developed a risk-benefit culture that encourages children to assess risk for themselves, or with adult support when required, to challenge themselves and build confidence.

At Newton Poppleford Primary School, we are committed to educating our children on the importance of protecting the environment. Through nature connection activities, such as bug hunting, woodwork, tree planting and pond dipping, children develop a greater understanding, and appreciation, for the natural world. We promote our school value of respect by caring for our site and sharing responsibility for its maintenance in our efforts to reduce the ecological impact of our usage.

In Year 2 we were learning about The Great Fire of London. In Adventure Island, we worked in groups to build a model house along Pudding Lane. We made these models out of wood and we built them very close to one another. We decided the one on the end would be the bakery and we started the fire here. We watched as the fire slowly spread, we used our clipboards to create wind which made the fire spread more quickly.

To support our learning on soil, Year 3 followed instructions to make our own wormeries. We put layers of sand and soil in a plastic bottle with a handful of food scraps on the top. We collected worms from the digging pit and then added a cling film lid, with air holes and lastly wrapped the bottle in black plastic to make it dark. We left the worms for one week to see what would happen! One week later, we were excited to see holes where the worms had been tunnelling and we saw some worm poo on the surface which was brown and lumpy, a real mix of sand and soil!

Anglo-Saxons lived in small, one-room houses of approximately 3m x 4m.  Year 5 used Kitcamp to construct our own shelters to experience just how squished living in a room that size, with your whole family, would feel!