Freddie's Journey.

“Freddie Finds Forest School”

Little Freddie is on a walk through the deep dark forest. He’s cold and scared when suddenly, he sees smoke rising from a clearing in the woods. Freddie decides to investigate and wondered over to the cottage door


He sneaks in and hears the frightful shrieks of the two evil witches who are stirring up a potion in their cauldron... “CACKLE CACKLE, I feel a slug in this!” But he begins to realise that they have no eyes and cannot see. Freddie sneaks quietly past them. Tiptoe tiptoe, closer and closer. “I smell a child!” Shrieks one of the witches.



Freddie begins to scuttle away when out of nowhere he notices a terrifying image of a lion! “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Freddie shouts. He darts past the witches, towards the soft sound of Grandma Willows voice. “Freddie Freddie, come here, it’s okay. I will protect you from the evil witches” she calls. She then introduces him to Stickman. “This is Stickman” she says pointing to the human like stick. “Hello, I’m Stickman. I will guide you to safety!” He says. Stickman leads Freddie to the throne by the fire, where he lies down on the soft, warm floor.


Freddie, Stickman, Grandma Willow and their friends all come together to sit by the fire. “What a great day at forest school guys!” Freddie says excitedly. “Yaaaaaaaaaay!” All of them cheer. “But it’s home time now” sobs one of the friends. “Ohhhh” the friends all sigh.




THE END



The following link will take you to the original video of when 'Freddie Finds Forest School' 
video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1eFrwDHaWk



Freddie Travels Through Time

One day Freddie was sitting in a tree, wondering how children used to learn, have they always gone to school? As he watched the leaves blowing in the wind he suddenly felt a rumble in the earth, this scared him so he closed his eyes! When he felt the earth grow still, he opened his eyes to see Grandmother Willow looking at him kindly. She said “don’t be scared Freddie, I am going to show you the answer to your question”. Freddie felt a bit confused by Grandmother Willow’s words, but felt safer so decided to stay where he was
and wait for the answers. He began to hear a noise in the distance, as the noise got louder he realised it was a family, talking to each other. He couldn’t understand the words that they were saying, and he thought they were dressed strangely but continued to watch them curiously as they settled down on the ground in front of him. The Daddy was carrying some food, and the Mummy and children began to gather some sticks, they put these in a pile and the Mummy began to rub some sticks together. The children were interested in what the Mummy was doing, and began to rub sticks together themselves, learning from the Mummy. Suddenly the Mummy’s sticks made a spark; this set the dry sticks on fire. The Daddy prepared the food and cooked it over the fire and the whole family sat together and had a meal. After their meal the family
moved off and Grandmother Willow said to Freddie, “those people lived a very, very long time ago, and you could see that they taught their children when they were outside. So children have always been learning, but not in schools”. Freddie felt very happy that his question had been answered. The ground moved again, but this time Freddie was not scared, he closed his eyes and when he opened them again he was back with his classmates in Forest School. “Today I have had another wonderful adventure in the Forest”, he said to his friends!
                                                  The End


Freddie's Fire

Freddie and his sticks.
On his next trip to forest school, Freddie said goodbye to his mummy who left him at his school. Once mummy had gone Freddie was feeling a bit nervous and unsure so he spoke to one of his teachers who gave him a cuddle and told him they were going to go out into the forest area.
After that Freddie was excited to go and explore, he remembered his last time in the forest school and the people from long ago that he saw lighting fires to cook food and keep warm.
Freddie liked the idea of making a fire, so he spoke to his friends and they soon got busy collecting sticks to make a fire. Freddie and his friends piled the sticks up and he asked a grown up (Teacher) if they could light the fire, their teacher agreed and said “What a good idea Freddie, we can sit around it and sing some songs.”
The teacher got a match and tried to light the sticks that Freddie and his friends had piled up for the fire. The fire wouldn’t light, the teacher was puzzled and asked Freddie
“Why can’t we light the fire?”
Freddie thought about what he had seen the last time he was in the forest school and decided that the fire should have a base to sit on, soft dry leaves might work well he though, and that the sticks needed to be laid out in a pyramid rather than stacked.
He set to work collecting some stones which he placed around the fire and then laid the sticks over them to create a grate for the fire to sit on.
The teacher then lit the fire again and this time is stayed alight, Freddie’s new idea had worked.
Freddie and his friends each found a tree stump to sit on around the fire and they all enjoyed singing some songs, Freddie then had the idea to make some toast a bit like he had seen the people cooking in his last forest adventure. He got some bread and put it on the stick to toast it over the fire.
Freddie and his friends enjoyed a forest school picnic with their own toast they had made in their own fire and shared some of their favourite stories.
We’ll say goodbye now Freddie, enjoy your next forest school adventure.
Freddie's fire.
Freddie's teacher, lighting the fire.  
 

 










Freddie’s Teacher goes to Forest School


It was circle time at Forest School. Today, the children sat around a camp fire to sing songs and talk about what they enjoyed doing that day. Mrs Twig the teacher, began telling the children about all of the activities she enjoyed doing with them. “Mrs Twig, how do you know so much about forest school?” Asked Freddie. “Well I went to learn how to be a great forest school teacher at a school in the woods.” And here is how it happened...”

“Okay Mrs Twig” said the teacher, “I hear you want to learn how to be a great teacher of the outdoors so let’s start here” she pointed to a pile of bricks, logs and tree stumps. “What do we do with these?” Mrs Twig asked. The teacher picked up a large tree stump. “To teach children about the outdoors, we must be strong, healthy and fit. Children will need our help to carry heavy logs and build dens or camp fires.” So Mrs Twig helped her to move all of the heavy resources to show that she was strong! “Brilliant work” said the teacher.
“Now I want you to look at the tree over in the distance and tell me what we could do with that.” The teacher said to Mrs Twig. “Ummmmm, well how about it is used for climbing? Or as a gallery to display the art that the children make?” The teacher smiled and looked very happy. “Yes Mrs Twig that is excellent! A tree offers so many different adventures for children and they are some great examples. We must be able to see these chances for play and learning.”

They then moved on to a patch of overgrown grass. “Lastly, I want you to show me how helpful you can be and encourage me to rip up all of this grass so that we have a clear area for a den” explained the teacher. She began to pull the grass up very slowly and looked very tired. “Go go go, you can do it! Shall we work together so that it is done quicker? Let’s do it!” Shouted Mrs Twig. The teacher gave her a huge grin from ear to ear. “I am so pleased with your great skills in the outdoors Mrs Twig! I think you are ready to teach children all about forest school now” she said. And with that, Mrs Twig was offered a job as a teacher of the Forest School, where she learnt more and more each day.
 
“I love forest school!” She exclaimed.
… “So there you have it children. That is my journey and that is how I am here today!” Said Mrs Twig. “Wow!” Freddie sighed. “I want to be a forest school teacher like you when I grow up!”
The End


                                             Freddie finds the fairies.

Climbing trees.

One day while Freddie was enjoying playing out in the forest school woodland he heard a strange sound he had not heard before, It was a soft high pitched twinkling sound.
Freddie looked around to see where the sound was coming from, he looked up into the trees and saw a bright flash of light, which then darted forwards and disappeared behind another tree. He decided to follow the strange light and twinkling sound.
Freddie followed the light until he came across a huge old oak tree. He looked around and realised that he had not been to this part of the woods before.
Carefully he started to explore and came across what looked like a tiny house made of bark at the base of the old oak tree, he went to take a closer look and just has he held out one of his paws to touch the little house he heard a loud twinkling sound and a tiny voice saying
“Excuse me, but do you mind? That’s my house you’re poking there!” 
Freddie's photograph.
Freddie was shocked and he took a step backward, “Sorry!” he said apologetically “I didn’t realise anyone lived here, what are you? Who are you?”
The tiny creature flew up to Freddie’s nose and said to him,
“I am Flora, one of the forest fairies, we take care of the trees and plants that live in the Forest and help them to grow” she told him.
Freddie told Flora “I love exploring and playing in the woods, did you see that I have planted some fruit trees in the forest?” “Yes Freddie I have” said Flora “they made a wonderful addition to the forest, I sprinkled some of my magic fairy dust on them to help them grow big and strong.”
Freddie's apple tree.

Freddie thanked Flora and promised to give her some of the fruit from his trees when it was ready. He took out his camera and asked his new friend if he could take a photograph of her lovely little house, Flora was happy for Freddie to take the photograph.

Freddie was delighted to meet Flora, a new friend that loved being in the forest as much as he did. When it was time to go Freddie said goodbye to his new friend Flora and promised to visit her again soon, perhaps the very next day.
Have fun Freddie.


Freddie Feels Confused

(Roberts - Farina and Lam, 2012)
One morning Freddie woke up, jumped out of bed and got ready for a day of nursery exploring the outdoors. As he entered into the nursery school he felt a little bit confused, one entrance said ‘Forest School this way’ and the other said ‘Outdoor Learning this way’. Freddie stood and stared for a moment wondering and thinking what he should do. He wanted to learn about both and at the present moment did not understand what the difference was so he stood and thought a little harder. A lady named Oakley who worked in the nursery saw Freddie staring with a look of confusing on his face and asked him “What’s the matter Freddie?”  He replied “I just don’t know which door to choose, I’d like to go through both?” Freddie didn't turn to look at Oakley whilst he spoke he merely stared on wondering about what to do. “Why don’t you have a look through both? It’s ok to explore everything.” Freddie jumped up in excitement and ran through the forest school door.


When he got through the door to the other side he realised that the areas were connected. There were two doors but they both led through to the same place, now he was confused. He stood and scratched he ear before realising that outdoor learning and Forest school have many similarities. He walked further into the beautiful forest area when he saw Grandma Willow. “Hello Freddie” she shouted from a distance, “come and see what we are learning about.” Freddie walked over to Willow where he could see lots of his friends investigating the outside environment. “Willow, what is the difference between outdoor learning and forest school?” Freddie asked.

 “Well … outdoor learning has been around for many, many years, a long time before you or I were born. It can come in many shapes or forms and is great fun. There are some people called the government who recommend that young children should spend lots of time doing things inside and outside and so it is really important that our nursery lets you choose what you would like to do and we always make the outdoors open. Forest School is a little bit different because some adults can choose to go back to school and learn about the forest and how the forest can teach children, just like you, all different kinds of things, it is normally done within a Forest but not always and can offer you lots of different experiences you may never have had before, like toasting marshmallows on a fire and building dens using only what you see around you.”


Freddie still looked a little confused and he began to look all around him. “You see Freddie, the difference is the learning which the adults might like to do and the place in which a Forest School takes place, there are not toys as such, only the natural toys we can make, the forest offers lots of new and exciting things which you can’t always do just in the outdoors.” Freddie smiled at Willow and said “Thank You very much, I now know that Forest School is a great thing for me to do and if I can do it I should, but I also know I am very lucky to just play outdoors, in a forest or not in a forest.” Freddie took a deep breath and smiled at Willow who smiled back. “Maybe those Governy people you said about could let everyone have a forest school.” Willow look at Freddie, had a small laugh and said “Maybe, just maybe, that will happen one day.”
The End

Freddie has a risky day.


Freddie had been to forest school for a few days now and understood that he and his friends had to dress warm and listen to the teacher. Today was going to be a busy day climbing trees, making fires and, of course, using big clippers to cut down big brambles.

Freddie had learned from Mrs Twig that he had to stay safe and felt pretty safe that he knew how to do it since he was a big boy. Every day Mrs Twig made sure that we did not eat the lovely berries, to walk carefully and to stay away from the fire- unless we had story time. We were only allowed to sit on the log, although cooking marshmallows was a good time to get close to the fire.

My friend was lucky and got the first turn to cut down the brambles. She used her wellies to stamp the clippers down and pushed really hard to squeeze them together. She did it all by herself with no help from Willow, at all!

My friend was really lucky as her Mummy said she could not come to Forest School because it is too dangerous. Her Mummy said ‘she will hurt herself, and forests are not parks. Her Mummy said she ‘can’t even drink from a big girl cup yet’. Willow explained to her Mummy, and she was allowed to come!

Mrs Twig says she writes lots of lists to keep us safe, she calls them Risk Assessments. I do not understand why we need lists to climb trees or to build big dens because I am here to have fun.
I climbed a really big tree, and my heart was bumping out of my chest, I was so really very scared, but I did it! I had no help from anyone, and then my friend took a photo of me high up. I played hide from the dog, and I had lots of fun.

When I wanted to come down, I jumped down and into a little puddle of mud, so I wiped my hands on my knees and ran off to find Mrs Twig, so I could tell her how high to the sky I was!
When I got home from Forest School, I could not wait to tell Daddy and Nanny all about my adventure today.

Daddy was proud because I climbed a tree, but Nanny was sad because she said I could have broken my legs jumping out of trees, or eaten berries that would have made me sick. I told her all about Willow and lists and told her I was big enough to jump, and it did not hurt at all, I jumped out of the sky, all by myself.


This is a sample of a risk assessment from the Forestry Commission website (no date), and can be used to show Freddie’s Nanny.

This assessment highlights some of the potential hazards that you might want to include in your risk assessment. 

The actual hazards will depend on the site you are visiting, the group you are bringing and the activities you are doing. We strongly recommend that you visit the forest before you bring your group, so that you can correctly identify the hazards, and work out how you are going to manage the risk. You do not have to write a risk assessment in this format, but we recommend that you include the hazards, how you are going to control them and who is responsible for each of the controls. In this risk assessment, the hazards are classified according to their level of risk before and after controls are implemented:

Low Risk – Something which may result in minor damage or slight harm (i.e. scratch or bruise)
Medium Risk – Something which may result in a significant loss/damage or major injury (broken bone or other injury, which results in person being taken to hospital for treatment)
High Risk – Something which may result in extensive damage, multiple major injuries or death
Risk assessment written by:
Date:
Signed:

Risk assessment – XXXX School
Visit:
Who is going on the visit and which forest / site are you visiting?
Directions to forest: It is a good idea to write down clear directions to the site from the nearest town. You (or a member of the group) may need to read out these directions to the emergency services.
Activity:
What activities will you be doing when you get to the forest?
Grid Ref / Postcode:
The grid reference is useful if the site is quite remote and doesn’t have a building with a postcode
Date of Risk Ass:       
Date risk assessment is written
Date of Activity:
Date of visit to forest                               
Local Forestry Commission contact:
Contact number for local Forestry Commission office, in case of emergencies
Group leader mobile:
Include a note about the quality of mobile signal
Emergency phone:
999 You may prefer to include the phone number for your school / organisation here
Nearest payphone:
Useful in case there isn’t a good mobile signal
Emergency procedure:
Make a note of what you will do in case of emergency – who will you need to phone, who will carry a mobile phone, who is the first aider, where are the participants’ medical / emergency contact forms etc

The Hazard
What might happen?
Potential level of risk
Controls
Level of risk after controls
Responsibility
Uneven/slippery ground
Slips, trips and falls
Medium
• Safety talk to be given at start of activity
• Recommend no running
• Participants put into groups when necessary for activities & supervised by an adult
Low
Pre-visit site check carried out by group leader
Other forest users eg vehicles, mountain bikes, horses, dogs
Collision with pedestrians Encounters with dogs
High
• Safety talk to be given at start of activity – mention car parks, roads, forest trails, other forest users
• Cross roads together as a group
• Warn group of oncoming vehicles, bikes and horses
• Be calm and quiet when around horses
• Don’t pet unknown dogs
Low
Group leader to give safety talk Participants divided into groups with adults who will manage behaviour
Falling branches
Head or other injury
Medium
• Cancel visit in excessive wind
Low
Group leader to check site and weather prior to visit
Dog poo / mud / dirty hands / litter
Infections, cuts etc
Medium
• Provide wet wipes and water
• Ensure hand cleaning before lunch and at end of session
Low
Group leader to provide wet wipes and water



The Hazard
What might happen?
Potential level of risk
Controls
Level of risk after controls
Responsibility
Insects, wasps, plants and fungi
Possible allergic reaction, poisoning, choking
high
• Find out about known allergic reactions within group
• Warn children about wasps
• Discuss poisonous plants and fungi – warn children not to eat anything or put fingers in mouth
• Everyone to wash hands before lunch
• Carry antiseptic wipes
low
Group leader to find out about allergies and do safety talk
Medical conditions
Asthma, diabetes, epilepsy etc
high
• Find out about known conditions before session
medium
Group leader to take responsibility for medical conditions of children and to bring equipment eg inhalers
Lost children
Getting lost, panic attack, potential abduction
medium
• Group stays together at all times
• Adult at front and back of group
• Count children regularly
low
Group leader to do safety talk at start of session Adults to count and check children throughout visit


The Hazard
What might happen?
Potential level of risk
Controls
Level of risk after controls
Responsibility
Weather (hot, cold, wet)
Sunstroke, sunburn, hypothermia, cold
medium
• Ensure children wearing appropriate clothes
• Ensure children wearing sun cream
• Check that children are warm enough – encourage lots of jumping around etc if cold
low
Group leader to ensure children are appropriately dressed Adults to keep an eye on children’s condition
Forest operations
Fall from stacked timber; trips and slips; collision with forest machinery
high
• Safety talk to be given at start of activity • Don’t climb on stacked timber
• Warning signs to be read and followed when operations occurring
• Ensure adequate adult supervision
• Inform Forest Commision about visit in advance
low
Group leader to inform FC in advance of visit and to do safety talk Adults to read and follow safety / warning signs
Available at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/Sample_risk_assessment.pdf/$FILE/Sample_risk_assessment.pdf (Accessed: 1 October 2015).

the end

Name: Freddie
Date: Diary Observation
Time: N/A
Location: Forest School
Age: Early Years
Activity: Various Forest School Activities.




05/10/15: Freddie is exploring the Forest School area through role-play, “I am going to make a play, I am lost in the woods” (2). Freddie is “creeping” (1), when he sees two other children playing in the mud pit he pretends they are witches. On moving through the area he sees a Lion Boggit that he made earlier (1), he pretends to be scared (2). Following this Freddie pretends that one of his friends is “Grandmother Willow” and another is “Stick Man”(1), he plays co-operatively with them (1), leading the play. Freddie and his friends acknowledge how they have had a “Great Day at Forest School” (1). Freddie asked his teacher to write his story down so he could share it (1).
06/10/15: Freddie is considering is people have always learnt outside (1). He was able to climb a tree (1) without expressing any worry or concern (2). He acknowledges that he is “Scared” when he felt a rumble, but was able to comfort himself and remain calm (3). Freddie sat quietly and maintained constant attention (1) whilst watching the family light a fire (2), though he could not understand what they were saying he was able to comprehend their actions through body language (2). After the family had left Freddie carefully lowered himself from the tree (2) and said to his friends “Today I have had another wonderful adventure in the Forest” (3).
07/10/15: Freddie has arrived at Forest School and said “I feel Nervous and Unsure” (1), after a cuddle he smiled. Freddie spoke to his friends (1) about making a fire (3), they all began to collect sticks. Freddie and his friends piled the sticks up and asked his teacher to light the fire. The fire wouldn’t light, Freddie suggested this could be because it needed a base of dry leaves and the sticks needed to be in a pyramid shape (2). Freddie drew a circle in the mud to show where the fire should be (2), he then placed eight stones around the edge of the fire, counting them as he did so (1), laid down leaves and made a pyramid of sticks on top (2). All the children sat on logs around the fire and sang songs (1). Freddie suggested cooking some toast (3), he explained how the family he had seen yesterday had cooked (1), he then put some bread on a stick and held it over the fire (1). Once the toast was cooked, the children ate (2) and shared stories (1).
08/10/15: At circle time in Forest School Freddie asks the teacher (2) “How much do you know about Forest School” (3). While the teacher described her journey, Freddie sat still and maintained attention (1). After the story was finished he told the whole group that (2) he wanted to be a Forest School teacher when he grew up (1).
09/10/15: Freddie was playing in the woods and heard a sound (1), he said it was strange and he had never heard it before (2). He looked to where the sound was coming from (1) and saw a bright winkling light (2), he followed this light. After carefully exploring (1) he discovered a bark structure (1), he took a photo of this (3) and reached out to touch it. He imagined it was a fairy house and that the fairy would be cross at him for touching it (2). Freddie told the fairy about the fruit trees he had planted in the forest (3), it was acknowledged that these are an important addition (2). He said goodbye to the fairy and promised to visit again (1).


Characteristics of effective learning
Playing & exploring
Active learning
Creative and thinking critically
Prime areas
Personal, social and emotional development
1. Making relationships
2. Self confidence and self awareness
3. Managing feelings and behaviour
Communication and language
1. Listening and attention
2. Understanding
3. Speaking
Physical development
1. Moving and handling
2. Health and self care
Specific areas
Literacy
1. Reading
2. Writing
Mathematics
1. Numbers
2. Shape, space and measures
Understanding the world
1. People and communities
2. The world
3. Technology
Expressive arts and design
1. Exploring and using media and materials
2. Being imaginative
Key person / parents / carers notes

Freddie seems to be really enjoying his time at forest school and as shown above, he is able to display all Characteristics of Effective Learning and he is meeting goals in each Area of Learning. More incorporation of technology may aid his development by employing the Mosaic Approach to see the area from his point of view.








Future provision and support

Freddie evidently excels in the Forest School environment. Providing him with more time in this environment will assist in the continuation of his development in all areas.






Freddie’s Journey – International Perspectives
Freddie was up bright and early this morning as he knew that he would be going to forest school today with his friends. Freddie had so much fun in the forest making mud creatures, picking flowers and climbing trees. Though he thought to himself and wondered if all children across the world get to experience forest school like he does. Throughout the day this is all Freddie thought about and he did not know the answer so he went and sat by the fire, as he did he could see all his friends playing in different ways, some were lying on the ground looking at the clods and others were collecting sticks. Freddie could hear the laughter, talking and the sound of running feet. Freddie then turned to Willow and asked “do children in other countries get to play at forest schools every week like I do?”
Willow explained to Freddie that forest schools did not start in the UK but began in a group of countries called Scandinavia which are found in the north of Europe. These countries include Norway, Denmark and Sweden and often children living there spend much of the day outside. “Wow that sounds like fun, being able to spend all your time outside. I would be able to build so many more dens if I was able to play outside all day” Freddie told Willow.  “Not only that Freddie but children will go out in all weathers from sunshine, to rain and even snow as long as you have the right clothing you can attend forest schools all year round!” Freddie speculated on this idea. He began to imagine and dream about jumping in puddles when it rained, building snowmen in the snow and catching the leaves in the wind.
“Freddie Freddie” Willow was calling to grasp Freddie’s attention again because she wanted to let him know that not all countries believe that forest schools or even outdoor learning is important. This is because they believe that doing well in tests are more important and therefore children should be learning in the classroom. “That is a shame surely children will learn just as much or even more being outside. Even today I have learnt something new it was how to count leaves” exclaimed Freddie. Willow answered “you would think so Freddie, but let’s hope that other countries see how much children in the UK develop from experiencing forest schools and would want to introduce them to their children all over the world. “I do hope so” thought Freddie.

Freddie's Adventure Around the UK 


It was that time of week again, when Freddie gets to visit Forest School though this week it was going to be a bit different. Freddie was not going to take his normal journey on the mini bus to his local forest area instead he was going to take an adventure across the UK to explore what happens in other Forest Schools. This is because his Mrs Twig had spoken about how Forest Schools have progressed and developed which means lots of children get to enjoy Forest Schools and outdoor learning which all together equals lots of fun.


From his travels Freddie found out Forest Schools can be suitable for children of all ages. Freddie visited three different Forest Schools and he was amazed to find out that they happen at different times and in various environments. Freddie visited a Forest School which was on the grounds of the nursery, another on a site in a local community and finally one in the woods. Despite the diverse range of Forest Schools in the UK they all offered children the same opportunities to experience and learn in the outdoors.  Freddie realised that as long as you have some space in the outdoors you can start a Forest School.  It does not matter where the space is because there are always resources you can find to use as props or tools. For example Freddie picked up different natural materials in each of the Forest Schools in order to create an alphabet trail at his nursery and he was able to pick different types of fruit. 

Freddie enjoyed his adventure and he believes “Forest Schools are only going to continue to thrive as more and more children get the chance to attend one and have lots of just like I do”. Freddie went onto say “all you need is a space outdoors and suitable clothing and you can start to develop your own Forest School”.



Freddie's visits a New Forest School





It was Monday morning and Freddie woke up feeling extremely excited. He had been invited to a newly opened forest school to learn about activities that the children were really interested in at the moment. He set off for his journey with a spade, shovel and trowel in hand. “I’m sure I will need all of these” he thought.

After a short bus journey, Freddie had reached his destination… ‘Explore, Imagine & Create!’ the welcome sign for the forest school read. Freddie was in awe of the picturesque surroundings and enticing sound of laughter that echoed in the trees, that he failed to notice Willow, the schools founder. “You must be Freddie” a voice appeared. Rapidly, Freddie became aware of Willow and introduced himself, complimenting her on the beautiful environment that her school had created. They ventured closer, into the woodland to explore each area that the children had developed.


First, they were welcomed with what the children called “The Cosy Camp”. An open camp fire, tree stumps and logs for seats provided a safe and inviting place for the children to sit peacefully at and gather their thoughts.

They then wondered over to the role play area of the forest. Freddie was met with a den built out of sticks and bricks, a kitchen that was made from recycled wood and a basket including tarpaulin, leaves and string for dressing up. “This looks like so much fun! I could use my imagination to create some great outfits in here” exclaimed Freddie.
After an insight into the outdoor school, it was time for Freddie to join in with an activity that the children were most excited about. First, they gathered lots of mud and mixed it up with water using sticks they had collected from a nature walk. One child began patting the mixture onto a tree trunk, “come and help me” he called to Freddie. What was happening? Freddie wondered. “We’re making boggits!” The boy explained. Freddie continued to help, still confused about the meaning of ‘boggits’.


The boy stopped and said “Good. Now to make the face.” This is when Freddie realised… He was making a face for the tree! The children spent the afternoon giving their boggits eyes, a nose, a mouth and hair. They used leaves, stones, sticks and bark to decorate them and thought very carefully about what each resource would be best used for.
Freddie stood back and admired his boggit. “This is the best!” he said.
It was time for Freddie to set off home after a busy and exciting day learning all about what children are most fascinated in and how their ideas come together! “What another great adventure at a forest school” thought Freddie.

The end


Freddie’s reflective day.

Freddie had enjoyed every day of his two weeks in Forest School and had learned so many new things. He was sad that today was his last day.
There had been so many brilliant things he had done here- mud play, playing witches, he had made a stickman and made stories with his friends, being back at school was going to be much less fun.

Freddie looked around him and thought about all the other children that had come to play here over the years, he looked at the fire and imagined what his Grampy would have been doing if he were little and able to play here too. He thought for a minute, but found it difficult to imagine Grampy being small- would the trees have even been here to climb? Is this where Grampy learned to build the den they had made when Freddie went for a sleepover? Could Grampy have planted the trees that he loved climbing? 

Grandmother Willow had told lots of stories about when Grampy was little, and how mucky he used to get when he went out to play, although it did sound like Grampy was allowed a lot further away than Freddie was allowed!


Freddie looked around; he had started to love being in the forest, everything was magical- the stick he put right in the middle of a mud pie had become a dog. His friend was walking the dog around a prickly bush, and telling the dog not to eat the ‘yucky berries.' His other friend was busy looking for bugs inside a log; it looked like she had found a woodlouse and was trying to pick it up, as it curled into a ball, it became trickier to pick it up. Mrs. Twig was attempting to encourage her to hold her hand out so it could climb on instead.

It was a lovely warm and sunny day, and Freddie was just quietly looking around while sitting on a tree stump. Freddie thought how he was going to be able to go on the computer back at school, and play on the climbing frame, but it all seemed a little easier than it was here. Freddie felt like a big boy here, and the climbing frame would be too easy now he had learned how to climb big trees, and bugs would be a lot harder to find in the playground. Mrs. Twig said they like moss, but Freddie has never seen moss at school. 


Mrs. Twig had talked to everyone in circle time and asked if we would like to see if we could have a small forest area at school. There would not be big trees like here, but we could plant little trees and watch them grow up like the children. Everyone thought it would be a brilliant idea, and fun to see who would grow the tallest first. Everyone had great ideas on how we could make a Forest School area!


Freddie was not very good at writing in class, but had, for the first time carved an F in the dry mud with a stick- Mrs. Twig took a photo and was very proud of his achievement. At school, Freddie did not like writing in front of everyone either, but here, he could make an F with sticks, in mud and even in sloppy mud! 
Every time he made an F, Mrs twig or another assistant would come and look, and would wiggle our fingers and do a dance. Freddie felt relaxed and calm here, and he wanted to stay forever. 

One day, Freddie was going to be a Forest School Teacher, he was sure of it. It was better than any regular school, and he had learned how to be a ‘big boy’ here. Freddies friends liked it here too, it did not matter if they got dirty, or wet, they did not have to sit still at carpet time, or have to look at a big whiteboard to watch a video about outside- they were here. Smelling, touching and feeling nature, Freddie liked watching the shadows on the ground as the wind blew, and the noise of leaves in the wind. Sitting in a tree was great fun when it was windy- pretending to be an apple in the tree was fun, especially when it was time to jump down ready for home time.  

In the two weeks Freddie had been at Forest School, there was only one accident, but that was because his friend was running in the muddy puddle and slipped on the mud. His friend got a bumped knee as there was a stone in the mud, but it did not matter- the stone was only a stone! 
The mud was so funny to walk through, all sludgy and slimy, and it felt like your boots were being sucked off your feet! Mrs. Twig always made sure they were safe and didn’t do anything to hurt themselves or anyone else.

As the children prepared to leave forest school, Freddie wondered- what would it be like to do this in another country? Would it be muddier, colder, full of trees, or have no trees at all?
Freddie got on the bus and looked one more time at the place he had become a big boy.
Until next time, Freddie would have to wait and see………….



The end

Goodbye Forest School and goodbye Freddie

Author Chris

















4 comments:

  1. Thankyou Andy,

    Its nice to hear you've enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a soon to be mum I found your blog really interesting and eye opening, so thank you. Will there be a Freddie's Forest 2?..Freddie goes abroad?!

    Thanks

    Jenny x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Jenny for your lovely comment. We are glad that it has been an informative read for you! and we wish you all the best with your lovely bundle of joy.

    Unfortunately, due to study commitments towards the Degree that we are all doing, the Freddie Forest Blog will no longer be updated or added to. It is with great sadness that we must end Freddie's Journey for now, but it is hoped that in the near future, Freddie will be back to continue his story and inform you a great deal more.
    Thank you for your on-going support!

    ReplyDelete

We welcome any comments or questions....