In the Junior School we try to encourage the children to express their feelings. This is particularly important at the moment, with so many changes going on in the world around them. We have regular tutor times and always try to make time to talk to the children. Knowing the children as well as we do, it is obvious when they are pensive, upset, just not themselves or that they might need to talk.
Forest school is a place where the children are relaxed and happy, indeed, they may spend the week planning what game they are going to play or how they can improve their dens. This is the perfect opportunity to chat to the pupils, especially when we go walking but they are more than happy playing in their bubbles doing child-initiated activities.
For last Friday’s forest school, we decided to do a whole school activity. We had been given some clay (thank you Dr Telling) and thought it would be a great idea to make faces to put on the trees around the tree house. Talking about our different emotions was the starting point, then I asked the pupils to sculpt a face from clay with an expression of their choosing. The results were amazing; most of the pupils produced some really beautiful expressive faces. Some even added moss, lichen and leaves to their final sculpture.
The children truly did express their feelings with clay! As you can see clearly from the photographs, the pupils had a wonderful time and it will be interesting to see how the sculptures have changed when we go to forest school this Friday.
Amanda Freer, Junior School Headteacher