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Headteacher : James Pynn
Age Range : 4 to 11
Number of Pupils : 24

Latest OfSTED Report:

October 2017

Latest SIAMS Report:

March 2017


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Forest Schools

Summer Term - Hovingham Estate Woodland

10th May 2016

The good weather seemed to arrive this week and the session at Hovingham Woods was superb. The children have been really observant in looking for the signs of change as we walk through the village each week and their knowledge of trees and flowers is greatly improved. At the woods, the Year 6 team worked particularly hard on rebuilding a shelter some of the children had previously made and other year groups set about creating their own shelter using tarpaulins and natural materials. We looked at the increasing speed at which the woodland is changing; we are beginning to notice violets, cow parsley, white deadnettles and also many stinging nettles which we are getting used to! Wild roses and honeysuckle are also beginning to come through as well as many tiny saplings. We will be doing some more plant identification next week. We had a special visitor from East Barnby Outdoor Education Centre who had come along to see the children enjoying the benefits of Forest Schools whilst completing the final part of Mrs Harland's assessment. She was particularly pleased to see the children demonstrating many great skills and leadership qualities whilst assessing and managing the necessary risks independently. Each group showed determination, collaboration and a great deal of improved communication since our sessions first began with Mr Gee back in Joan's Wood. It has been a real joy to see the children develop these skills as the FS Programme has continued and reap the benefits of them in the classroom context too. Thanks to Mr Wilson for accompanying us once again.

3rd May 2016 

Having not been down to the Hovingham Wood for nearly a month, we noticed lots of changes both on our walk through the village and in the wood itself. The children used all their shelter building experiences so far to work in smaller groups and erect their shelters. The wind was an issue that they dealt with brilliantly; problem solving as their ideas developed. The groups showed great resilience, collaboration and cooperation whilst completing the challenge. Hot chocolate was served in the shelters and some children made their own tent pegs by whittling wood. A huge thanks to David Blades, Ellie and Charlie's Granddad, who came along to support us this week.


Spring Term - Hovingham Estate Woodland

Class 2 have really enjoyed the forest school sessions on a Tuesday and have extended their topic work into the wood by creating Viking long boats and sailing them down the stream; creating the monsters from their stories out of mud, sticks and other natural resources; imagining Hovingham Wood as an Anglo-Saxon camp and thinking about what is different to now and what is the same. The children have represented the school impeccably on these outings and I am pleased to say these visits will continue after Easter on a Tuesday. Please remember to bring wellies, old clothes and the waterproofs you have washed, back to school on the first day of the new term as we will be going to the wood then. Please return the high-visibility jackets too as these are needed for all school trips. Our forest session photographs are on the website so please do have a look.

Click here to view the photographs 

We are delighted to be able to offer a further Forest Schools session as part of our curriculum activities for Year 3- Year 6 pupils at Hovingham School. Hovingham Estate has offered the use of a piece of woodland in the village just beyond the playground along the Spa Road. The children in Class 2 will take part in one session per week, beginning next Tuesday 1st March and continuing until Easter. We will then look at the summer timetable to plan the next group of sessions. 

Staff have worked in conjunction with the Outdoor Education team and Hovingham Estate to fully assess the site. Mrs Harland, who will be leading these sessions, has completed the initial part of the ONC Level 3 Forest School Leadership Award and will be working towards the qualification during the forthcoming term. 

Years 1 and 2  - Joan's Wood, West Ness

Click here to view the photographs

Years 3 and 4 - Joan's Wood, West Ness

"We went to West Ness to Joan’s Wood. When we got there the first thing we did was found a good base camp. This was so we all knew where to return to if needed. We had calls that we all agreed on. So we knew when to return to base.

Then we made dens to protect us from wind and rain. We made them out of plastic sheets, string, tent pegs and we also used natural things that were in the woods. Like sticks and small branches. We had to make sure that everyone could fit in and it was waterproof. It was a tight squeeze but we managed to get everyone in. The teachers poured water over our dens to see if we got wet. Luckily we didn’t.

We also make fairy houses out of sticks, moss and leaves. We make these to protect the fairies from a terrible creature that had been destroying their homes. The fairies were really grateful as they left us thank you notes.

On another visit we made tree faces. We drew faces on tree trunks, with mud and leaves. We did this with our bare hands. Everyones looked amazing.

We really enjoyed investigating the woods. We found a skull and a really great tree that was hollow. We hid inside it.
At the end of each session we had hot chocolate and biscuits, which Mrs Carter and Mrs Lealman made by boiling water in the Kelly kettles. It was Lovely!"

By Fiona, Charlotte and Kieran

Click here to view all the year 3 and 4 Forest Schools photogrpahs


Year 5 and 6 - Joan's Woods, West Ness

Year 5 and Year 6 have all thoroughly enjoyed their three Forest School sessions in Joan's Wood. They have developed a number of practical skills such as shelter building, whittling fire wood and using natural resources. As well as the practical aspects of the sessions, the children have developed a great deal of other skills such as teamwork, co-operation, consideration and resilience. The fairy villages stood up to the weather and there was even evidence that they had been lived in! Some of the children had noticed that a lot of the trees had eyes on their bark so one session was used to develop this fascination by making them into faces/people/animals using natural resources (mainly mud!). The stories that the children made up about their creations were brilliant too.  A special thanks must go to Henry for baking buns and Ellie for making chocolate biscuit slices which were both lovely, thoughtful gestures. Click here to view all Year 5 and 6 photographs

Friday 8th January 2016 - Joan's Wood, West Ness (Y 5 & 6)

All the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the activities that took place last Friday. The staff were extremely pleased and impressed with the children's enthusiasm and the way they engaged with each other and the activities.  

"We travelled to Joan’s Wood on 8th January. When we arrived, as a group, we decided on some calls in case we were hurt or if we needed to go back to base etc. To find a perfect base we had to think about the soil, the trees around and how safe it would be. A few of us found a perfect place to set up base and we all agreed. Sitting down at base, the teachers used a Kelly Kettle to heat water for a drink. We had brought lots of outdoor equipment which helped us greatly to build our shelters near the base. When we were ready, Mr Gee told us to get into groups and go and build a fairy village as all the fairy villages would have been washed away because of the floods. We all had different and creative ideas; the villages looked great in the end. We ended the session sipping on our hot chocolate and enjoying biscuits. What a wonderful afternoon we had."

click here to view all Year 5 and 6 photographs



Spring Term 2016

We are delighted to be able to offer Forest Schools as part of our curriculum activities from January 2016.  The children will take part in one session per week, grouped as follows:

Yr 5/6 - Friday 8th, Friday 15th and Friday 22nd January

Yr 3/4 - Friday 29th January and Friday 5th February

Yr 1/2 - Friday 4th and Friday 18th March

Forest Schools has developed from the Scandinavian education system and is about children and young people building self esteem and independence through exploring and experiencing the natural world. Forest Schools is a long term programme delivered by trained practitioners within a natural environment. Each Forest School programme is tailored to meet the needs of individuals within that group and is continuously developed as the children/young people grow in confidence, skills and understanding.

The ethos of Forest Schools allows learners the time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands on experience. It also allows practitioners to step back and observe the children/young people in order to then encourage and inspire individuals to achieve through careful scaffolding and facilitating.  

Where will my child will be going?

We will be using a wood owned and managed by The Woodland Trust called Joan’s Wood at West Ness.  The site is safe with clearly marked boundaries and secure gates to enter and exit.  It is thoroughly risk assessed and managed appropriately by school staff in conjunction with The Woodland Trust.

What will my child be doing?

Your child will be experiencing a wide variety of multisensory experiences within the natural environment. The sessions will run in all weather conditions (unless weather conditions are dangerous).

The child led ethos of Forest Schools means that once at the site the children can choose what to participate in, carefully supported and encouraged by trained adults. Possible activities may include:

  • Hunting for minibeasts
  • Natural crafts – making necklaces from elder, crowns or dream catchers from willow, collages from natural materials, weaving with long grasses, making tree cookies.
  • Mud Painting and sculptures
  • Digging
  • Shelter building and knot tying
  • Using tools for a purpose – such as peeling bark from sticks with potato peelers to make toasting forks.
  • Fire building and cooking on a camp fire

Sessions are planned around the individual’s and group’s needs, and built upon each week. The earlier sessions will concentrate on safety, establishing boundaries and routines. As the children develop in confidence and familiarity with the environment the sessions focus on the development and consolidation of skills and understanding.

What benefits will my child get from participating in Forest Schools?

Forest Schools supports the holistic development of the child:

  • Health and fitness – Being active in an outdoor, natural environment.
  • Increased emotional wellbeing –There is research available supporting this.
  • Social development – Communicating, and negotiating with peers and adults to solve problems and share experiences.
  • Skills development – Developing fine and gross motor skills and coordination for real purposes.
  • Gaining knowledge and understanding – Multi–sensory, real-life learning.
  • Individualised learning – Careful observation allows adults to tailor support to children’s own interests and stage of development.
  • Curriculum Links – Forest Schools supports all areas of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of all participants is central to everything done within a Forest Schools programme. Some of the activities the children may participate in are ‘higher-risk activities’ (such as campfire cooking or tool use). However, these activities are not available to the children until certain behaviours and boundaries are established. Children are encouraged and supported in recognising and managing risk for themselves, through real life situations and experiences.

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