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Saplings are really enjoying our weekly Forest School sessions. This week we started off bug hunting and pond dipping before we moved round to our log circle where we learnt all about how to make a fire and the rules for keeping safe. Holly taught us how to use the peelers to make our sticks so they were clean and ready to toast marshmallows. She also showed us how to use the fire steels to make sparks to light the cotton wool. Once we had lit the cotton wool (it was very tricky!) we picked it up using sticks and added it to the fire pit. Very quickly we had a lovely warm fire ready and we could begin to cook the marshmallows!  


We also enjoyed lots of the same activities as last time - the hammock, tools and den building were still very popular. The children love climbing the fallen tree and using the rope swing and are becoming really adventurous. We are encouraging the children to take responsibility for their own safety and are giving them opportunities to talk about their own risk assessments of activities and what they need to do to keep themselves safe!
Introducing Cookie and Sprinkle.
Back in November Saplings class decided that they wanted a class pet and so they wrote a letter to Mr Sandford asking if they could have a pet dog. This started a series of letters backwards and forwards between the children and Mr Sandford. There were some interesting suggestions including chameleons, monkeys, peacocks and parrots. Following some research by the children which involved visiting the school library to find non-fiction books about animals the children requested guinea pigs or hamsters. 
On Monday we set off in two minibuses and went to Pets at Home. When we arrived we were met by Jackie who taught the children all about guinea pigs and how to look after them. We chose two guinea pigs which we brought back to school with us. The children came up with a huge list of names and voted on their favourites. Cookie and Sprinkle are now incredibly popular members of Saplings class. Already the children are taking responsibility for feeding them and making sure they have everything they need. Of course stroking them and holding them is also a much loved activity too!
Today Saplings have been very busy using our new oven. The children read the recipe, measured the ingredients and made biscuits with very little help. They were so proud as they carefully put their biscuits into the oven and were even more excited as they came out! Yummy! 
What a fantastic time we are having in Saplings class. We can see such a lot of difference in each and every child in the class as they are learning so fast! 
There has been much excitement this week as we have introduced our woodwork bench. All the children have had the opportunity to learn to use the tools.  We have concentrated on learning the rules for using the workbench. The children must be supervised at all times and a maximum of 2 children can work there at any one time. The children know that they must wear safety glasses at all times. They also know that when they use the saw they must put the wood in the clamp and have 2 hands on the saw so that they can not cut themselves. 


Before the children use this area they must draw a plan and write about what they intend to make - we have seen so much writing!