During their Forest School sessions, Year 4 have been thinking about how to construct with survival in mind. They needed to think of the potential risks associated with surviving outside, particularly if it was over night. We discussed what effects being exposed to the elements can have on the human body and how this can be mitigated into the design. Builds need to be erected quickly and efficiently and choosing appropriate resources is key. Before they started thinking about shelter from above, their focus was how to prevent body heat from leaching into the cold floor. This meant creating a bed. First task was location, where would be most sheltered, what is the wind direction? Then how large does the bed need to be? It’s no good guessing and then finding out your head or feet are falling off! They then needed to collect suitable materials. Many chose fir branches from last years Christmas trees, this provided some “bounce” which added comfort whilst trapping air between the body and the ground. Some made a base using sticks, others used pallets. After testing some found the fir branches a bit spiky so layers of fallen leaves were piled on top to soften the layers.
During reflection the children tried out each others beds and gave feedback. Reflective practice is a feature of each session to ensure learners and practitioners can understand their achievements, develop emotional intelligence and plan for the future.