The final week before half term was fairly uneventful at school, helped by it being a short week. N did come home from school struggling with a sore throat and cough on Wednesday, falling asleep by 6.15pm on the sofa. But the next day he woke a lot better and was fine to be back at home for the last day. I think he didn’t want to miss out on Forest School.
So we’re now into half term, and N is spending a few days on the farm with his dad while I work, and then I’ll have 2 days off to look after him.
N loves being outside and he is really loving forest school. He’s in the first group of his year to do it, and loves telling me what they’ve been doing. This week they were den building and each person got to use a saw with the teacher. N was so excited to be doing that. I think much of the excitement is that he gets to wear his farm overalls at school for forest school. It rained this week though so he was definitely layered up with waterproofs over the top of his overalls. He must have been sweltering, although I don’t think he notices.
Top tips for forest school clothing:
- Comfy clothes you don’t mind being ruined – we stick with elasticated ankle jogging trousers as they’re easy for young children to get boots over without having fold their trouser legs in. T-shirt and sweatshirt, in the summer long sleeved t shirt
- Water proof jacket and trousers are essential. We buy them from Mountain Warehouse as they’re a decent thickness, and have the sizing we need but you can buy similar waterproofs online if you’ve no outdoor shops near you.
- Wear the waterproof trousers over the boots instead of inside. If they’re going to be going in and outdoors and need to take off the trousers to go inside, get them to pull the trousers down on top of the wellies as they step out of the boots. Then they can just step into the trousers and boots together. So quick and easier.
- Hats and gloves are good especially when handling outdoor things.
N does seem to do a lot more artwork than he did in his earlier years but it’s more structured to the topic they’re working on. So this term he brought home various space pictures, along with various beaded keyrings that he’s made in morning club. These are so sweet because he’s made 2 for himself and then wanted to make one for a girl in year 1 he’s friends with (she doesn’t go to morning club so doesn’t get the chance to make her own) and one for his dad.
But the artwork he was most proud of was his moon buggy. I think they were following a guide or picture but it’s kind of recognisable as a buggy of some sort. He’d taken in Guinness cans for wheels (although with only one, the rest were yoghurt pots), and plenty of straws which he also shared with someone else who didn’t have any. The moon buggy was given pride of place – the middle of the living room floor amongst all the farm toys, until I got sick of its wonkiness and him not clearing things up. So it’s out in the utility room.
While N still isn’t the most creative child (he’s taken after me on that front), he does enjoy it when he does arts and crafts on a topic.
One of the best parts of the school term is the open morning. Every term there’s one where the parents can go in, talk to the teacher informally and look at the children’s work. Now N’s started doing similar writing out of school to what he’s doing in, it means I get a good idea of what he’s doing day to day. But it’s nice to see his English, maths and grammar books. It’s easy to see when he gets tired or sloppy – huge writing turns up.
His teacher is really pleased with his maths, and he’s holding his own working on a table with different people to last year. And his reading and writing continues to improve which is a relief. Much as N moans at home about doing English and reading, he does at least see it as something he can do now and not something that’s too difficult. The teacher and TAs are obviously doing something right and he’s reacting to it in the right way. I do think grammar is definitely going to be his thing as it’s a logical black or white answer rather than creative writing. We just need to work on him thinking about his spellings as he’s writing, because he’s not linking the words he recognises in his reading books, to words he wants to write down. Hopefully that will improve over the next year.
The next challenge is getting him to read something over the half term, and for him to learn his spellings which he’s not done yet since getting the new ones set a week ago!
Still it’s now a week off, and he can mostly relax ready for the next half term.