Forest School

Craigievar School was one of the first schools in Scotland to become a Forest School. Since 2008 the children have been visiting the forest on a regular basis for outdoor learning. The chidren in P4-7 go to the forest for the whole day and the children in P1-3 visit for either the morning or the afternoon.

We learn new things each time we go and have cut down gorse to create bat runs, studied moths, made fishing rods, worm carriers, candle holders, learnt all the basics for lighting a fire, using saws and loads more.

It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, although on the whole we have been very lucky. We all wrap up warm and the camp fire provides a welcome source of heat if anyone gets a bit cold – usually the adults as they do not run around as much as the children! One of the best times to go is when it has been snowing – we get to see loads of animal tracks in the snow and try and work out what animal left them.

On several occasions we have put a motion sensor camera in the Forest to capture the animals that we don’t see during the day. The first time we were able to watch badgers as they came out of their set to play. The second time we were hoping to catch sight of a pinemartin as we have found evidence of them in the Forest, but even the Rangers have not actually seen them. We smeared a tree with peanut butter, hid the camera, and when we looked at the evidence we found we had captured not one, but two pinemartins having a lovely time licking the food off the tree!

We love it!

December 2017:
With temperatures expected to be below freezing it was agreed that it was just too cold for the children to go up to the forest.  However, with our very own wildlife garden we were able to still spend time doing Forest School activities in the school grounds before heading in to the warmth and making Christmas wreaths with treats for the wildlife and wooden reindeer – what a great day!  

March 2017:
A lovely day in the forest. Primary 4-7 focussed on wildcats and also started to find out about beetles.

February 2017:
We had a lovely day in the woods to end the first half of this term.  Primary 1-3 visited in the morning and collected sticks for boiling the Kelly kettles, played and made a seesaw, enjoy the warmth of the fire and made some crafts with sticks and wool.  Primary 4-7 planted trees and worked on their tool skills making broomsticks and puppets. Primary 4/5 took action photos for story writing back in school.  What a lovely day! Happy mid-term break.

From the Forest Ranger:
Many thanks to the pupils, staff, and parent helpers of Craigievar Primary School who planted 100 trees in the snow and cold as part of their forest school on Craigievar estate. The forest school pupils always enjoy their time in the woods at Craigievar but are very happy to put something back to help the forest and its wildlife. Thanks to all of you!