Bright Sparks Forest School

Bright Sparks Forest School

Providing an experience for children like no other, developing a love for nature

Our forest school sessions are carried out throughout the school term in pre-school and throughout the school holidays for children aged 5 - 11 years. Our forest school provides hands-on learning opportunities in a natural environment that enables children to develop holistically. It encourages their independence, confidence and self-esteem through open ended activities and experiences. It is avai

Operating as usual

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 29/09/2023

The children from Summerfield's Primary have been very interested in mini beasts over the last couple of weeks making snail enclosures, bug hunting and finding all sorts of creatures in our little area. So we decided to make some mini worm farms and a large one to keep in forest school. After much research we have looked into how to create our worm farm and how take care of them over the coming weeks. The children have discussed their responsibility and are taking this very seriously. As well as this the children have enjoyed having a go at conker drilling to make different creations and built the most amazing conker run.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 29/09/2023

In our pre-school sessions this week construction and investigating seemed to be the popular play this week. Our pre-school children amaze me with their ideas, problem solving and curiosity in their play. Creating conker slides, exploring printing with objects in the clay, looking at things close up through magnifying glasses, binoculars and plastic tubes and creating a work of art on a large canvas. Absolute fun as usual!

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 26/09/2023

My Thursday Summerfield's Primary school group this term have already settled into forest school life after just two weeks. It's so lovely to get to know new children and watch how they relate to the environment and each other. This group are full of creative ideas, are really curious about living things and are enthusiastic about trying out all that is available. We have experimented with berries, spinach and rock pigment to make paint. The children have created music using water in jars, clay creatures, delicacies in the mud kitchen and loved making their own forest school pendants.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 25/09/2023

An exciting start to the autumn term. We have two new groups in forest school who will be spending one morning every week for the whole year in forest school. It is going to be such a great experience for the children to see the changing of the seasons and the different types of activities that this will bring.
What a great start too, the children were fantastic little explorers. Both groups settled in so well to the new environment and initiated their own play. They were enthusiastic to learn about identifying risks in the environment and contributed some great and very relevant ideas. Here are a few photos of our first sessions last week.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 18/08/2023

It always makes me smile to see the children deeply engrossed in their play. The have shown great skills and perseverance to develop some unique things this week. They have made mini wooden houses, game spinners, mini cars and trains, spinning tops, note books and pencils, sand sculptures and some great clay goblins

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 18/08/2023

Amazing imaginations in the den building area this week, the children did fantastic completing all of our troll challenges. They had to build an enchanted hideout to stay safe from the trolls, create traps, bridges and quick getaways, they made protective totem poles and decorated seeing stones and made concealment potions to protect them from the evil trolls. What an exciting week we have had!

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 18/08/2023

It was lovely to see such creative and imaginative children this week. I set up a small world fairy area for the children to play with. Over several days the area developed into something quite magical. The children added to the area making windows and balconies on the tree, they made lots of mini furnishings and accessories with our clay and build bridges, castles, extra rooms, a garage, play park, and a fairy garden. This kept many of the children busy for several hours, it was lovely to see their concentration and enthusiasm.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 18/08/2023

For our fantasy week we set up a troll kitchen in our mud kitchen with lots of magical ingredients and potion menus. The children had fun creating some interesting spells, potions and gruesome treats, coming up with some interesting names for what they had made.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 14/08/2023

There was creative vibes around forest school last week. The children made some great clay creations, made spin drums in the wood work area, some very impressive dens went up decorated out with cushions, tables and seating and big enough for at least 15 children. We tried out making elder paint brushes, which were a success and the children made some interesting potions in the mud kitchen too.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 14/08/2023

Exploring making paint by pounding rock pigment and mashing berries and spinach. The children made some amazing colours to paint onto their fabric. A very therapeutic activity!

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 14/08/2023

We made the most of the weather last week and enjoyed building fires, practicing the skill of fire lighting and whittled willow to make charcoal on the fire. The children loved the whole process of making charcoal and once it was ready they used the charcoal to draw with and grind up into powder and make ink to use with feather quills. This was a very popular activity and the children created some great pictures too!

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 14/08/2023

Over the last few weeks the children have helped us to create a new beautiful mini beast area in forest school as it was looking a little bit shabby and needed a revamp. This area now has a large mini beast hotel and a bug ball, a toad house, log pile with butterfly feeders and bee discs hanging up too. Hopefully we will have lots of new little residents moving in for the children to investigate.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 07/08/2023

Due to high winds last week, we had to take one of our forest school sessions indoors. However the children thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed busy all day with a variety of woodwork activities making dreamcatchers, decorative slingshots, clay vases and bizarre creatures. We picked apples from our tree on site and made delicious apple pies and even had an indoor camp site which the children turned into a secret lair.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 07/08/2023

Last week we made some beautiful tic tac toe games which involved printing leaves and flowers on little canvas bags using their hammers. On the back we drew the grid needed for playing the game and used paint pens to decorate pebbles for the playing pieces which were themed around different things in nature such as flowers and insects, sun and rainbows or anything the children could think of.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 07/08/2023

We themed lots of activities last week around games. We made tin can targets to knock down with elder potato guns and sling shots which the children made during the session. They built marble runs from sand to see who could roll their marble the furthest. The children became detectives to solve the clues for our den building challenges, cracking codes. unpicking locks and solving riddles.
The children also enjoyed playing dragon tag and bat and moth out on the field.

Photos from Naturezones Wildlife Education Trust's post 03/08/2023
Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 31/07/2023

First week of the school holidays was a very busy one. We began transforming our mini beast area which will be an on-going project over the summer. The children enjoyed testing out our new bamboo water run making some fantastic boats in the woodwork area and had fun racing their coconut boats. The children made some beautiful clay critters and enjoyed making butterfly feeders to hang in their gardens.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 07/07/2023

What a wonderful two days we have had with our pre-school forest school groups at Naturezones Wildlife Education Trust in Blackwater.
We would like to say a big thank you to Angela and Emma for making the sessions so interactive and fun for the children.
The children made their own bee, butterfly and dragonfly wands to help pollinate the flowers. They enjoyed picking and scattering seeds from wild flowers. We explored the beauty of the meadow areas catching sight of many types of butterflies and bees and had the luck of seeing a slow worm and listening to the sounds of many types of birds and crickets.
The children were excited to find all of the hidden animals and built some amazing habitats for baby squirrel and robin. The children delighted at the sight of two beautiful red squirrels bounding towards us along the trail. The whole experience from start to finish was packed full of curiosity and exploration. I would definitely recommend visiting, it is a place of absolute beauty.


Last chance to book on our forest school days for the summer. Only one or two spaces left on the days shown below.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 30/06/2023

The children had great fun exploring mud on 'International Mud Day' on June 29th.
They built an amazing Jurassic volcano and decorated it with trees, stones, logs and dinosaurs before exploding it with vinegar and bicarb, it was a great team effort and very exciting.
They crushed up chalk and mixed it with mud to create some fantastic paint for body tattoos and also enjoyed the story 'The Amazing Mud Cake'.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 29/06/2023

As part of our 30 days wild - The children showed amazing skills with the hammer and drill to make little wooden owls after listening to the story 'Wow said the Owl'.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 29/06/2023

It has been a busy summer term so far in forest school and having loads of fun exploring something wild every day for 30 days wild with all of the children in our pre-school.
Here are a few things that we have been doing -
Making butterfly wands and butterfly feeders.
Picking, preparing and tasting some of our fruit and salad growing in our garden.
Leaf printing onto fabric to make beautiful bunting to hang up in the garden
Using great teamwork in the construction and den building area to make cars, boats and dens.
Getting creative to make various types of ladybirds and bees using wooden discs and drilling with palm drills in forest school and making them out of card, wool and paint in preschool.


30 days wild activity- inspired by the children’s love of mini beasts we made puff pastry strawberry jam and lemon curd snails. They were yummy!

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 11/06/2023

A busy Saturday with Naomi sorting our forest school area. An overdue task that took 7 hours of much needed weeding of the paths, filling a wheelbarrow. Cutting back the overgrown brambles and stinging nettles and giving the area a good tidy up. End results make it worthwhile. Quite unbelievable what a little sunshine does to an area and before you know it it’s like a jungle. Our pond is so full of life and the area looks amazing once again.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

We recently held a food for life get together event where we invited the children's grandparents in to help us to plant up lots of fruit veg and herbs in our pre-school garden.
We decided it would be lovely to get to know the children's grandparents and help the children to learn a little about where food comes from and how it grows. It was a wonderful few days of planting and our garden now looks amazing thanks to all of the grandparents who kindly donated lots of plants and pots and taught us some great new ideas for our area.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

Day 5 of 30 days wild - exploring the school field with our nature scavenger hunt the children found many of the things on their list and even laid down to gaze at the sky to find funny shaped clouds.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

To celebrate world ocean day in our forest school sessions this week the children were sent a letter from Greenpeace who asked them if they could help to clean up the ocean and get rid of the rubbish. In our den building area the children enjoyed this role play experience and built the most magnificent boats adding steering wheels, flag poles and even a bin made from a tyre to put the rubbish in. They used litter pickers and nets to clear the rubbish out of the ocean and free all of the trapped sea creatures.
As well this we recycled lots of plastic bottles to make sun catchers for the children to take home and hang in their gardens.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

Day 4 - Some of the children got to pick and eat our very first red ripe strawberries which as you can tell by their smiling faces they really enjoyed and said they were very juicy.
We also investigated a small oak tree that I dug up from my garden which had the acorn still attached and shared the story Little Acorn' to help the children understand the life cycle of acorn to oak tree.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

Day 3 of 30 days wild - exploring the sensory experience of going barefoot in mud, grass and water. As you can imagine the children thoroughly enjoyed this!

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

Day 2 of 30 days wild - planting up some beautiful sweet pea and fuchsia to brighten up our pre-school garden.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 09/06/2023

Every year we take part in 30 Days Wild in our pre-school and forest school.
Because we are not in at a weekend we spend 30 days throughout the summer term doing something wild everyday.
This will be between the dates of 5th June - 14th July.

Please check out our posts to see all of the wonderful things the children are doing.
Day 1 - Litter picking for world environment day, the children took it very seriously cleaning up our world.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 05/06/2023

Last week for my Summerfields Primary school group was fantastic. We really did try and cram in as many activities as possible and all chosen by the children. The woodwork area being a favourite as usual we made flower presses, cars and guitars. There was a spectacular mud mural, mud tattoo and camouflage paint. A foot spa was very popular and a great idea of the children's considering the hot weather. A lovely finish around the fire circle with some of my homemade campfire cakes and such wonderful words spoken by the children about their favourite aspects of their time in forest school.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 05/06/2023

Practicing the skill of hammering with the children we made some geoboards. The children concentrated so well and are developing great control when using a hammer. The woodwork area is becoming a favourite each week now with most of the children now requesting more at the end of the session.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 05/06/2023

Before we broke up for the May holiday my pre-school groups were given the challenge of building a water run that would float their bottle top boats as far as possible. This took lots of thoughts of how they would build and join it all together. There was great team work happening, lots of problem solving with the leaky guttering and water flowing backwards due to the sloping ground but they were successful in the end. They made their boats with some adjustments of how to attach their bottle lid, clay, stick and leaf.


💛 via Wilder Child

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 19/05/2023

Following on with our fairy theme the children really wanted to have a go at fairy fires with fairy smores. I think it is obvious to say that one fairy smore was not enough so several more were needed. Over the weeks the children have perfected their forest school fire building with this week making very mini ones. They can literally light their cotton wool in seconds now having having accomplished great firing striking skills too.
It was a relaxing afternoon with children discussing how much they love forest school.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 19/05/2023

Teaching the skills of sawing and drilling this week to make pendants with the pre-school children went really well. The children were confident and enthusiastic and showed great skills with tools.
The children however had better ideas and found my forest school cars and asked if they could make a car as well. In the end we made 6 cars as well, which they personalised with the felt tip pens and ended the session with rather serious and competitive races.

Photos from Bright Sparks Forest School's post 19/05/2023

It's amazing the discussions that can happen over a dead mouse!
The children on Thursday were fascinated by the dead mouse we found laying on a log. They knew it was dead but still thought we might be able to revive it by taking it to the doctors or the vets. However, not all were convinced by this with one child saying 'when it's dead, it's dead'. They had a long debate over what had caused it such as, it was trod on by something big, it was a cat, it was poorly and it just got old'. We didn't quite get to an agreement on this but they did decide it needed to be buried. The children found a good place where it would not get disturbed and worked together to dig a hole and bury it.
A lovely learning experience for the start of the session.

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Atkinson Drive

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8am - 4:30pm
Friday 8am - 4:30pm
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