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Forest School

The Woodland Trust Green Tree Schools Awards encourages outdoor learning and inspires pupils to find out about trees, woods and wildlife.In recognition of our achievements at the Forest School Field (so far) we have been awarded a Silver Award. Well done team Goathland! We are very proud of everyone involved in our Forest School vision and we thank every single one of you.

Survival Day - All the children had a great day at Forest School yesterday. They learnt a variety of new fire lighting techniques, explored how to purify water and tried some tasty snacks - fried meal worms, crickets and buffalo worms! They also worked in mixed age teams to build some excellent temporary tarpaulin shelters. We would like to thank Rachel from Wilderness Outdoor Education for all the resources she brought with her and for her enthusiastic approach which ensured everyone had a fabulous day. 

Survival Day Gallery

This term at Forest School, the children will be focusing on exploring different plants: trees, grasses, herbaceous and woody plants, moss and fungi. In our first session, Base 1 found living, dead and never living items and sorted these into hoops. The younger Base 2 children hunted for examples or all 6 plant types, while the Year 6 children created plant classification flow charts. It was lovely to be able to introduce our new Reception children to our School Field.

We have been learning to weave grass, leaves, feathers and the occasional flower onto wooden frames. It was quite a fiddly process but their final creations were uniquely beautiful. We have also constructed leaf bowls which was a sticky job but very worthwhile. Their final bowls are very delicate but because of the different shapes, textures and colours they chose they look stunning.

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Our Open Afternoon was a great success. We hope all those who came along to join in the activities enjoyed their time with us. The children made imaginative woodland ‘boggarts’ (mischievous woodland spirits) out of clay and natural materials which they collected from around the site. Our Year 6 children also planted birch saplings for the Queens Jubilee Green Canopy Initiative.

Yesterday we learnt about the 5 different vertebrate groups, then made 4 legged vertebrates using natural materials found in and around our Forest School. The only extra material allowed was string. Not as easy as you think!

A little rain didn’t stop us exploring micro habitats and mini beasts. The children used flow charts to classify different invertebrates then collected natural materials to make individual sculptures of insects which we will finish next week - when the materials have dried out!


The children had a fantastic time cooking vegetable and noodle stir fry on the fire pit at Forest School. They were extremely safety conscious about having a fire in this warm weather, watching out for sparks and ensuring the fire was well doused at the end of the session. The children also had some fun in the trees

This week at Forest School the children explored micro habitats. They hunted for and took photos of the minibeasts they found. One group also discovered a toad hiding in a very narrow gully, with only its nose visible. During the second part of the afternoon the children collected and chopped firewood in preparation for cooking on the firepit next week!

Easter 2021

After a little more on-site maintenance at Forest School, making sure the new saplings were growing well and spotting signs of spring, the children had a fabulous time on their Easter egg hunt. Thank you to the Easter Bunny. We wish everybody a fun filled Easter holiday.

Christmas Decorations

Our painted wooden disk Christmas decorations.  

17 November 2020

17th November 2020 

We had our final fire (for this term) at Forest School this week & baked sweet treat cones using a delightful mixture of chocolate, caramel, marshmallows & a bit of fruit! The ice-cream cones were a bit narrow so it was not easy to fit quite as much filling in as perhaps the children would have liked but everyone seemed to enjoy eating the final results. 

10th November 2020

This week at Forest School we were joined by Heather and Mary from the NYM National Parks for our second attempt at willow weaving. Fortunately, the willow they brought with them was thinner and much more pliable than on the previous occasion. Heather and Mary showed the children how to bend the willow to make dream catchers, dragon flies and bird feeders. After some initial hesitation, the children were soon fully engaged and by the end of the afternoon every child had made at least one willow sculpture. Our thanks go to both Rangers for their time and effort.  

It was a chilly afternoon so a few games of fox and rabbit were also played to warm us all up!

Next week we will be having another campfire and making some rather tasty treats.

3rd November 2020 - Wood Craft and Open Blade Safety. We had great fun carving and whittling a sawn piece of wood.

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Autumn Term 2020

Autumn Term Overview

13th October 2020

By this week the warm dry Autumn weather had well and truly passed, but undeterred the children wrapped up and headed out to our Forest School on Tuesday as usual. This week's aim was to make star sculptures out of sticks and string so the first activity involved using secateurs to cut and collect lots of 'fairly straight' twigs. That done and with the rain becoming heavier we headed back to school to create the stars, but not before shouting our thanks to the fantastic volunteer NYM rangers who were busy planting 200 saplings across the site. The volunteers had been working all day in the pouring rain - they are amazing people and we are very grateful for their ongoing help and support. Once in the classroom, the children used clove hitches and sheer lashes to fasten the twigs together but tying knots can be a tricky skill to master. It was lovely to see some of the younger children with dexterous fingers soon helping their older peers. The fact that sticks rarely grow completely straight added to the complexity of the task, however success was achieved and all the children have now made an individual and unique star creation.

This week at Forest School we were joined by two rangers from the NYM National Park, Jonathan and Layla. Unfortunately, the willow weaving didn't go quite to plan as the willow was rather too dry but the children showed great determination and perseverance in their efforts.  

Jonathan & Layla also showed the children how to make 'natural' jewellery by cutting and hollowing out elder wood to make beads and striping nettle stems to make string. This was a great success and the children were very proud of the unique bracelets they each created.  

The children also enjoyed making bird feeders out of pine cones, seeds & lard - a messy job but therefore great fun. Our thanks go to both Jonathan and Layla for spending the afternoon with us. 

29th September 2020

The children had a fabulous time at Forest School this week, they had all been looking forward to cooking on the fire pit for some time! Every child made their own filled wrap on site, using a mixture of cheese, ham & tomato. 

Whilst one group prepared their wraps, the other group laid & lit the fire with only a little support from Mrs Leavesley. Once the fire was going & all the wraps had been prepared, we 'cooked' them on the hot embers & finally the eating could begin. According to the children making & cooking their wraps was: "Exciting" and the wraps were: "Tasty & delicious" and declared they would not need much tea that night! 

Forest School – Campfire Day 25th September

This week was the start of new adventures at Goathland Forest School as the children made their first campfire in our fire pit. The children helped ‘lay’ the fire before putting into practice their new fire lighting skills with a flint and steel. The fire was soon ready for the children to toast marshmallows, which were readily eaten! We would like to thank The Plough Stotts for donating a slimline water butt so we can store 'emergency' water onsite for dousing future campfires and The Inn on the Moor for giving us some large containers to carry the water to the fire pit itself. 

Grateful thanks also go to Goathland Fire & Rescue for attending the session and ensuring the children understood the importance of extinguishing the fire completely to prevent any possibility of danger to the environment.  

We certainly made the most of the last sunny day of the year, but Forest School will continue through the Autumn as the children continue developing their outdoor 'survival' skills! Next week – CAMPFIRE COOKING: Toasted cheese, ham & tomato wraps. 

15th September 2020 - The children learnt how to use a flint and steel and we made hot chocolate in our Kelly kettle.

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Back to school and back to Forest School lessons.

Because we are a small school we are able to operate as one large bubble so we can all enjoy and participate in the same activities and lessons. It was great to be back! 

Summer 2020

Developments continue at our Forest School site where a new fire circle has been built using huge boulders. Both the children and staff are looking forward to using the fire pit to cook on in future. We are also continuing to work with the National Park’s volunteers and staff to plant more trees and increase the biodiversity of the land.

During the unprecedented lockdown across the country due to Covid - 19, our village school has been largely closed with the majority of children continuing their learning at home. A small group of children have remained at school and for them the space provided by the Forest School field has been a real bonus

Autumn Term 2019

We had a fantastic afternoon with The North York Moors Park Rangers this term. Our children planted young hedge plants and showed great team work and perseverance in making sure they were planted and protected properly.  Thank you once again to Sam from The North York Moors National Park, Land of Iron Project for donating the whips and organising the afternoon. We look forward to working with Sam again soon when we plant 21 oak trees, one for each child, at our Forest School site.

September 2019

Staff, parents, pupils and National Park volunteers met at the school field to plant 720 hedge plants, kindly donated by the North York Moors National Park. It was a cold day but we did it and the boundary works are now complete!  Alder Buckthorn was also planted to encourage Brimstone butterflies to the site. 

The children enjoyed their first Forest School session in our school field. Firstly the children learnt safety rules and the importance of caring for their environment and then looked closely at and recorded plants within a small area. 

It was great to hear how well the children had slept after their adventures in the field. Children thrive when learning in an outdoor environment and we will encourage them to take risks, problem solve and build resilience using all the wonderful, natural resources around us. 


February 2019

January 2019

The school field gets a new stock proof fence and a wooden 5 bar gate kindly donated from The North York Moors, Land of Iron Project.

December 2018

Parents, pupils and staff met at this parcel of land to begin preparatory work to the boundary. Old fencing and barbed wire were removed, the overgrown hedge trees were trimmed and an old shed removed.  The children are already excitedly referring to it as the School Field.


Breakfast Club Poster 2019

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