We decided to walk to Wittenham Clumps from Cholsey because it was our Year Sixes last forest school and we wanted to make it memorable. We all set off with a determined attitude towards the hike ahead of us. In groups of three we were given a map that we would refer to at points on our walk.

Our route took us up Cholsey Hill initially, but then cut off through a field.   Mainly our walk was on footpaths but at times we had to cross roads.  We crossed over a road that leads  to Wallingford and headed on a footpath past a stream and towards Mackney Farm.   By this time we were starting to feel tired but were motivated by the thought of fish and chips at the Red Lion pub in Brightwell.

We saw many interesting things on the walk including a deer, a heron and a fox running on the path ahead. After we had had a filling meal the adults decided the walk was too much for some children and that only the Year 5s and 6s would continue to Wittenham Clumps.  So the younger children took a minibus to the meeting point and waited for us to arrive.

The last part was the hardest as it was uphill most of the way and out in the open in the scorching sun. Finally, Wittenham Clumps was in sight and we all made a last push to the top of the hill.  The others greeted us and then we relaxed until it was time to head home.

I think this walk was really challenging but we all felt that we had achieved a great deal.

Year 5 author

 

 

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Last week the Treehouse Gang took the minibus to London to see Matilda the Musical.  This was because our Year 6s will be leaving and it was a final treat.

It was quite a long journey so lots of people brought games to play on the way.  I played Hangman and others played Top Trumps.

When we arrived at the theatre we had flapjacks and cheese straws and then went inside to find our seats.

When I sat down I noticed that the stage was decorated with boxes that had letters on. As the show started they moved and spelled out the word ‘Matilda’.  My favourite part was when Matilda was telling a story to the librarian because it was quite tense, but also because they used puppets to show the characters in the story.

The set was cleverly designed and had lots of interesting things to look at.  For example Matilda’s whole bedroom could be moved forward, there were swings with really long ropes and the actors in the wings pushed in some of the set. There was lots of movement and changing scenery. In addition, I liked the costumes because they compared well with the drawings in the book.

The play has a great ending because Matilda moves in with Miss Honey while her parents went on holiday to Spain.  I really enjoyed the play and wanted it to carry on because it was probably one of the best that I have seen.

On the way home lots of people fell asleep and we arrived back in Cholsey at about 11.30.   I think it was a wonderful treat for the Year 6s and we all got to enjoy the experience too!

Year 4 author.

I must tell you about two new pupils who we will be welcoming to The Treehouse in September. Our new Gang members are O and J.  They are young, so we will need to help them step up from their old schools. O and J joined us for their taster Forest School day on Friday.

To begin with they had a story and played with the train set.  After that they made paper and cardboard boats ready for the afternoon’s activity.  I think they enjoyed this because were in a small group with Shaz so there weren’t too many new faces.

Before long they went outside to test the strength of the equilateral triangle structures that the rest of the gang had been making.

After lunch we walked to the park and then we split into two groups.  O and J were in my group who were sailing their boats in the stream.  You will never believe this but J’s boat sailed away quickly and nearly collided with a bramble.  J found it funny at first but then, when the boat nearly hit the brambles, I believe he felt nervous.

I think they they enjoyed their time at the Treehouse.

Although they were tired at the end of the day they stayed smiling and I can’t wait to see them again in September.

LB Age 8

Names changed to preserve privacy.

Each Friday we have Forest School and each week we pick a different location. This week we went to Lollingdon and met a musical artist.  His name is Chris Holland.

Chris taught us how to make musical instruments out of wood and he also showed us how to use the natural world as an inspiration to make sounds and music.

First we took a small piece of wood and, with a permanent marker, drew the outline of a crocodile.  Then we carved out some ridges along the body.  To do this Chris taught us a new technique called ‘boffing’.  You stick the knife into the wood at an angle and then bang it with a larger piece of wood to make it go in deeper.  Then you do it again on the other side and a small chip of wood flies out.  This makes the ridge.  I found it hard to get the knife in and back out.  When we had finished we found a small stick.  We used this to rub along the ridges to make a tapping, clicking sound.

Later Chris told us to go and find two different natural items, for example a stone and some grass.  We experimented with these to see what sounds we could make. We then made these sounds with our voices.

Finally we made up a song together and performed it using our crocodile instruments and our voices.  It was called ‘We Went into the Woods . . .’

Although the carving was a bit difficult and challenging I think everyone at the Treehouse learned lot.  For these reasons I think all schools should have a day with Chris Holland!

WR Age 10

On Saturday 15th June we decorated a float for Wallingford Carnival.  Our float was Charlie’s Golden Years.  We put lollipops, grass, the big ‘W’, the big chocolate bar and the big boiled sweets on the lorry that we were going to ride on.  We all wore our costumes from the play.  I was Amelia and I wore a dress which had butterflies on it and I wore my pink wellies.  I had pink cheeks. While we were practising I put my foot on a haybale to stand up and a moth climbed onto my welly. We rescued it and let it go and then it was much happier!

As we were driving through the town we saw lots of people.  They were waving and we were waving back and singing the Oompa Loompa song.  Walking behind us were the Cubs and they were playing instruments and they were in their cub uniforms. I saw my friends Kyler and Jasmine.

 

I enjoyed it because we got lots of chocolate (well, Augustus got the most) and we could stand on the haybales and I thought we would have to sit down.  At the end my mummy picked me up from the Kinecroft and then we went to Bean and Brew to have hot chocolate and cake.

MES aged 6

Every other Wednesday some of us go to Moulsford School to make things. Last term we made props for our play ‘Charlie’s Golden Years.’ This term we have been making bird feeders for Father’s Day gifts. We used a vertical saw to cut some plastic into shape. Then we used a metal ruler to make it flat. We peeled off the plastic cover and used a special heater to bend the corners into shape. It was interesting to use the equipment.

I think everyone feels quite proud of their bird feeders.

Back at The Treehouse we have been decorating some bags to present our gifts in.  First we drew a bird on the bag and then used Brusho fabric paint to fill in the design.  My design is of a buzzard because Finn told me that they are daddy’s favourite bird of prey.  We have also made bird gift tags.  Mine says ‘Thank you for keeping me happy as a lark.’

Happy Father’s Day!

TBR Aged 7

Today we had our annual Pancake Race and local residents, old and young, came and joined us. We had nine different categories from Year 6 down to pre-school. There were also two adult races.

The race begins in the middle of our village and goes around a small green called The Forty. You have to carry a frying pan and a pancake, and flip it three times. Last year I won my race but this year I think I came second because I tripped over a tree root and was overtaken. But at least I didn’t drop the frying pan and the pancake!

Our headteacher, Lee, dropped her pancake right at the start of the race. Despite this she kept going, but a person called James, who works in the butchers, overtook her and won.

Alison, a Treehouse Trustee, presented the medals to all the winners.

Afterwards we did a bit of extra pancake flipping and played on the Forty. I can flip a pancake about two metres high!

Age 10

On Friday 1st March we went to an RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) nature reserve called Otmoor. We were shown round by Roger and Brian.

The purpose of our visit was to find out about different types of birds. Some of the birds we manage to observe were goldfinches, woodpeckers, herons, Canada geese and luckily we also spotted a deer called a muntjac. These are usually hidden in the reeds, but it ran out into the open and we could see it.

As a group we went to six different bird watching places and we discovered over a hundred birds.

We also found some rare hairstreak butterfly eggs.  We were disappointed not to see any starlings but we found out from Roger and Brian that the starlings only come out during the evenings.

Thank you for reading this blog and I hoped you enjoyed finding out about Otmoor.

 

Aged 7

This week at The Treehouse we went to a Baptist Church in Wallingford and were guided through our tour, by the minister, Esther. We went to the church because some of our pupils, introduced us to it, as their family worship there.

When we got to the church we were detectives and had to find the answers to some questions. For example; when was the church built? What qualifications do you need to become a minister at a Baptist Church? Can you draw some pictures of things that make this a church? My partner and I found out that the church was built in 1821, it was on a plaque outside. I drew pictures of a cross, a stained-glass window and a noticeboard because I thought these things were related to the church.

I was surprised to see a hole in the church floor! It was about the size of a bath and it had four or five steps going into it and a tap on the side. We had to think what it might be used for. My partner and I thought it was a fire shelter, if fire breaks out. When we had been through all the questions on the sheet, Esther showed us a Power Point slide show she had created, about what goes on in the church. Interestingly, this hole is used for Baptising people. Baptising is when you want to wash away all the bad things you have done in your life and to show you believe in God. You go in, (in your normal clothes), with two people holding you and then you go under the water for a tiny bit and then come back up. I hope the water is as warm as in a swimming pool!?

I thought that our visit was very interesting, and some day, you might want to visit too?

Aged 8

 

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? Do you know any facts about it? I do!

This year it is celebrated today, on the 5th February and it is the Year of the Pig.  The date changes every year because the Chinese use a different calendar, the calendar is called the lunar calendar. At Chinese New Year, people try to wear new clothes which are mainly red because red is a lucky colour and represents happiness and prosperity. They have a spring clean to get rid of all the bad spirits and to welcome the good ones.  The houses are decorated with red lanterns and they have a feast with special food.  The oval-shaped food (such as eggs and dumplings) represents family coming and staying together.

At The Treehouse we made some red lanterns to hang up and clay models of the animals that raced across the river in The Great Race.  I was born in the year of the ox.  I think it looks quite like me because it has hair all over its eyes and so do I!

Today we went to a restaurant called The Cockadoo for a Chinese meal.

For a starter we had a Spring rolls and chicken salad, followed by a chicken and peanut stir fry and sweet chilli sauce.

I really enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year because it is interesting and very People Smart to learn about different cultures.

 

Aged 9.