Forest School – Mastering the Art of Lighting Fires

Its not easy to master lighting fires with Fire Steel, which is what our Year 5 & 6 pupils were tasked to do; learn to collect the right materials, grade them, understand the science behind making fires and to build the structures that will ensure their success. How proud you feel when finally you have created spark and the lit embers nurtured within your tinder bundle of dry moss or cotton wool. Everyone persisted and finally succeeded to set their kindling on fire, and were quite rightly proud of their achievements. It was only natural that they should want to cook their own sausages on their crafted fires. Two minute fires turned into ten minute fires, long enough to claim that “these are the best sausages I’ve ever had!!”

The day was not complete with out a go on the swing, exploring the woods and to use a spoke shave and a shave horse to strip the bark off a length of wood. They were making staffs! Some used a whittling knife but mostly all had an opportunity to work the shave horse and challenge their control and dexterity with help from Kathy and Kieran from Wrongs Covert. Some opted to make a wooden flower, not an easy feat but done deftly. Whilst all this was going on, some eco-printing was done, really as an experiment to explore the properties of plants to transfer their natural tannin. A great day had by all and one to look back on fondly!

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