Forest Schools

Snack Shop
Today at assembly the Pupil Council proposed that we launch a health promoting snack shop.  They asked pupils how often they would use the snack shop and what kinds of snacks they would like to see on sale.  The Pupil Council noted their suggestions and will be visiting a variety of supermarkets to research the most cost effective products.  They have prepared a parent questionaire to find out your thoughts and opinions.  They would appreciate if you could complete it and return it to school.

Day of Action 2

Our Eco Committee has organised a Clean Up Day on Friday 30th October.  Pupils will be working in groups to plant winter bulbs, sweep the leaves and tidy up the minibeast habitat.  Pupils should wear garden clothes and bring thick gloves if possible.

Funky Fitness

We would like to invite the community to join us for some Funky Fitness!  Classes are taking place in the Village Hall at 12 noon on Wednesdays.  They start on Wednesday 4th November.  Come and have fun and get fit with us!

Harvest Festival

On Thursday 15th October pupils will be giving a Harvest Thanksgiving Festival in Saltoun Parish Church.  The performance of the Little Red Hen starts at 9.15am.  Afterwards parents will be invited back to school to taste our home made pumpkin soup, bread and apple crumble. This will also be Mrs Malcolm’s leaving assembly and will be an opportunity to say thank you and goodbye.  We hope to see you there!

Walk to School Week
Since Monday we have been taking part in walk to school week. We have all been trying to walk to school to keep HEALTHY and win £50 for the school. We will keep you updated if we have won the prize and been successful.

Smoothie Cafe
On Friday 2nd October there will be a Saltoun Smoothie Cafe during break time.  Dont forget your 40p if you want to taste our delicious and healthy smoothies!

Opening Ceremony

Please join us on Friday 18th September at 11.30am when our new playground equipment will be officially opened by Ann Moffat, MP.   Refreshements will be served after the ceremony.

Wheelie Day

Well done to Saltoun Primary Pupils.  As a reward for their healthy eating and excellent manners the children have managed to earn another Wheelie Day.  What stars we have here in Saltoun.  Remember your helmets!Apologies to new P1 parents who may not know what a Wheelie Day is.  The children can bring to school any wheeled toy e.g. bike, scooter, roller blades etc but they must wear a helmet whilst using these toys including if they use them to come to school.  The wheeled vehicle must NOT be motorised.  The children chose this reward for collecting a ‘rocket’ full of stickers in the dining hall.

Smoothie Cafe

Just a reminder that there is Smoothie Cafe tomorrow.  Please bring 40p if you would like one!

Wonderful Walking Bus

Thank you so much for joining the Walking Bus today!  It was great too see so many children, from Nursery to P7.  Hopefully you enjoyed the walk and found it both a social occassion and a way to keep fit!

Eco Update

Firstly, the Eco Committe would like to thank everyone who helped clean up Saltoun on Friday. Everyone worked very hard and Saltoun looked even tidier than normal by the time we had finished. This event will contribute to the waste minimisation part of our Green flag award.

The Eco Committe have recently visited Humbie primary to have a look around their school. They already have their green flag so we thought it would be good to ask them for some advice. We learned lots and have put forward our ideas to Mrs Malcolm for next terms Eco work. These included having toilet hippos and clothes recycling bins.

Caroline Samuel has been helping us to grow vegetables in the school. We are growing carrots, peas and lettuce. On Tuesday we planted our potatoes…..hopefully we will be able to eat some of our vegetables soon!

Saltoun Spring Clean

On Friday the 24th April Saltoun is having a spring clean. We would advise all pupils to wear their school uniform when they come in, but bring old clothes especially old shoes. If any of the community would like to help us that would be great! The meeting place is Saltoun Primary School (playground) at 11am.The Eco CommitteeSteven, Rebekah and Finlay

A Big Thank You
News update – well done £164 was raised for Water Aid. A huge thank you to all the parents and community who came to support our Car Wash Coffee Morning!  It was great to see so many of you there and we hope that you enjoyed the event.  Thank you very much for your extremely generous donations, both before the event with second hand items to sell, and on the actual day.  I would also like to thank all the staff, pupils and Pete who put an enormous effort into organising the event.  Well done!Winner of the Coins in a Bottle – Mrs WhiteWinner of Water in the Bath – Amy GordonFastest time over the Obstacle Course – Alexander RiddellThank you again and have a lovely holiday!  See you on Tuesday 17th February!        Miss Leslie        

Just a reminder of the car wash coffee morning at Saltoun Primary School on the 6/2/09 from 11 till 12. Bring your car for £3 to get washed.

By Alexander and Niall.

Water Aid

We have been learning about why having clean water is so important for us and also that not all children are so fortunate.  As a class, we decided to have a charity event and try to raise as much money as we can for WaterAid. We have registered with the charity online and they have a really useful website, which you can find from our links.

Come along on Friday 6th February at 11am.  Park your car in the school car park for a car wash organised and managed by Pete Jardine (our old Janitor) then come inside and have a coffee, whilst purusing our second hand toys and book stall.

We hope to see as many of you as possible!  There will be posters and fliers coming your way.

Grand Opening of the Forest School Murals!

On Thursday 15th January at 10am  we are having a grand unveiling of our Forest School Murals.  We have invited Councillors and all those who were involved to attend.  All parents are also welcome!  There will be tea and coffee, with P7 pupils giving a display of all their related forest school work.

Eco School 2008 – 2009

Saltoun Primary School currently has a Silver Eco Schools Flag but this year….. we’re going for Green!

Every term our Eco Schools Comittee meets to discuss and monitor their action plan.

Our Eco Notice Board in school is regularly updated by the comittee and they are also going to put important information onto our new Eco Schools web page!

In November we had our Day of Action.  We designed and made our Minibeast Garden.

Forest Schools October 2007 – March 2008

Wednesday 10th October 2007img_0811.JPG

Yesterday was the first day of our Forest Schools Programme.  We coppiced our willow igloo. Then we dragged the willow along to Strawberry Woods where we made willow sculptures. We learned how to tie knots with rope. This is a great survival technique and will help us to build structures in the future.

    Wednesday 24th October By Ewan and Blair

Yesterday P4/5/6/7 went to Strawberry Woods. We had to carry planks of wood into the forest to sit on. When we reached our base some went to find logs while the others made seats. Afterwards we were given an identification sheet on a clipboard and went off to identify different trees and leaves. After we came back and our forest leader taught us how to tie a Clove Hitch. When we finished, Karin told us we had to find logs to make a horse. We all set off in groups to find the things we needed. When the whistle was blown we all came back and started the activity. The way to make a horse is get two logs and put them in a cross shape and then tie both of them together (you might want to start with a clove hitch around one log). Once you have done that make sure you secure the bottom of the logs with stones and little sticks. Doing all of this will help improve on all of our outdoor skills.

Wednesday 31st October By Hannah, Emma and Ashley

This time when P4/5/6/7 went to the woods we took planks of wood there. We arranged the planks of wood in the same shape as last time. The group Emma was in made a good strong horse. Emma and Ashley used the axe first to make a pointed end of the stick. When we had a pointed edge on each stick we used a mallet to wack them into place. The other group were scavenging. We were in the same groups as last time. We had a plastic bag and were to collect plants, mud, berries, leaves and any thing we could find to make a picture. We made a poster. It was fun! Then we were told we were going to have a fire. We were going to be making Twizzlers like bread and cook them on a fire. When it was time to eat the twizzlers, they were delicious! Yum!    fire.jpg

Wednesday 7th November By Blair Ross

As we trudged all of our things out of the school and into the playground we couldn’t wait for another exciting day of Forest Schools. We all had to carry something up to our base camp. When we were set and ready to go we played a game. After that we split into groups. Then we had to make a poem about a tree our group liked. Then we got to light the fire by using kindling and paper. After Karin asked if we wanted tea or blackcurrant. Most people chose blackcurrant. Once again we split into groups to find all the things a plant would need. Then we had to do a sweep search of the path to find one of our instructors keys. When we finished we all came back to school. Everyone had great fun and can’t wait to do more.

Wednesday 21st November By Blair and Ewan

Today we had to walk all the way up to the forest in the pouring rain. When we arrived we couldn’t sit down so we had to put up a tarpaulin. A tarpaulin is a water-proof sheet made of plastic or cotton. We tied it to some trees using a bowline knot and it stayed for ages. Once we were settled two groups went off to do some activites in the woods while the other two groups stayed and made gazoos. The way to make a gazoo is to get a little piece of hazel or ash and cut it in half and then you whittle it until you see a little slit in the middle. You have to take care and it takes a while. After all the groups were together again we had a snack and hot drink. It was difficult to take the tarpaulin down but we managed then we shook all the water off which was really fun. After we all collected our things and headed back to school.
We learned a lot of things today, especially how to put up a tarpaulin! Everyone enjoyed today and can’t wait to do lots more.  shelter-1.jpg

Wednesday 28th November 2007 by Hannah, Emma and Ashley

This week we went up to the woods and set up base.  We were told that we  were making dens as todays activity. We were put into groups. Some of us were in the green group and the other team were the blue group.  We had our faces painted to tell what team we were in. Then we went to two different places and we made the dens.

I was in the green team.  We found a good place to make the den. We collected sticks, leaves, fern and big chunks of wood. We all went inside the den to see if we could all fit in which, we and there was still room for more people.

The blue team took a long time to find a place were they liked.  Then finally they found a base.  They found  big  logs to support their shelter. Karin called us back to see base and we went with her  to see if the dens were wind and water proof.  The green groups was and the blue groups wasn’t.

Another great day in the woods we all said!

Wednesday 5th December  by Blair and Ewan

Today P4-7 went off into the woods once again.  When we reached the base we put all the equipment down and had our first activity –  minibeasts. Two groups managed to find a spiders egg- sack and lots of other minibeasts like woodlice, centipedes and milipedes. When we finished we came back and acted out our favourite minibeasts movement. Afterwards we made twizzlers by wrapping dough around a willow branch and roasting them on an open fire. When they were hard we poured honey on them to make them taste nice. At the end we played camoflage.  The aim of the game is to hide without being caught by the catcher. Once we had finished the game we took all the equipment back to school.

Wednesday 6th February by Ashley, Emma and Hannah

As we walked into Strawberry woods we carried planks to base.  As we made base Karin told us that we would be making music with  sticks. We were really excited .  We went round the woods and collected materials which would make a good sound.

When we got back we split up into groups and we made a start making our instruments. Some of us made drums , guitars , chimes etc.

Karin called us back for a hot drink and snack. We had to keep a beat on our instruments.  Each beat had the name of an animal.  We were told a combination and clapped out the rhythm on it.  At the end Karin contucted an orchestra of instruments.

It was another great day at Forest schools.

Wednesday 27th of February by Ewan and Blair

We got all our gear as usual then set off with the heavy planks up into the woods where we made base. After everyone was silent we all introduced ourselves to some very special people then Karin told us we would be continuing with our dens. She also told us the health and saftey rules. An MSP named Robin Harper came and  he was wearing a rainbow scarf. Today we were going to try and finish are dens in our groups. Everyone had lots of fun making our dens better. We all got tools and string for our dens. Angus a primary 6 boy made a little snoozing place which was really relaxing. Karin blew the whistle which ment everybody was to come back. We gathered everything and played a game to finish off another great session.

Wednesday the 12th 2008 by Ewan and Blair

Today was our last session of Forest Schools and we were all really sad.  We got the things as usual like the gear, planks etc. We walked all the way to the base where we meet some parents. Karin talked over the health and saftey rules. Once that was finished we went to see the dens which everybody made then everyone including the parents went to see the puppet shows we had prepared.  They thought they were really good.  Afterwards we came back and made Twizzlers which were really nice. Then we got ready to play a game of camouflage.  Afterwards we went back to school.  Everybody has really enjoyed Forest Schools and maybe one day we can do it again.

17 thoughts on “Forest Schools”

  1. Thanks for letting me visit and help out at your Forest School last week.Your bread on a stick looked delicious. I was really impressed by all the skills you all used to build the horses, gather wood, light the fire, make the bread and do the artwork. Alsoyou all worked so well together in your teams to complete your tasks. I look forward to visiting you again and reading about your Forest School on the webpage.

    I have put a few images up at my site at

    Let me know what you think of the Forest School.

  2. Hi
    Hearing about what you are doing in forest school, and inspired by the Old Oak poem I remembered this one I read recently by Karen I. Shragg – hope you like it.

    Think Like a Tree

    Soak up the sun
    Affirm life’s magic
    Be graceful in the wind
    Stand tall after a storm
    Feel refreshed after it rains
    Grow strong without notice
    Be prepared for each season
    Provide shelter to strangers
    Hang tough through a cold spell
    Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring
    Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
    Be still long enough to
    hear your own leaves rustling.

    Steven Wray
    Chairperson East Lothian Forest School Group

  3. Hi,
    just reading everything you all write in connection to your forest school experience and I am amazed at how much you all remember!
    I am glad you all enjoy it.

  4. To all Saltoun Primary pupils
    I was delighted to read about all the exciting things that you are doing at your Forest schoool. I am doing forest school work with nursery aged children in South Edinburgh, and they love it too. We have a super wood that we catch the bus to, it’s on the Gilmerton Road.
    I will continue to read your blog with interest.

  5. Hi
    Well done for finding all those insects in the winter time – especiallly the spider egg sac. Did you take a picture or do a drawing – it would be good to see on your blog.
    Wikipedia has loads of information on spider

  6. Did you scoff all the twizzlers in the woods? Didn’t see any of them at home – can you put the recipe up on the website?

  7. Happy New Year East Saltoun primary!

    Wow – what fantastic things your learning about, like Karin says its amazing how much you remember from your days out in the woods.
    I work with schools in Edinburgh and its great to hear that more and more youngsters like yourselves are working hard at Forest Schools and appreciating your local woodlands. I hope you have many more fun, memorable times in 2008.

  8. Look at you all wet under that shelter
    I thought it was too keep you dry, but never mind.
    Hiiyaah too all of Saltoun Primary
    you guys rock
    lol >.<

  9. Hi
    Just to let you know I have had a message from Fiona at Media Education to say that the DVD of your Forest School is nearly finished. There willbe one copy for each pupil to take home, and one for the school to keep. It will be with you before the end of term so the P7 pupils will have it before they leave.


    Steven Wray

  10. Love the idea of a healthy snack shop. For some reason we never had a snack shop at school at first, not a proper one. But they did open up the canteen and allow us to buy food from there. It wasn’t healthy stuff though, and it really should have been.

  11. I was attending Saltoun Primary back in 2007, and Forest Schools is one of the major things I will always remember. I’m now in my 6th year of high school and looking at universities to join, but Saltoun will always be remembered for being the best primary school around.

  12. @Robert . Just to echo David’s comment – it’s great to hear that Forest School was such a good experience. I’ve heard similar from other Saltoun former pupils and us Countryside Rangers all had a great time!
    Best of luck with the university thing!
    Richard ELCRS

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