Reporting a Safeguarding Concern or Positive Test Result of a Covid-19 Case, During School Holidays

During our school holidays, the safeguarding of all our children remains as always, our top priority. During these times, our school will continue as normal in supporting our vulnerable children.

If you need to report a safeguarding concern during a school holiday, please contact our headteacher, Mrs Donna Jagger on Tel: 07902 517146 or email:

We ask that you use the same details to report a positive test result for a Covid-19 case be this either during the holidays or over a weekend.

Leaky Dam Day Beavers

Our School was asked by the Wilder Horsham Project to assist them with a Leaky Dam project on a local farm in Warnham.

We were very excited about this venture as the dams that we built will slow the flow of water in a stream that runs directly into the Arun River. The children were tasked with collecting sticks and brush wood and then behaving like beavers to make small dams across the stream.

Leaky dams are natural flood management that provide a huge range of natural benefits to people and wildlife. In addition to storing and slowing water for flood reduction, woody material, or “leaky barriers” provide important habitat for a range of aquatic species. They also help improve water quality by encouraging sediment and pollutants to settle out, and they help streams to generate more habitats.

This was a great opportunity for the children to develop their teamwork, problem solving, environmental knowledge, communication, engineering skills and resilience.

As you can see they worked extremely hard, successfully built 5 leaky dams, had a great day out and were able to use all their Forest Skills in a real world situation. We are very proud of them and they conducted themselves brilliantly.

DT- Food Unit- Week 1

In DT this half term, Year 3 are learning about seasonality.

Our learning goal was: Can I explain what seasonality is? Seasonality of food refers to the times of the year (the seasons) when a given type of food is at its peak, either in terms of harvest or flavour. We learnt that not all fruits and vegetables grow in Britain because of our climate. We used a world map to help us learn about the different climatic zones and which fruit and vegetables grow in each.

As well as learning the theory, Year 3 also got their first experience in the cooking room this year! We learnt about good food hygiene and recapped our knowledge of the bridging technique to cut bananas, strawberries and melon to make a delicious and seasonal Japanese fruit kebab. Stay tuned to find out how our fruit crumbles went! 

Mud Slide in New Wood!

We would like to apologise for the mud some of your children brought home this week!

We had moved up to New Wood this week in anticipation of the impending flooding and without encouragement the majority of Year 1 and 2 chose to dive down the hill and experience the thrill of the evolving slide!

Year 2 also learnt about the fire triangle and then if they wanted to, used a Dragon’s Sneeze to light cotton wool in a scallop shell. This is quite challenging and takes considerable resilience.

Other activities they engaged in were sky-gazing, den building, bug hotel making, conker craft, drilling and flower making.

Obviously the flooding came overnight on Wednesday. The water levels are quite shocking to see but as the flood waters started to recede the children made best use of the huge puddles and splashed around/washed off a little!

Behind the Rainbow Fence has obviously been devastated again, only a year after the last flood, but as we encourage resilience and strength in the children, nature continues to regrow and together we will regenerate the area and make the best of what we have!

Year 6 in Forest School

Year 6 have been outside at Forest School this term.

They have used many tools and tried lots of crafting activities. Our focus has been knot tying so that they can use ropes to make sturdy dens and string to add to their crafts.

They have refined their fire lighting skills and are now able to lay the fire as well. We always have a purpose when we have fire and for Year 6 that was to make and cook Pumpkin Soup and Toast, as well as pizzas and hot chocolate in the final week!

Elsewhere they have built dens and swings, learnt about different types of Deer, hung out in hammocks, made cafes and mud meals, learnt to play conkers and demonstrated great Teamwork and Resilience through a range of activities.

Bluebells in Forest School

We have welcomed Year One Bluebell class at Forest School for the first time this year. They have explored, discovered, listened, challenged themselves and got very muddy!

They have learnt to use new tools and got hands on with nature.

They have learnt to use a Dragon’s Sneeze so that they will be able to light fires in the future.

And explored everything we have offered them, from swings and hills to mindfulness.

We are looking forward to Celendine joining us after half-term.

Year 3 trip to Butser Farm

Year 3 had a brilliant day out at Butser Farm to support their Stone Age to Iron Age topic. They took part in 4 activities throughout the day. They had a Stone Age tour looking at the inside and outside of houses found at that time, they did some chalk carving, made some pottery using clay similar to what would have been used in the Stone Age and did an archaeological excavation.

Butser Farm were very impressed with how much the children already knew and how enthusiastically the children answered questions and took part in all activities.


Incredible Worms

Reception came out to Forest School this week. Our focus for their time with us was Incredible Worms. Did you know there are 27 different types of worm? Or that there are roughly 3 million of them in our school field?

We explored the site and searched for woolen worms, comparing the longest and the shortest ones, then some of the children chose to make worm bracelets from Elder wood. To do this they used secateurs and palm drills, hollowing out the soft Elder centres and then threading onto pipe cleaners to make bracelets.

Many of them enjoyed crushing chalk and charcoal to make natural paint. They painted faces, trees, tyres and targets.

Elsewhere they built dens, put up multiple swings, played bows and arrows, demonstrated great teamwork, played in the mud kitchen, built assault courses and really got involved in everything on offer.

To help with the hot weather we all enjoyed the Forest School shower, a fun, simple but very effective set up!

Every group enjoyed some of Chloe’s magic Forest School Potion to help cool us down and a delicious biscuit.

We all had a great time and  we look forward to welcoming the children in Year One.

If you were an engineer, what would you do? Competition Winner

In March 2022, Key Stage Two took part in the Leader’s Award – If you were an engineer, what would you do?

The children had to design a new product that would solve an everyday problem. They had to identify a problem, draw their new design that would solve the problem and write a letter explaining how their new design works.

All of the children did a brilliant job and all of their entries were judged by a panel of real engineers. Each year group had two winners selected from the whole of the South East. 

This year, we had a winner in the Year 3 category who was invited to attend the award ceremony at Canterbury Christ Christ University. 

Year 3 Winner – Alice

Also, some children’s work received a ‘Highly Commended’. 

Here is their work:

The panel also displayed some of the children’s work who received a ‘distinction’. 


Year 6 -Ready To Move On!

It was our last week with Year 6!

So they lit the fire and prepped the food ready for cooking.

Around the fire or in their dens, everyone enjoyed a yummy hot-dog, with ketchup, spicy mayo and caramelised onions.

Many hours were spent making items from Paracord. It is always a favourite activity but Year 6 have got through several hundreds of metres of it over the last few weeks, look out for all their new key-rings and bracelets!

Elsewhere they chose to do Hapazome (leaf and petal printing), charcoal making, natural paint, mono-printing, whittling, putting up swings, building dens and forts, floor is lava, play and hammocks.

As always, we finished off with our traditional closing ceremony, discussing our favourite parts of Forest School and our new  life skills. The most important thing is  for our young people to realise that the character traits they have developed over the year are not exclusive to Forest School. They can take these skills into their new schools and lives as they move on in a few weeks time. We have had a wonderful time with the Year 6 and have seen them develop their resilience, independence, planning, teamwork and evaluation, we hope you can see this in them too. Good Luck Year 6, we will miss you!

Positive Pebbles

Year 6 finished many mallets and mug stands ready for sale next week.

We began by discussing our worries, as it is a challenging time for our Year 6 leavers. We went and found sharp, horrid stones, wrote our personal worries onto them and them launched them away into the River Arun. Everyone agreed that they felt better for getting rid of their worries.

Then we went and found pebbles that we liked, our Positive Pebbles. We discussed positive affirmations and if they wanted to share their thoughts they used the picture frame to let us know a variety of statements including “I am enough”, “I am a good listener”, “I am a good friend” and “I am brave”. They then popped their pebbles into their pockets to remind them whenever they have emotional wobbles that they can do this!

The majority of the rest of the time was spent making paracord bracelets, preparing mug stands and refining mallets ready for sale next week.

Shelley 200 Festival (Horsham) – Poetry Competition


The world-famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Warnham, near Horsham in 1792.

Shelley lived from 1792 and 1822. In that time, he wrote the wonderful poems that brought fame to the young poet from Horsham.

To celebrate the 200-year Anniversary of Shelley’s life we have organised a poetry competition, and we would
like people of all ages to take part!

The competition is FREE to enter for the young person’s categories, with PRIZES in three age groups:

Age 7 – 10 years First Prize – £ 50.00 Book Token Runner Up – £25.00 Book Token

Age 11- 14 Years First Prize – £ 50.00 Book Token Runner Up – £25.00 Book Token

Age 15-17 Years First Prize – £ 50.00 Book Token Runner Up – £25.00 Book Token

The competition rules are simple; Shelley’s poems had three main themes:

  1. Nature
  2. Relationships, emotions and romance
  3. Politics, ideas and current affairs
  • We would like entries to be about one of these themes.
  • Poems should be no more than 40 lines long.
  • Poems should be sent in with the competition application form. Your name should be included on the application form and not on the poem
  • The competition closes on 5th August 2022

Entries should be sent before the closing date by email to: or by post to:

The Competition Secretary,10 Clarence Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 5SQ

Full details of the competition and an application form can be found on our website

Poetry competition entry form1S

SMP poetry competition 2022

Forest School Pizza

Fun in the sunshine with Year 6 this week.

After some mindful hand breathing the children lit the fire, they are now so skilled at this that it’s often done in only a few strikes. This was followed by some giant games of Hide and Seek.

In pairs they designed and made their own pizza wraps, before cooking them over the open fire and then enjoying their yummy creations.

Elsewhere, amongst other things, there was building, creating, climbing, den building, face painting, medallion making, Karaoke, mud kitchen action and plenty of role play going on.

There was also plenty of wood work going on all week, including mallet-making, mug stand creating, drilling, sawing, and whittling butter knives.

Because of the lovely sunny weather, even though we are almost entirely in the shade behind the Rainbow fence, the children put up some showers  to help them cool down.

Year 6 back round the fire.

Year 6 have a fire, food and tool focus for the next 5 weeks. 

This week they re-capped the skill of lighting a cotton wool fire with a Dragon’s Sneeze in a scallop shell. 

Once lit, the fire was used to make a round of toast for everyone, that was smothered in lashings of butter and Chloe’s homemade strawberry jam- Yummy!

Many mallets were started, using saws, Mora knives, teamwork and the fallen branches from the Lime tree.

Elsewhere there the children made dens, bars, Karaoke stages, vehicles, discovered new trees saplings, made charcloth for future fire lighting from old jeans, got absolutely drowned in an unexpected downpour and generally had a marvelous time.


Final Fun in Forest School for Year 4.

This week was the culmination of all the skills and fun they have had over the year.

The children collected wood and then lay and lit the fire completely independently.

Some chose to whittle their own butter knives that they then buttered their fire cooked toast with! Everyone enjoyed a hot slice with some of Chloe’s homemade strawberry jam.

Over 200 tiny Bluebell bulbs were planted over the week. Fingers crossed they take, however, they wont flower until the Year 4 are back behind the Rainbow Fence in Year 6!

Elsewhere they had fun on the Slackline, up trees, in dens, on swings, in hammocks and using tools.

To finish off we shared a mug of hot chocolate and had our closing ceremony, each child pouring water onto the fire to put it out while telling everyone their favourite activity or best bit from the last 5 weeks. Our focus is to encourage the children to take their skills and love of nature away from Forest School, back into class and into the world.

This week there are 0 chicks in the box! They have fledged! Keep an eye out for 5 tiny Blue Tit chicks around school!

Teamwork and Skill Sharing at Forest School

This week the Year 4 were challenged to whittle mushrooms using knives and secateurs. 

This is a difficult task, especially using the new ‘stop cut’, but they were very focused, safe with the tools, supportive of each other and all produced their own little mushrooms.

The teamwork continued with learning to use a safety tent called a Bothy,

and making our Jubilee bunting. This is a very mindful activity, great for fine motor skills and Mrs Jagger even came down and was taught how to do it.

One morning we had a large toad that needed rescuing and re-homing, he sparked much curiousity and research.

The rest of the time was spent with so many more examples of teamwork from zipline and swing sharing, to den building, quiet time together and amazing whole group story-disc stories.

And finally the Blue-Tit update, unfortunately we have lost 2 chicks, however the 5 surviving ones are growing feathers and going strong. Mum and Dad spend all day bringing food into the box so look out for them around the school!

Gnomes all over Forest School

Our focus for the next few weeks is whittling green wood. Today’s task was to make their very own Gnome. This started with processing the wood using a partner and a Bow Saw.

Then using either and Opinel knife or a Mora knife they whittled the end of their sticks to make a Gnome hat. Their focus, concentration and mindful involvement was very impressive and many of them sat for up to an hour until they were happy with their work.

Then the Gnomes needed cutting down to give them flat bottoms so the children used a Laplander to trim them to the right size.

Finally they were decorated and added to the Gnome Villages

Else where they hung out in the hammocks, tried bare foot walking, began the Forest School Jubilee bunting, built dens, played hide and seek, moved wood chips, made mud meals in the kitchen and many more fun things.

And finally….   the 7 Blue Tit chicks are all still going strong and are beginning to grow their feathers. Mum and Dad are working hard to keep them fed.




Tiny Blue Tit Chicks and Forest School Garlic Bread

We have several pairs of nesting Blue Tits at school, and one pair has done a fantastic job of hatching 7 chicks!!

We will aim to keep you updated with their progress without disturbing them too much.

Here is mum hiding all but one of her babies

The Year 4 began by collecting wood and laying an upside down fire, and then lighting it using a dragon’s sneeze.

Then they whittled a hazel stick using an Opinel knife. These are very sharp and require concentration and resilience.


They were encouraged to taste the wild garlic flowers and leaves to help them identify the plants, before chopping the leaves and rolling out their Damper dough.

While the damper garlic bread was cooking they busied themselves with many different activities,

including gathering and moving some wood chips up to EYFS for their mud kitchen area. #teamwork

Everyone enjoyed their damper and many were keen to try it again so here’s the recipe for you to try at home!

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • pinch salt


  • Rub the butter through the flour until it is all crumbly.
  • Mix the salt, sugar and a little milk at a time until  it forms a dough.
  • Divide into two pieces and roll into a snake shape. Wind around a clean, dry stick. Hold over the campfire to cook.

Bush Tucker: Damper Bread on a Stick


Springing back behind the Rainbow Fence

This week Year 4 got stuck into a Spring clean down at the Rainbow Fence with new signs, weeding the raspberries, planting strawberries, and hanging a new tyre swing.

Mrs Hadden overcame some of her fears today when we took her a Slow Worm that had been found on the field. After being shown to the children he was put back into a safe hiding place on the riverbank.

Every group re-capped the fire triangle and learnt how to lay an upside-down fire.

There was a little knot practice and a lot of den building, including 2 story properties and a large fort with a piano and drum kit!

The children really enjoyed being back at Forest School this week, using chalk and charcoal to make natural paint, climbing, swinging, tool work, hide and seek and playing with their classmates.

Releasing the Tadpoles

Year 2 have been studying habitats in class and have watched frogspawn hatch into tadpoles so this week we released them into the small pond up in New Wood. The hope is they will continues to grow and we will have lots of little frogs hopping all over the place after Easter.


They have also had a Design and Technology focus on making wraps so we incorporated this by making Forest School pizzas using foraged wild garlic.

In order to cook them the children lit fires using Dragon Sneezes.

Everyone agreed they were absolutely delicious! 

Elsewhere we made ladders, crafted medalions, moved piles of wood chips over the site, build dens, tried new ziplines, built obstacle courses and made a mini Giants Causeway from all the stumps lying around.

To round off our lovely sessions we had a mug of hot chocolate and then shared our favourite memories of our time at Forest School.

We have had a super time outside with your children, the progress with their skills, teamwork, independence and resilience has been enormous and we hope you that you can see that too in them. Forest School at Arunside for Year 2 may have finished for now but there are plenty of opportunities for your families to spend time outside and explore the wonderful world around us.

It was Nesting Week at Forest School

We have been popping down behind the Rainbow Fence for the last couple of weeks, since the tree surgeons came in to make it safe, to get it ready for use again. The children have re-sited the fire circle, moved tons of wood chips, watered the flowers and enjoyed all the new logs to play with.

Back up in New Wood we had a focus on nests. We have been learning about a new bird every week so we decided to make ENORMOUS nests as well as tiny ones. To do this we needed green sticks to bend and weave. We are a little short of these in the new area, so we showed the children how to strip brambles with a sturdy pair of gloves. Amazingly this process completely removes all the prickles and leaves you with very strong Forest School string!

There has been a continued interest in the Fairy Housing, so this week we offered the opportunity to make their own doors from lollipop sticks. The children used secateurs and made natural paint from chalk, charcoal and turmeric to decorate them with.

Elsewhere there were more big tools used to make fairy furniture, a lot of clay creations, swings, den building, mud kitchen fun, and burying Bee Hotels.

Popcorn over the fire in New Wood

The Year 2 used Dragon Sneezes this week to practice their fire lighting skills. This can be a challenging thing to master but they all showed great resilience and we had fire in every session.

We used the fire to make more charcoal for natural paint. This is done by cutting green wood, we used holly and bramble, and popping them into a tin with holes in the lid. This is then placed on the fire until flames come out of the holes. Perfect charcoal sticks every time!

For several weeks the children have been making wild flower seed bombs and this week we threw them onto the river bank, some children even got to use the sling-shot to launch them.

Elsewhere there was crafting, sawing, fairy furniture making, den building, swinging, clay creations, rolling down hills, obstacle courses, tadpole watching, bee hotel making and much more fun!

We finished off with some delicious fire popped popcorn! So Tasty!!

Fairy Fun in New Wood

The fairies came to Forest School this week. Lots of tiny houses and gardens popped up all over New Wood.

Some children chose to make furniture for their tiny homes. They worked together using a Bow Saw, a Laplander, a Mora knife and a Mallet. They were rightfully very proud of their work.

The children also made Bee Hotels from terracotta pots and dried grasses, for the many bees that are waking up and looking for new nests, as well as making wild flower seed bombs to launch next week onto the river bank.

Elsewhere they studied the tadpoles in our new mini pond, made things from clay, built dens, painted with natural paint, used binoculars to bird watch and rolled down muddy hills!

And best of all we were able to get back behind the Rainbow Fence for a little bit, to begin putting it back together. The children helped to start to shift the huge pile of wood chips and to re-site the fire circle.

Clay Tree Guardians.

The tree guardians came to visit the ‘New Wood’ Forest School area this week.

The children went to hunt for the hidden guardians and then using natural camouflage make their own, encouraging them to handle the nature, explore the area and work collaboratively. 

With the lack of central trees in New Wood there are few places to build dens and swings, however a couple of tripods worked quite well and we saw several constructions and lots of swinging!

Elsewhere we found another newt, dug out a pond area, moved logs as well as sawing, drilling, natural painting, bird spotting, tree climbing and rolling down hills!


Exploring our new site

Due to the damage caused by Storm Eunice we are currently unable to be behind the Rainbow Fence, so we have re-located to “New Wood” at the front of the school.

This meant the children setting up the area in the way they wanted, finding new places to put up tarps and build dens and forts and rolling stumps into new positions.

All the fallen wood will be put to good and use the children started by making ‘knitting nancys’ to make friendship bracelets.

And many of them chose to saw up the logs to make into Owls, decorated with natural paints.

We also decorated ourselves, sheltered from the rain, splashed in puddles, dug in the mud and found a tiny, tiny newt!



Learning through Play

This week was a real culmination of all the new skills the children have learned over the term.  From whittling with knives, sawing and drilling, den building, climbing, chilling in hammocks, swinging and planting.

We also put the Slack-Line up up for the first time.

Ms Murray had decided she wanted to move the ENORMOUS log stump in the middle of the site. It had floated easily to it’s position in one of the floods but was a HUGE challenge for us and the children! They had to use all their Roman skills and science knowledge of pivots and levers but over the 4 sessions we got it shifted.

We finished up with our closing ceremony of hot chocolate and the putting out of the fire. We have all had a fabulous half-term outside and we look forward to seeing the Year 4 back in the Summer Term.


Keeping warm at Forest School


This week we used the knot skills of lashing and frapping along with a few Clove Hitches to make Triangles. Of the many successes some children chose to decorate them with feathers, leaves and Elder beads.

Then we lit the fire so that we could cook Tomato soup and make toast. All of which was enjoyed by all of the children.

Elsewhere there was tree climbing, den building, Shelter games, Zip-Lines, hammocks, sawing and crafting with Elder beads.

Messing around in the woods

Year 4 are honing their knot tying skills every week, with the children using them regularly to make dens and zip lines. Often with clear demonstrations of Teamwork.

The children love having fires and it’s very important they understand how to process the wood that they burn. So this week we offered them the opportunity to use the Bow Saw to saw lengths of wood, as well as using either a Mora Knife or Axe  and Mallet to split the lengths into kindling. These risk taking activities improve their motivation and independence, as well as their self-confidence.