Tag Archives: whole class

RHS Partner School

Growing for Success with the RHS this Summer Term!

Free twilight training sessions 

  • Summer term growing topics to integrate gardening into your curriculum 
  • Summer gardening skills to give you confidence to garden with your class
  • Free seeds for all who attend!
  • Garden tour (please wear suitable shoes and clothing for outdoors)

 Wednesday 30 April, 4-5:15pm: Christ Church CE Primary North Brixton, Cancel Road, SW9 6HN

 Please email julesrogers@christchurchschool.cc  to book your place.

Our school is working with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening as an RHS Partner School.  Throughout the year the RHS will be giving us lots of ideas and training on how to garden with a whole class and integrate gardening into the curriculum through their new RHS ‘Growing Topics’, helping us to get the most from our outdoor space and taking learning outside.

We our very pleased to share this great resource, our experiences and their expertise with you all on this our second twilight session.

Trust game with rope

This activity helps to promote group cohesion, physical activity and communication (social & emotional learning)

It can be a useful activity to calm a group, or to identify and resolve group problems and tensions. Some children can find it very difficult to relax and trust everyone to support them. They may show this in different ways – by refusing to take part, or by fooling about. Don’t push anyone to take part if they are not comfortable, but encourage everyone to be supportive of each other.

Set the scene –

  • you may want to hide the rope to be discovered in a treasure tree or similar spot. When it is found, discuss how it is important in Forest School to be able to rely on each other and trust one another.
  • One large polypropylene rope with its ends tied.
  • Children hold the rope in a circle
  • Everyone leans back slowly to take the strain and balance the circle.
  • When everyone is in balance and harmony, the feeling is of mutual group support.
  • Counting can help provide a challenge – for example ‘can everyone hold each other up for a count of 50?’ and improve concentration.
  • Note who finds this easy/ difficult, or who cannot lean back with confidence. Discuss this with the individual and look to the group to offer peer support.
  • Repeating the activity over a number of sessions can help you to review how the group cohesion is improving, and how individual children’s confidence with their peers may be growing.

Clay Creatures


Fairly large pieces of clay for each child (needs to be fairly easy to knead and mould – play dough or bread dough might be easier for younger children). Bag for each child to collect natural materials. Hand washing facilities!

Time required

1 hour (depending on length of walk) including gathering materials, making model and looking at the finished creatures. Extension activities like Story telling could make this longer.

The activity

Introduce the activity by talking about and searching for the variety of minibeasts found in the woods. It could be linked to teaching about habitats.

Explain that they are going to make models of giant minbeasts. They can choose to make minibeasts like those they have just found – or perhaps to imagining an extinct giant minibeast that might have lived in the woods along time ago. Imagine a minibeast Jurassic Park!

If the children are familiar with their site let them explore it, and gather natural materials that could be used with the clay to make their creature. Give them some examples of the sort of materials that could be useful such as nuts for eyes, moss for hair and encourage them to dig in the leaf litter to find suitable materials.

Encourage them to find a suitable location where they can settle their model as it is made – on a tree branch, in a hollow, on a stone so that the others can find them. Each child can make their own model or they may prefer to work in small groups. They could make different stages in the life cycle of one creature or a whole family of them.

Then walk through the woods together spotting all the strange creatures. Are they camouflaged? Encourage each child to tell something of their creature’s story – its name, where it comes from etc.


They may enjoy making ‘mini-shelters’ for their minibeasts using natural materials found close by. Discuss what minibeasts might need to survive in the woodland, by day and night.

An alternative to making the giant minibeasts is to make goblins using a stick for the body and making the head from clay or dough which is then decorated with natural materials to make features, hair etc. They look very effective hung in the trees.

Simple but striking ‘Tree spirits’ can be made from clay. Mould the clay into a flat face shape in the palm of the hand and gouge out the features with twigs or fingers to make simple faces that can be stuck onto the trees.