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Our Lady of LourdesCatholic Primary School & Nursery

“Christ at the centre of our school where we live, love and learn together”


Welcome to the website of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, Yardley Wood, Birmingham. If you are worried about a child please speak to a DSL in school or telephone 01213031888 - CASS. If you think a child is in immediate danger please phone 999. We are an Operation Encompass School

LOtC & Forest School Curriculum

Our OLOL Eco Team - Pupil Leadership 2023

5th January 2023

We thought the birds in The Dingles might appreciate a little extra food during the winter months so we made them some bird feeders using apples, lard and bird seed.  

Thursday 1st December 


A beautiful morning to explore The Dingles today.  The children were keen to climb trees, make fairy dens and play hide and seek.  As this was our last session, during our closing circle we had a hot drink and reflected what we have enjoyed about Forest School this term.  

17th November 


The Fairy Queen reached out to us today and asked us to help rebuild some of the Fairy Community.  An over enthusiastic dragon had been invited to a party and his dancing had ruined some of their houses and community!  Could year 1 possibly help?  You bet!  

10th November 


Group 2 had a call from the Fairy Queen.  She gave us directions to her den and left us some magical fairy threads.  We made Fairy Friendship bracelets and vowed to be friends to each other and to the forest.  We had to help each make these bracelets and we showed great team work!  

3rd November Group 1 wanted to make some natural art using treasure from the forest floor today. Lots of children wanted to learn how to tie sticks together to make jaws like a crocodile or legs of a spider. We looked at a knot called lashing. The children did really well at learning this new skill and showed great concentration and hand - eye coordination.

Group 1 13th October We had a call form the Fairy Queen today! She told us she left a surprise in the forest. We found magical fairy threads and used them to make fairy forest friendship bracelets. We vouched to look after the forest and each other.

Group 2 6th October 

We used a conker clamp and a palm drill to make holes in conkers and then threaded string through the conker to make our own jewelry.  


Group 1 29th September 

We used a conker clamp and a palm drill today.  We all listened to our palm drill safety tool talk and all used this tool safely.  Well done year 1! We drilled holes in conkers and some of us enjoyed making our own conker jewelry.  

Group 2 - 22nd September 

Our first session today and we were brilliant!  Super listening to our safety rules and happy to explore the Dingles within our boundaries.  

Year 1 Welcome to Forest School! 

Group 1 15th September

This was our first session today so we had some time to explore and start to understand our Safety Rules that we follow when come to the Dingles. 

Thursday 30th June 

We were delighted to have some time to explore the river today!  We had to do lots of self risk assessments to decide what was safe to do.  We were very sensible and made good decisions.  Well done.  

23rd June 

A little bit different today for Forest School.  The weather was hot so we decided not to put on out Forest School clothes and head straight for the shade of The Wise Old Tree.  We took some various activities that children could enjoy and have the protection from the sun.  We talked about the fact that as we were not wearing long sleeves or trousers it was not safe to go into forest area.  

A little bit different today for Forest School.  The weather was hot so we decided not to put on out Forest School clothes and head straight for the shade of The Wise Old Tree.  We took some various activities that children could enjoy and have the protection from the sun.  We talked about the fact that as we were not wearing long sleeves or trousers it was not safe to go into forest area.  

26th May Natural crowns, selfies and bug hunting today!

Thursday 19th May

What a creative morning we had in Forest School today! Year 1 had an opportunity to use clay and as you can see they had some amazing ideas! 

Tuesday 10th May 

Forest fun for year 1.  We had an opportunity to use some clay and had lots of interesting and creative ideas. 

Thursday 5th May 


We had a lovely time at Forest School today. We enjoyed seeing The Dingles in bloom as we haven't been there since before Easter. We explored different areas, some of us played hide and seek, some enjoyed climbing, others used the natural materials to make music and a few children enjoyed spending time by the water.  We also spent some time thinking about what we would like to do this term.  

Thursday 28th April 

The Dingles looked vibrant and full of life today!  What a difference a couple of weeks make.  It was a brilliant session today!  Mrs McGrath told us she had spotted a deer which made for lots interesting conversation and looking for clues to see if we could be so lucky!  Unfortunately, we didn't but keep your eyes open if you go for a walk and please let us know if you do!  Some of used clay and natural materials to make various animals and bugs,  Sadly yet interestingly we also found a dead fox which led to some fascinating discussions about life, death and nature.  We considered how it died and children had some thoughtful comments about.  Some of the children wanted to say a special prayer which touched our hearts!  

Thursday 7th April 


Foraging for wild garlic today.  

Thursday 24th March 


Foraging for Wild Garlic!  


Group 1 - 17th February 

3D maps.  We made 3D maps of our Forest School area and some key features such as the river, our school, the bridge we often cross, the Oak Tree (which we use as boundary)  and The Fairy Queen's Den.  

Group 2 - 10th February 

Year 1 have been learning all about maps in their Geography lessons so we thought it would be fun to do some 3D maps of the Forest School area in relation to our school.  We had some great ideas for how to show different areas.  We mapped areas such as; our school, houses, the river, the Fairy Queen's den, The Great Oak tree (this is one of our boundaries that we always use so the children know this tree very well and is an important part of our sessions).  

A stunning morning for our Forest session.  We walked a bit further into The Dingles and had some time to explore.  We had a game of pooh sticks and used the area for lots of different activities....some of us wanted to make a den whilst others wanted to revisit wand making or had a go at making fishing rods.  Some creative ideas and lovely team work today, well done Year 1.  

Group 2 13th January 2022

What a glorious morning! The sun was shinning but there was a crisp frost...perfect for exploring The Dingles! We enjoyed finding sticks and thinking what else they could be - letters were popular but we also had hammers, bananas and telephones!  We had a game of pooh sticks too.  We had some time to explore a new area - some of us were engaged in role play, others wanted to make fairy dens and some of us wanted to hug a tree!  

Group 1 - 6th January 2022     Happy New Year!  

We talked about the power of trees in Forest School today. We found a stick that we thought was perfect and turned them into magic wands. They must have been truly magical wands as it started to snow!  We are working hard on improving out knot tying skills.  Keep trying hard with this everyone, it certainly is not an easy skill but your resilience and persistence was impressive today.  

Group 2 - Thursday 16th December 

We were learning how to use a palm drill safely today.  We used this tool to drill a hole in our wooden cookie so we can thread some string to hang on our trees at home.  Well done everyone!  

Group 1 - Thursday 9th December 

Our turn to make our very own Christmas tree decoration!  A very creative Forest School session today - singing and painting were the highlights! Lots of us were singing Christmas carols and adding our own natural tunes to accompany the words. Some of us even made up our own poems and songs!

Group 2 - 2nd December 

We made a Christmas tree decoration for our trees at home.  We painted them today and next session we will use a palm drill to make a hole and thread some twine through the hole to hang it up.  

What a great idea, O from Year 1 had at home. She made a thank you note for the Fairy Queen. She had a good think where to leave it for her today and settled on a perfect spot high in a tree. What lovely manners you have! Saying thank you is so important.

Group 1 - 25th November 

Last time we had our Forest School session not all of us had an opportunity to make a bird feeder so those of us who did not make these last time did that today.  Mrs Shaffer worked with us one to one on using an apple corer safely and tying knots.  We felt so proud of ourselves when we accomplished what we set out to do!  Miss Browning supported our child led learning.  We had some great ideas today - some of us made a bug hotel, others celebrated Music Day by making a natural wooden xylophone and others enjoyed retelling "We're Going on a Bear Hunt."  

Forest Music... OLOLMusic Day

Still image for this video

Music, Storytelling and Creativity in our Forest School...

Group 2 18th November 

Oh no!  We had some sad new from the Fairy Queen today.  Their friend, Donald Dragon came to a party and he got a bit carried away when he was dancing and his big feet accidently knocked some of the fairy houses down!  Could Year 1 help rebuild the fairy community?  You bet!  We had some marvellous ideas today - we had Fairy houses, hotels, churches, gardens, play areas, leaf pools and even a hot tub!  So creative - what a brilliant morning we had.  

This was a great article promoting the benefits of Forest School. 

Group 1 - 11th November 

Some of the group made bird feeders today. 

These are the steps we followed.  

We cored the apple using an apple corer. 

We tied some string around a stick.  (This was quite tricky but we kept trying and succeeded...our perseverance paid off!)

We threaded the string through the apple.  

We smeared the apple with lard.  

We rolled the apple in bird seed.  

We looked for perfect branches to hang our bird feeders off!  

Whilst Mrs Shaffer was working with children on apple coring and knot tying the rest of group enjoyed some child led learning with Miss Browning.  The children had some great ideas!  They particularly enjoyed creating camp fire role play.  

Group 2 - 4th November 2021 

We made bird feeders today using old pumpkins.  A great way to recycle and feed the birds as the weather becomes cooler!  

Group 1 - 21st October 

It was exciting times in the forest today because it was the Fairy Queen's birthday! 

Group 2 - 14th October 

We were so excited to go to the Fairy Queen's special throne and make fairy bracelets to show we are good friends to each other as well as the forest!  

Group 1 - 7th October


What a magical morning we had in the Forest today!  We had a VERY! exciting call from the Fairy Queen who directed us to her special throne.  She told us that she had left us a present there and if we wanted to be Forest Fairy Friends then we could make a bracelet as a sign of friendship and a promise to look after the forest.  We were very grateful to the Fairy Queen and left her lots of letters, pictures and questions.  I wonder if she will reply ...?   

It was Group 2's turn to go to the Dingles today for their first Forest School session.  Children were brilliantly well behaved and we had a great time!  

Year 1: Group 1 - Welcome to our Forest School journey. Today was our first of many visits to The Dingles.




During Summer 2021, we were unable to run our usual Forest School sessions this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. This didn’t stop OLOL from getting out and about in the local area. We have loved having sessions in the Dingles and are more grateful than ever for this beautiful natural space on our doorstep. 


This slideshow will give you a flavour of what we have been up to. From investigating human and physical features in our locality to identifying habitats, from WW2 inspired code breaking to exploring the Mayan number system and from considering the symbols of Roman Gods and Goddesses and to house building for the Anglo Saxons, we have loved getting outside. 


What's our next learning adventure?

What is Forest School?


Forest School offers our pupils a chance to get out into an ever changing, inspiring natural classroom. It has at its core a pupil centred approach that takes advantage of the changing seasons and conditions to promote many skills such as independence, team work, problem-solving and risk assessment. It nurtures attributes such as trust, empathy, self-awareness, and the satisfaction of meeting self-determined goals.


Sessions are very practical and hands on. No matter what prior skills and experiences they have all are equal and all can achieve.


At Our Lady of Lourdes, Forest School takes place in the Dingles; a pocket of woodland, river and meadow in our urban setting. Our pupils are given the opportunity to develop a relationship with the natural world alongside their peers. Children can explore and discover untapped skills and find new ways of interacting with each other. They are encouraged to think about their own safety and that of their peers when weighing up risks for themselves in new and challenging situations. The sense of achievement gained in Forest School is immense –from climbing their first tree to realising that the mud doesn’t hurt to immersing themselves in an adventure their den.


Research into the positive effects of getting children out into natural spaces is growing. Child psychologist Aric Sigman found that children exposed to nature scored higher for concentration and self-discipline; improved their awareness, reasoning and observational skills; did better in reading, writing, maths, science and social studies; were better at working in teams; and showed improved behaviour overall. (Sigman, A. (2007) Agricultural Literacy: Giving concrete children food for thought.


At Our Lady of Lourdes we want our pupils to appreciate and draw from the wonderful world we have been given. We seek to nurture a deep connection to the variety and beauty in nature and a desire to serve as custodians of our world.

How can you measure a puddle?

Can you measure a puddle? Which part would you measure?


Year 3 found the deepest and shallowest points using sticks and their fingers. It took a lot of checking to compare depths at different points. The shallowest point was at the edge. Where would you expect to find the deepest point? 


Next they tried to measure the length and width of their puddles. Without any tape measures, they needed to agree on a fair unit of measure. Footsteps seemed like a good idea but the children quickly realised that they had different totals each time someone new tried it. Using the length of a welly was more accurate so long as the same person measured each time. 


How else could you measure a puddle? 

The Year 3 Forest School group have been den building in the Dingles. We thought about temporary shelters that Stone Age people could have used. 


The children learned to transport sticks and branches they found on the ground safely and effectively. There was excellent teamwork to get the dens built. Finding the perfect stick and putting it in just the right place is harder than it looks!


Is your den the right size? Any home comforts? Where would Stone Age people have made a fire?

We love outdoor learning at OLOL!