Stonesfield school at the sawmill

posted on April 28, 2010

What an adventure we are having following the life of OneOak! From meeting the tree in the autumn, to watching it fall with a mighty crash on a snowy winter’s day, we are enjoying every minute of it!

Our latest instalment in the OneOak story came with a visit to the Deep In Wood sawmill on Wednesday 28th April 2010. We were really intrigued to see what a sawmill would look like and drew pictures to show our predictions before we left. When we arrived, James greeted us and took us straight to see the amazing machinery that was used to cut OneOak. We really loved seeing how the cabin moved backwards and forwards and playing with the green light!

“I really liked the green laser that I put my hand under to pretend that the saw was going to cut it. Also I liked the machine that cut it, it sounded like the biggest giant breathing!

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Bladon Primary OneOak watercolour workshop

posted on March 17, 2010

Watercolour artist Rebecca Hind held a workshop with Years 3 and 4 at Bladon Primary School.  She showed the children the OneOak paintings that she has been working on over the last six months, and inspired them to produce their own under expert tuition.

Sam I know how to use watercolour paint now – I liked it.

Jacob, Louis and Jake M We learned to do watercolour paintings of trees in the moonlight. We used brown and blue paint and a big paintbrush called a mop.

Megan I thought it was very fun. I learned a lot about the moon. My whole class painted a tree of their own. I’d like to do my own because I have an idea – I can paint a fox in the moonlight.

Lily Now I know how to concentrate when painting and how to use watercolours. It was really fun because we all learnt about painting. I learnt how to do moons and when the moon is shining on something it has a shadow. My favourite moon was the wolf moon.

Euan I thought Rebecca was very good at painting with watercolours. I really liked her sketchbook of the moon and oak tree pictures. It was very fun, I think the whole class liked it as well. It got hard in some bits; it was hard not to scrub with the mop brush. I’d like her to come again soon. My favourite moon was the wolf moon.

Mia When Rebecca came she showed the year 3 and 4 how to do watercolour pictures. One of the brushes was called a mop.

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Willowcroft school create a winter forest

posted on December 9, 2009

A forest of colourful trees

The children in ‘Foxes’ class at Willowcroft Community School, Didcot have been painting and sculpting winter trees. Although the children have not yet seen the OneOak in the winter, they were inspired by the Oak Trees at their Forest School site. One tree in particular stood out as it was silhouetted in the afternoon sun against a wintery sky.

Back in school the children experimented with drawing inks and straws to depict the tree. For the background they used well diluted drawing ink to make the blue and pink of the sky.

Later in the week the children twisted aluminium modelling wire to create three dimensional trees. They then dipped the looped wire in ‘fantasy film’ which quickly hardened to create a beautiful stained glass effect. Even the least confident artists made beautiful trees and were really pleased with their work. They enjoyed themselves so much that they have now gone into ‘production mode’ and are making more trees to sell at our Children’s Christmas Fayre next week. We just hope everyone else likes them as much as we do!

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The big tree debate at Woodstock Primary

posted on December 7, 2009
The two sides: against and for

The two sides: against and for

As part of their literacy work this week, Year 3 and 4 pupils at Woodstock Primary School concentrated on persuasive arguments and debates. Today they held The BIG TREE DEBATE. Should the OneOak tree be felled?

Before the debate children were split into two groups – they then had to come up with reasons for or against in their groups (regardless of their personal view). A class debate was then held and then the children were asked to make a decision at the end based on their own views.

Should the OneOak tree be felled? The Result:


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Combe Mill and Blenheim Forest Trail

posted on November 11, 2009

Children from Bladon Primary enjoyed walking through Blenheim’s forest trail, led by the Education Team of Blenheim Palace.

They saw planted and managed forest, and ancient woodland. They had a colour chart and tried to find every colour on there to show them that the woods weren’t just brown and green.

After the Forest Trail the children visited Combe Mill. There they learnt about pistons and steam, blowing through straws and looking at models the volunteer engineers showed them.

“One of the best bits for us all was when we all had a turn at shaping a poker in the forge. We wore leather aprons, gloves and a helmet and worked with molten iron! Then we were allowed to bring them back to school.”

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Oxfordshire Forest School leader reports on the visits to the tree

posted on November 10, 2009

22nd September to 21st October 2009

Mhairi MacGillivray-Edwards reports on the school visits

I have now waved goodbye to the last school group to visit the One Oak from Stonesfield Primary School, packed away the last measuring tape and bug pot and taken a last look around the oak tree until January, when the big felling day will take place. It has all been a wonderful experience and tree-mendous fun! I have met lots of fantastic children who have all been very keen to come out and meet the One Oak tree and I know they all really enjoyed themselves too, especially as we were very lucky with the weather and only had one slightly damp day with Woodstock School and none of the usual Autumnal winds.

The first visit I had was from the local Primary School at Bladon. They could just walk straight up from their school to the woodland, where they were the first to have a go at the activities I had planned for them. We had a beautiful sunny day that day and no coach to get back for, which meant we could take our time exploring around the tree. I also went back into school with the visiting class and got some very useful feedback from the children. So a big thank you to the children and their teacher.

The next visits were classes from Willowcroft School who are all experienced Forest Schoolers and made the most of their time out in the woodland. They also made the very exciting discovery of a very strange looking minibeast, which we still don’t know the name of. Woodfarm School visited three times with their classes and along with Woodstock and Stonesfield schools they all did some very good measuring of the tree and used their senses well to discover more about the tree and the nature in the woodland.

All the activities were popular: some really enjoyed finding minibeasts; some found the scientific activities very interesting and others enjoyed having some time to reflect and experience the oak tree with their senses. It was amazing how close our measurements with a ‘Human Clinometer’ were to the scientist’s measurements and I am waiting with great anticipation to find out the actual age of the tree to see if we were right with the154 years old that most groups got.

So that is this part of the OneOak project finished and it has been a great privilege to be allowed to work with all the children who have visited and of course the oak tree. For now I will get back to my other exciting job of being a Forest School Leader, but I look forward to the day when we will meet again for the next stage in the oak trees life. Meanwhile I hope the children have lots more fun finding out about trees and if you have any feedback or work you would like to share then please do send it in. See you…

Mhairi MacGillivray-Edwards
Forest School Leader, Oxfordshire Forest School Service

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Can you imagine 5 cubic metres of wood?

posted on November 9, 2009

The children of Bladon Primary read that the oak tree would give us 5 cubic metres of wood, but they didn’t know what a cubic metre was.

So they made one in their hall. All 19 of them could stand inside it!

Then, using the whole class and metre sticks, they made the 5 cubic metres. This is how much wood we expect to be able to use from the OneOak tree once that it is felled.

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Children sow a new generation of oak trees

posted on November 5, 2009

Niel Nicholson of Nicholson Nurseries visited Bladon Primary school today to help sow the next generation of oak trees.

We have already posted the story of how difficult it has been to collect acorns this autumn see here. With help from many of the staff of Blenheim Palace, the total number of seeds collected by the children and other volunteers across the whole Blenheim Estate amounted to one bucket-full. The year 2009 has certainly not been a good year for oak seed generation. Not only were there few seeds but many were not viable.

Niel showed the children how good seed (acorns) will sink in water and the children then worked to separate the floating seeds from the healthy sinking seeds. It was disappointing to find that from our collection only 50 were probably healthy seeds. The children counted 1380 acorns that were non-viable!

Undetermined the children got to work sowing the 50 healthy seeds in the rootrainers. Nicholsons will raise the seedlings in their nursery in North Oxfordshire with help from the children during the year. Let’s hope that as many as possible of our precious 50 sown seeds germinate and then survive as seedlings.

Niel Nicholson with Bladon Primary Years 3 and 4 children and teacher Carolyn Thorne

Niel Nicholson with Bladon Primary Years 3 and 4 children and teacher Carolyn Thorne

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School visits … progress report

posted on October 8, 2009

Several schools have now been out to meet the OneOak and all have had a fantastic time. We have been very lucky with the weather, even this week when it was supposed be pretty wet. Everybody has had a lovely time walking out to the tree and trying to find conkers on the way. Once they have reached the tree the children have all had a chance to use their senses, become scientists and discover the wildlife and nature around the tree. Then of course they have had time to explore around the tree after their outdoor picnic. So far Bladon, Willowcroft and Wood Farm Primary Schools have all been out and I am really looking forward to meeting Woodstock and Stonesfield schools over the next few weeks to have some more fun.

Here are some comments from the children who came to visit from Wood Farm yesterday:

“I really enjoyed the oak tree when I look up to the top it makes me very dizzy. The favourite activity was where you have to look under your legs.’’ – Courtney

“I really enjoyed seeing the oak tree. My favourite activity was getting insects. I will never forget the oak tree.’’- Douglas

“My favourite activity was measuring the tree. I will never forget the walk’’- Saiful

“I really enjoyed the measuring. My favourite activity was exploring the trees! I will never forget when we were saying goodbye.’’- Nimrah

Mhairi MacGillivray-Edwards
Forest School Leader, Oxfordshire Forest Schools Service

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Bladon Primary visit

posted on September 24, 2009

Children from Bladon C of E Primary School visited the OneOak tree this week.

We are measuring the circumference of the tree so we could find the age of it .We  had a long measuring tape to go round it

We are measuring the circumference of the tree so we could find the age of it. We had a long measuring tape to go round it. Euan and Madeleine.

Will found a caterpillar on a leaf. We found a tree which has been cut down and Jake found it and we liked to climb on it too. Ben and Jake.

When we were being scientists we worked out the height of the tree and I stung my hand on a nettle Ouch! Joseph.

The listening game

We are playing the listening game. And we have to shut our eyes and hold our hands up. And shut our fingers and listen to as many noises as we can. And every time you hear a noise put your finger up. We had lots of fun at the oak tree!!! We heard a plane, wind, foot steps, breath, birds, talking, leaves rustling, Mrs Thorne saying Megan shut your eyes!!!. That’s it! By Szymon & Charlotte BYE

We caught insects and put them in tubs. Then we each got a magnifying glass and had a close up look at them. We found a spider, caterpillar and a slug. Ben B & Jake M.

Bladon Primary and the OneOak tree

Bladon Primary and the OneOak tree

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