We’ve been reading Animals of Farthing Wood together and Finny is completely obsessed. He wants to work in animal conservation when he’s older, so he feels strongly about the themes in the book.


  • Wooden animals
  • Log slices
  • Wooden spools
  • Wooden rings
  • Pebbles
  • Grimm’s water waves
  • Grimm’s small rainbow
  • Grimm’s building boards


Finny told me what a woodland is and what trees need to grow. Ioan explained the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, and that they are opposite each other. Deciduous trees shed their leaves seasonally and evergreen trees keep their foliage throughout the year. Deciduous trees are adapted to tolerate cold and dry weather conditions by shedding their leaves while evergreens do not.

Finny showed me his woodland habitat and the features the animals need to survive.

He explained the human impact on Farthing Wood. They started off by cutting down the trees.

I accidentally stopped the video above, thinking Finny was finished, but he went on to swap the fallen trees for tree stumps.

The bulldozers destroyed everything in their path, not worrying if they were animals’ homes.

Even the newts’ puddle got filled in.

The clean stream got filled in with stones.

Now there was no clean water.

Even the grass had turned to mud. The animals’ habitat had been destroyed so they needed to find a new place to live.

Fox called all the animals to a meeting, they needed to decide where to go.

Looking back at how the landscape had changed, provided lots of discussion.

Ioan decided to write about the changes.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


ELG 09 – Reading:

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 17 – Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.