We would like to build an exciting new outdoor learning and play area, especially for the children in Key Stage One (Year 1 and 2). We know our children are going to love it and we need your support to make this dream a reality.
Our school’s philosophy to learning is summed up in our motto: “Brave Explorers, Great Thinkers!” We want to provide a dynamic space for them to play, explore, relax and learn.
An outside learning area will open up a whole new world of opportunities across the curriculum. No more beans in pots, we want to pick real beans! No more photos of roots, let’s pull out some weeds and investigate the bugs which come with them.
An outside area will provide a safe space where children can role play and be creative, or learn independently. It will help us to develop a learning environment where there is a flow between indoor and outdoor learning, placing exploration and play at the centre of our learning.
Raised beds: These can be used for planting and growing flowers and vegetables. They will provide opportunities for children to have hands on experience, while learning about the life processes of plants, healthy nutrition and sustainable lifestyles. Children will also gain a sense of independence and ownership through growing and maintaining their own plants. We intend to build enough garden space for two classes to grow plants.
Sensory area: The outdoor space provides a wonderful opportunity for children to explore the textures, sights, sounds and smells of the
outdoors. We intend to construct a sensory area with flowers and herbs and a water fountain. This area is intended as a space where children can relax, chat or read; and an area where they can feel calm and safe, helping them to learn to regulate their emotions.
Role play area: We intend to construct a multi use role play area, with a basic structure of wooden huts, which can be adapted to create a range of themes. We intend this space to be used creatively by pupils to explore and practise their curriculum learning.
Outdoor classroom and theatre: We would like to provide an opportunity for teacher led learning outside the classroom and intend to construct a sheltered space where directed learning can take place, especially on warm and sunny days. The space will be protected by a wooden structure with the opportunity to provide shade or protection from rain and can ideally be decorated with climbing plants. This space can also be used for drama or music performance with the addition of a wooden stage area.
Grass games area: A multi-use area with grass which can be used for creative play with any outdoor games.
Covered games area: A protected space for outdoor play during inclement weather.
Investigation areas: Covered areas dedicated to investigating curriculum related topics, such as sorting tables, topic draws etc.
Eating/Snack area: An area with tables and chairs for children to enjoy eating al fresco.
We know it will take time to make our dreams a reality, so we have split the project into phases:
Stage one: Fundraising – Spring Term 2012
In this stage we want to raise as much funds as possible through donations of money, time or items for the play area. We hope to approach parents, the Friends, the Trustees and the local community.
Stage two: Initial construction – Summer Term 2012
Invite parent and staff volunteers to help us build the raised beds, fences and sensory area on the Spring planting day, which is on the 21st April. 2012
Complete construction of covered learning area by end of Summer Term 2012.
Stage three: Review, consultation and fundraising – Autumn Term 2012
See how the space is being used and adapt our plans. Consult with children and parents for ideas. Fundraise for next stage.
Stage four: Complete area — Spring and Summer Term 2013