Outdoor Enrichment Project
I am Barbara Breakwell and I am a Community Governor at the school. I was a teacher/ Head for 30 years and am the co-ordinator of the Outdoor Enrichment Project.
As a school we are privileged to have extensive grounds and the “Outdoor Enrichment Project” is aiming to enhance and utilise them fully.
There are 4 areas of development
These raised beds (including one in the Nursery garden) are used for various purposes. Wildflowers have been planted, children can dig and play with small equipment and the remainder are used for planting and growing vegetables and flowers.
This area is based around the small coppice of established trees at the perimeter of the school. It is being progressively developed with planted areas and habitats to attract mini beasts. The nettles in this area are a vital part of it being a wildlife area and this is continually explained to the children that it is a “home for nature” not a play area. They are actively encouraged to explore the area using appropriate equipment e.g. magnifying glasses and avoiding the nettles!
Garden of Memories
This area adjacent to the main playground was established several years ago as a quiet reflective garden in memory of past pupils who tragically died in childhood. It is being revitalised and the planting extended to establish a larger flower garden.
Lunchtime playtimes are being supported by an increasing range of equipment and activities being available. The outdoor classroom has been renamed “The Lookout” and is a base for reading, drawing, small world play etc. There is small equipment, a parachute, a goalpost and other equipment for the designated Play Worker, Vicki and the other midday staff to use with the children.
Our aim is for the children to respect what each area brings and to “look”, “listen” and “think” how they should use each area appropriately, either during the school day or at the beginning or end of the day. We are also encouraging them to be active partners in developing all these areas and resources as it is their outdoor space and they need to share responsibility for it.