Get out there! There is a special quality to being outdoors: experiencing the changes in natural light, feeling wind, rain, snow and sleet, or getting warm in the sun.
So whilst we offer a broad and balanced curriculum outdoors, covering all six areas of learning, that does not mean that all indoor experiences are available outdoors (or vice versa).
Being outdoors has a special importance to children growing up in a busy, noisy, crowded environment. The garden has been carefully planned to give children a sense of tranquillity and an enjoyment of natural textures and colours in a densely built and large-scale environment.
There is small and large scale climbing equipment which is safe for all children to use independently: children are never lifted onto equipment. Children have opportunities for large-scale building in the garden with the hollow blocks. A range of balls and bats is available, in different sizes and with different levels of hardness/softness.
Emergent writing is supported with clipboards, and with paintbrushes and pots of water to “paint” the back walls, fences and floors. Imaginative play is particularly supported by many of the design features of the garden (for example, trees to hide behind, hills and hidden corners, to encourage imaginative play and hide-and-seek.
The all-weather clothing (for children and staff) enables the garden to be used in any weather and for children to have the experience of standing in the rain, splashing in puddles, being out in the snow, making snowballs and snow-structures.
In the early stages the younger children enjoy digging and turning the soil, finding the creatures and minibeasts that live in it. They can explore how wet and dry soil feels, and look for stones. With the help of an adult, they can pick a range of vegetables and fruits.
They learn about the changing seasons in the garden, how weather affects plant growth, the need for sun, light and water, and the life cycles of butterflies.
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