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OUTDOOR CLASSROOM: School’s new space teaches pupils to care for the environment

 Published on: 3rd March 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Rickmansworth has unveiled its new outdoor learning space, featuring a secret garden, a greenhouse and a Narnia corner.

With the facilities now open, headteacher Natasha Maxwell hopes that outdoor learning can be woven into the curriculum for every subject.

Mrs Maxwell said: “It’s really important to us that our children feel comfortable outdoors and that they learn to care for their environment. Alongside supporting learning, being outside is really important from a mental health perspective, too.”

The site had formerly hosted an outdoor swimming pool, which had gone unused for many years due to financial constraints. The pool was demolished last summer, before construction of the new outdoor classroom began in December.

Mrs Maxwell added: “Since we opened the space a few weeks ago, we’ve got each year group doing a special enrichment activity. Reception pupils are making bird feeders, whilst Year 6 students are creating nests and windchimes. Every year group has their own bug hotel.

“We’ve got sensory things, a shallow pond for science lessons and a huge pair of balancing scales. There’s even a rockery area and a waterfall!”

The outdoor facilities will also be open at lunchtime so that pupils can draw, read or simply “potter about” at their own pace.

Looking forward, Mrs Maxwell explained that a third of the site has been cordoned off with the hopes of creating a community garden, including an allotment, in the near future.

The outdoor classroom was funded through the school’s own capital, with an additional £1,500 from a Tesco Community Grant.

Photo Credit: St Mary’s via Facebook 

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