Ellistown Primary School - New Outdoor Learning Area
Unfortunately due to schools receiving reduced budgets we are only able to improve our facilities by fundraising and donations from local businesses. If you are able to make a donation not only will this enhance the education of the children who currently attend our school but also those of future generations for many years to come.
At Ellistown Primary School we passionately believe that young children learn best through play and exploration. Wherever possible we
offer children the opportunity to experience real life events that are linked to their learning. Continuous Provision enables us to do this.
Every day our EYFS and KS1 children get the opportunity to be an artist, writer, mathematician, scientist, designer or a storyteller to name but a few! These play-based experiences enable the children to consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding and enable them to become independent and resilient learners. Throughout the inside environment you will see busy children actively engaged in a wide range of activities that they themselves have chosen. Continuous provision supports and encourages our children and staff to have a lifelong love of learning.
To enable us to deliver this provision at the highest level we need to improve our outside area to provide the same level of excitement, engagement and challenge that we have inside. All groups of children are different, but in every group there will be some children who learn best when they are outside. To make it easier for these children to learn, we need an environment that is safe, inviting, stimulating and challenging.
Outdoor play is as important as indoor play. Providing space, fresh air, freedom and time are essential for children’s emotional, social and personal well-being, as well as providing opportunities for big moves and development of gross and fine motor skills.
Outdoor play is vital because:
It enables children to become independent learners. You can invite the children to make choices, follow their own interests and get involved with what they are doing. For some children the outdoors is where they are the most comfortable.
It encourages social and moral development. Outdoor play presents opportunities for exploring and using large equipment. This involves children in taking turns, sharing, cooperating, negotiating and talking to each other – all essential skills when interacting with other people in a positive way. They will establish relationships and begin to understand that others have feelings and emotions, for example seeing friends become upset when hurt, and being able to empathies.
It encourages children to grow in confidence and self-esteem. Some children are more comfortable with themselves and others when they are outside. They play with confidence in the knowledge that they can be noisier and more boisterous and they do not feel as restricted as they may do indoors. Confidence and self-esteem are crucial for children’s well-being and ability to learn. Those children who are given opportunities to achieve success, whether it is through being able to be good at climbing or being leader in an imaginative game, are the most likely to enjoy satisfaction and a feeling of well-being. They will want more.
It promotes and enables physical activity. Joining in physical activity can have huge benefits for young children. It can help them to cope with success and failure in a supported environment and to develop a sense of fair play.
It makes a unique contribution to the development of the whole child and research evidence suggests there is a link between physical activity and academic achievement, as well as an improvement in children’s behaviour and the development of social interaction (Using Physical Activity and Sport, DfES 2000).
Young children need space, as movement is central to their development and learning. Their motor development is at a crucial stage and they need to be given opportunities to strengthen their large muscles to improve the control of their smaller ones. (To write with control they will need to develop their arm and shoulder muscles as well as their hand and finger muscles.)
It allows children to take risks. Children will take risks in their play that they are comfortable with because they set their own agenda.
It allows time to consolidate skills learned. Children need time to repeat, mimic, and try once more the skills they have been learning. Sometimes this may be through giving them the time alone. At other times it may be through providing for the same skills with a wider range of activities and experiences that may be bigger, noisier, messier than those offered indoors.