Case Study: Developing School Grounds
Developing EYFS outdoor provision on a budget
St Thomas CE (VC) Primary School, Huddersfield
Large open mounded grass space with cluster of trees, a wood chip adventure play space and covered area
The remit was to design and install engaging outdoor continuous provision opportunities for reception year children. The space, though extensive, was uninspiring and unengaging. Elements were to include: literacy, language, mathematical language and number skills installations as well as opportunities for the children to learn about the world around them and areas to stimulate imaginative play.
After an initial assessment Grow to School came up with a design based on the inclusion of these key areas and using existing materials. We worked with the children and staff, over the course of one term, to deliver sessions that linked the installation of provision with their classroom learning. Sessions combined use of the apparatus with curriculum sessions, showing staff how to employ the facilities to meet learning objectives.
The outdoor sessions are really popular and have inspired both staff and children to engage more actively with the provision. Even in cold winter months they are excited and motivated to go outside and are always able to explain what they have done and enjoyed.
Both staff and children have benefitted massively from the Grow sessions. The children take part in ‘real’ learning and purposeful play. We have enjoyed developing the provision together and it now looks both engaging and motivating.
Children’s attainment has increased in those who are less focused inside. They are partaking in activities outside such as sorting objects and counting, developing their understanding in greater depth.