During the first phase of the project the children in our school worked with architects and gardening experts to re-design an unused courtyard in our school. This subsequently lead to three other allotment areas being developed across Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. We use the outdoor spaces for a range of activities and work with our resident environmental educator Gaynor Ayres to explore new and innovative practices based on the outdoors and living with the land.
Above: The Courtyard before and after phase 1 of the initial project
The outdoor spaces are used on daily basis and form an integral part of the school day. Produce is always used through cooking activities in school, afternoon cafes run by the children and Kitchen Garden Club. We also supply the local church community cafe with salad when our plants are in season. Through this process children have developed an in-depth understanding of the importance of eating nutritious and wholesome food. We believe that this is an essential part of a child’s education.
Above: The Key Stage 1 allotment and Gaynor Ayres working with children in KS2
Creative Learning is the focus of our work in outdoor spaces and we regularly go on ‘Earth Walks’ as well as plan contexts for learning based around the outdoors. We have also worked with David Hunt of Native Eyes Bushcraft to explore living with the land and the ways in which we can lead a healthier lifestyle.
Above: During the ‘Ratatouille’ project in Year 2 children set up and ran a French-inspired cafe using herbs and vegetables that they had grown in the school gardens with Gaynor.