We are really fortunate to have extensive outdoor areas.
Throughout the year, children have opportunities not only to play outside, but to develop a variety of physical and PE skills using our fields and playgrounds. The grounds are also used at various points during the year across the curriculum, but particularly for learning about nature in science and as a stimulus for art.
At lower school, children also enjoy our sensory garden and pond during the warmer months.
At upper school, we have a large wildlife area at the very end of the field. For a whole term during the year, each year 3 class dedicate an afternoon every week to learning outdoors. They spend half the term learning in the wildlife area and half the term using the outdoor environment to create art in the classroom.
At Wickford Primary School we believe that learning need not take place solely within educational buildings. Outdoor time often provides the most memorable learning experiences and helps children to make sense of the world around them by putting their learning into a meaningful context.
Recent studies have highlighted some benefits of outdoor learning for young children:
- Higher levels of conversational language.
- Greater independence.
- Improved health and sleeping patterns.
- Greater physical competence and agility.
- Improved time focus on activities and more concentration.
- A greater understanding of nature and the environment.
- Improved social skills, involvement and initiative.
We think that every child should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development. We are extremely fortunate to be set in large grounds over two sites and surrounded by an environment rich in additional learning opportunities.
The outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from Foundation through to Year 6. Our outdoor learning experiences are delivered through a combination of school-based outdoor learning, visits to other places and residential programmes.
The journey through education for a child at Wickford Primary School will include a series of planned, quality outdoor learning experiences. Learning outdoors is part of our wide range of practical approaches to developing skills. Opportunities for outdoor learning exist within and across all curriculum areas and help to develop personal and social skills, communication, problem solving, thinking skills and teamwork, as well as English, Mathematics and all other curriculum areas.