A County Durham primary school is taking the classroom outdoors to help make learning more fun for its youngest pupils.
Staff at Burnopfield Primary School have transformed a once neglected area of their school grounds into a fantastic adventure garden for their reception children.
Complete with a birdwatching base, superhero writing area, three little pigs’ building site and an outdoor music space, the children have been able to make the most of the outdoors, whatever the weather.
The adventure garden is helping the young pupils learn in a number of different and creative ways by exploring, problem solving, investigating and playing together.
It has also helped them transition from home to school, following months at home in lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cath Thompson, acting co-headteacher of Burnopfield Primary School, said: “It can be tough for children to adjust from home to school in any circumstances but that was a particular concern following the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully though, our reception pupils have really thrived with the outdoor provision that has been created and after just three days, they were enjoying school full-time.
“We are so thankful to our staff for their hard work in creating the adventure garden. It’s a real joy to see the children so enthusiastic about learning in such a fun environment and we are very grateful for everyone’s efforts in bringing the adventure garden to life.”
Rebecca Brunon, also acting co-headteacher, said: “Our children love being outside exploring and investigating; they are learning without even realising. A recent grant from the ‘Back to School Support Fund’ also enabled us to purchase waterproofs and wellies which means the children can be outside in all weathers.”
Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “It is fantastic to see the reception children at Burnopfield Primary School having such a fun time learning and making the most of the outdoors. It is also a remarkable achievement from the staff who have created such a wonderful space for them.
“I feel very proud of the efforts of all our school staff in how they have risen to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Their creativity, resolve and determination for children to enjoy their education, despite the limitations of the pandemic, is a real credit to their profession and I am sure it will have a positive impact on the county’s school children for years to come.”