Our Outdoor Settings
Research suggests the value of outdoor physical activity contributes to children's health and well-being as well as physical, social and emotional development. Natural environments enhance wonder and cognitive development, heightening observational skills and problem-solving strategies.
"Children need to take risks and challenge themselves when involved with physical active play...so they learn their own boundaries," (NICE 2009:38).
Beach School provides opportunities for children to explore and investigate the local environment they live in. The Dunes and beach provide a variety of experiences in all weather conditions that enable the child to become more robust, understanding the value of appropriate clothing, footwear and hopefully sun cream. Challenge enables the child to gain understanding of risk and how to assess it fostering self-regulation; following the rules of how to sit around a campfire and stay safe as well as only paddling and swimming on an incoming tide which results in fewer accidents and positive confident children.
The Tarn at the North Lakes Country Park provides a wealth of wonder and learning experiences. The Tarn School is an enclosed area where the children have a base camp for circle and snack times. This is surrounded by low growing Willow trees that are perfect for climbing. As the child gains confidence they explore the willow growing over the shallow Tarn which provides a soft albeit wet landing as they learn to negotiate and balance on the branches. The area fosters the imagination and play scenarios abound, needing no props apart from the odd stick, imagination is heightened and social interactions fosters language development and friendships made.
The wildlife on the Tarn changes with the seasons and often provides opportunities for counting, "Five Swans a swimming," Geese in abundance and sheltering Sea Gulls. Noticing fungi and flora adds interest and opportunities to research when back at Pre-school.
The Tarn provides opportunities to learn about science and test out theories of floating and sinking objects. The children repeat these activities to assimilate ideas and accommodate concepts.