Lowther Endowed School
Achieving, Caring, Enjoying
Outdoor provision is an integral part of our learning environment at Lowther Endowed School and is another area that we have invested into. The children in Reception and Year 1 have full access to this, whatever the weather! Every child has their own waterproof puddle suit and wellies.
Visitors are always surprised by how large our outdoor space is! We know that we are extremely lucky and this is why we ensure it is used to enhance learning experiences. Our large wildlife area is full of different trees, willow, and plenty of birds and minibeasts! Also, the area allows children to navigate the uneven space, requiring balance and coordination. The children quite often enhance their play in this area with small world creatures, spades to transfer the stones, and wheelbarrows to collect and transport water.
‘Mess is best'
Outside, we are lucky enough to have our own open-ended exploration area: mud kitchen, water station, muddy pits, and large tire. In the area, children enjoy using skills such as grinding, mixing, stirring, pouring, filling, juicing, cutting, and mashing, as they experiment with leaves, moss, grass, herbs, mud, and anything else they can get their hands on!
This year, after many years of using external providers, we have started to teach our own Forest School activities with Emma Daley (one of our teaching staff), who has been undertaking the full Forest School teaching Practitioners course with Kindling Kindling Play and Training | Playwork | Forest School | Training. We are further developing a fenced off section of our extensive playing field into our own exploratory wild area.
In Forest School sessions, the children love to learn how to build dens and cooking over the campfire is also brilliant. This year, the Hedgehogs class used their own outside woody play area for their activities (but it did rain a lot!) and they learned to paint with their own grass and twig brushes using squashed berries. Otters class built shelters and learned how the Stone Age people lived in our new Forest School area we are creating, but Badgers had the best fun when they went over to the woods nearby and played games, did scavenger hunts, and constructed their own dens - pretty hard in the frost!