There was excitement all round when pupils at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School saw their new play area. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Year 1 play facilities at the school had received a £26,000 facelift, which saw extensive resurfacing work, along with the introduction of a new water wall and climbing equipment.
“The old outdoor area had been in place for a long time and was in need of refurbishment,” said Sarah Walsh, Deputy Headteacher and EYFS Lead at the school, which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust. “We wanted the children to have access to a wide range of activities in both the indoor and outdoor environment.”
“The new play area stretches the length of the building,” she continued. “The new outdoor classroom is a hub of communication and language. Through the new water wall, children are able to problem solve with peers. The installation of new climbing equipment has allowed children to have extra opportunities to develop their fine and gross motor skills, which are of the utmost importance in the early years, setting a strong foundation for children on their school journey.
“The whole outdoor area has been newly replenished with resources carefully designed to ensure that there are opportunities for mathematics and literacy skills to develop outdoors.”
The new play facilities, which are situated outside the Reception and Year 1 classrooms, were funded by St Cuthbert’s and are used daily by the school’s EYFS and Year 1 pupils.
“The children enjoy the newly developed area, including the water wall, and especially the balance beam and monkey bars,” added Mrs Walsh. “They also enjoy the range of small world activities in the environment, and having opportunities to practise their literacy and mathematics outdoors. The new play area has really supported the children in their development. The children are excited and motivated learners in the new environment, and can communicate what they are learning well.”
She added, “The new resources provision is a real asset to our school.”
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Images reproduced with the kind permission of Kate Buckingham.