Here at St Gabriel's Pre-School we believe that our large outside space enables the children who attend to have regular daily opportunities to explore and learn in the outdoor environment. The large Garden area provides a variety of hard and soft surfaces with a range of gradients which increases play and exploration, therefore supporting the development of gross motor skills
and providing a wide range of opportunities for discovery and investigation.
In our outdoor environment the children can come into contact with the ever changing systems of nature through seasonal changes and differing weather conditions which provide the children with a sense of time and place and offer endless investigation possibilities. Our large outdoor environment offers more freedom and space to move, and inspires different movement from that indoors. We believe that this is vital for our young children and enables them to develop their coordination, build muscle mass and experiment with moving their bodies.
Playing outdoors at our setting may be the only opportunity that some children have to play safely and freely while they learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new sit
uations. The children also have access to building dens , building bug hotels, playing in the mud kitchen, using magnifying equipment to explore beneath logs and taking part in growing their own flowers and plants within the garden area.
Looking Out to Sea
Our Outdoor learning is enhanced by an environment that is richly resourced with play materials that can be adapted and used in different ways. Open-ended play resources that are non prescriptive can be used in an imaginative way, with the children using them to fit the play that they are working through at the time, rather than the play materials dictating the play.
Staff are effectively engaged in supporting the children with materials that can maintain their learning to encourage making decisions, solving problems and enabling them to grow in confidence in their own abilities outdoors. Therefore we value the need for plenty of time for the children during sessions to investigate their outdoor environment purposefully, make predictions about what may happen as well as supporting and encouraging them to continue from their previous play experiences and test out these ideas and theories..
At St Gabriel’s Pre-school we feel that our Outdoor learning is of high importance and effective when complementary to the indoor space, and when both are available simultaneously to the children through a seamless transition space where they are able to choose between resourced areas across the Curriculum. Here at St Gabriel’s we are fortunate to be able to provide these environments through our in door play rooms, outside classroom and outside garden area. Children during session can move freely between the indoor and outdoor space whilst supported by staff who are engaged with them, surrounded by a safe and stimulating environment of play
and learning. We also offer an Outdoor learning experience which is enhanced by an environment that is richly resourced with play materials that can be adapted and used in different ways, this promotes and supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering the children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being across the EYFS Curriculum.
Offsite locations: At St Gabriel’s Pre-school we enjoy taking part weekly in Offsite visits on walks and trips within our local parks, woodland, beaches, and Community common land areas as we feel it is important for children to gain a sense of space and community. The children also take part in gardening at the local Community Garden. We believe that playing and learning outside also helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles.
The children enjoy building dens, experiencing minibeast bug hunts, making bug hotels and exploring living things and the natural world around them. Our belief is that experiencing the natural world can also increase knowledge & understanding of life processes and natural cycles of the seasons and that the outside environment stimulates the children’s natural curiosity and questioning across the EYFS Curriculum.
Learning About Wildlife