St Nicholas Church of England Primary School

Excellence for All, Excellence from All

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Our Wholesome Curriculum encompasses: • Heart- Feelings and responding • Head- ‘sticky knowledge’ • Hands- physical skills •Health- physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental

Outdoor play and learning

Children in British primary schools spend 20% or 1.4 years of their school attendance at play. Research shows that play contributes to children’s physical and emotional health, well-being, approach to learning and enjoyment of school. 

Outdoor play in general has a huge range of benefits for children. Being out in fresh air, whatever the weather, has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, improve eyesight and increase physical activity. It can also improve children’s educational outcomes. The fun that comes from play is a crucial part of childhood, and is essential to health, wellbeing and learning. Children who spend time outdoors:

  • Have better mental health
  • Are more physically active
  • Have better eyesight
  • Develop social and emotional skills .
  • Are more resilient and have better self-worth
  • Are ready to learn when they go back in the classroom
  • Are more creative
  • Will connect with other children of all ages
  • Are more connected to place and the planet – and so are more likely to protect it 

Outdoor play teaches young people how to deal with risk. Without this awareness and learning they are ill equipped to deal with working life. Young people are curious, and they learn quickly. We should not deny them the opportunity to learn by taking risks. 

What do our playtimes look like?

There are a variety of resources to support physical play- space hoppers, skipping ropes, stilts, balance rockers, swing ball, hoops and bats and balls.

The trim trail includes a climbing net, a climbing wall, a rolling log, tyre walk and bars of varying heights. For those who wish to make their own trim trail, or castle or whatever their imagination wants- there are crates and planks, bungees and ropes, tarpaulin and nets. 

There is equipment to support team work and competition- basketballs and nets, footballs and rugby balls.

For the creative types, the stage comes alive with music from the bluetooth speaker and dancers who can make their own costumes from the box of scarves and pegs. 

There is small world play, construction kits and two large sandpits in tractor tyres. 

There is a quiet area set aside for reading, drawing and talking.

Every lunchtime, there is an outside club led by a TA- parachute games, quick cricket, playground art with chalk or water and lunchtime supervisors who have a dedicated area of the playground to ensure safety and inclusiveness.