The Outdoors at Waterbeach
At Waterbeach Primary School, the outdoors is seen as an important element in enhancing the national curriculum and providing a range of learning opportunities. It is also important in developing a child as a well-rounded individual. Being outside has been proven to improve well-being and the school grounds are used in all areas of learning to develop children’s confidence and an appreciation for the outdoors. Children are also given opportunities to practise outdoor based activities such as whittling, den building and learning about fire lighting.
Our School Grounds
We are very lucky to have a range of settings on our school grounds for learning outdoors. The outdoors includes a forest and orchard area but also a field and playground areas that allow for a range of different activities to take place.
The Forest Area
We have a lovely space for our children to learn about nature and to use as a different setting for learning. All year groups visit the forest area on at least a fortnightly or weekly basis. There is a weekly timetable that ensures all year groups have access to the forest area.
Pond dipping and insect identifying Forest Fractions Our dipping platform was sourced from the, now closed, Waterbeach Barracks. The forest area has been used to learn about the seasons, plants, create Art and even fractions! In this area the children also can climb trees, build dens and search the pond for a variety of fascinating creatures including frogs and great crested newts.
We have also developed our very own Honeycomb Orchard. To improve the biodiversity of our school grounds we planted an orchard of pears, apples and plums. These trees are traditional varieties that were grown in Waterbeach 100 years ago. We also planted a wild flower meadow. In our grounds we have seen foxes, hedgehogs, grass snakes, great crested newts, frogs, woodpeckers and many more animals. Our wildflower meadow is a blaze of colour and attracts numerous insects. The orchard has been used to observe local insects, plants and observe changes across the seasons.
With the expansion of the school there are plenty of areas outside that can be used for learning by different year groups. Simply taking a lesson out onto the playground can develop excitement for an activity!
Key Stage One playground areas
Key Stage 2 playground areas
Key Stage Two field Key Stage Two forest area
Maths quiz outside