A Boston town centre primary school has invested in a new play area for its youngest pupils.
Boston Pioneers Academy, in Fydell Crescent, had the bespoke facility installed by Red Monkey Play, a company whose Managing Director also originates from the town.
“Our EYFS pupils were extremely excited following the installation of their new outdoor learning environment.
It includes a stage area, den-building zone, water and sand zones - as well as a giant mud kitchen and 'crawl, climb and roll hill'.
Learning, exploring and playing outdoors is crucial to children’s development. Within the first few hours of the children accessing this provision we saw many of our pupils displaying new skills.”Jo BlandHeadteacher - Boston Pioneers Academy
Research by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom identified five key benefits of outdoor learning environments in EYFS:
- It supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promotes a sense of wellbeing. The latter is of great prominence currently, with more children than ever having identified mental health problems linked with the Covid epidemic.
- It offers space, therefore is particularly important to those children who learn best through active movement. Very young children learn predominately through sensory and physical experiences, supporting brain development and the creation of neural networks. Gross and fine motor skills developed in the outdoor environment are the precursors to children being able to write.
- It supports children’s problem solving skills and nurtures their creativity, while providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
- It develops social skills, particularly oracy – proven to be a key factor in determining future life success.
- For many children playing outdoors in their early years setting may be the only opportunity they have to play safely and freely while learning to assess risk – and develop the skills to manage new situations and build resilience.
Boston Pioneers Academy is part of the Boston Witham Academies Federation (BWAF), a trust which includes seven other local schools and the Connect Teaching School Alliance.