Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Our project aims to fling open our classroom doors, freeing the energetic bodies and minds of our children to experience a learning journey that encompasses a World of Wonder. In a recent headline we learned to our shame that, “Today’s children spend less time outdoors on average than prisoners” – but we want to put the outdoors at the heart of everything we do. By developing our outdoor area we will be able to give all our children – and staff – the benefits of learning, exploring, investigating and growing outdoors. This will lead to an increase in physical health and mental wellbeing for all involved. Increasing outdoor provision is key to producing happy, curious and ambitious children, who can achieve their potential and leave us ready and willing to become responsible members of our wider community, filled with respect for the world and people around them.We are proud of our creative and engaging approach to learning and want to extend this by making the best use of our existing naturally beautiful outdoor areas. However our grounds are underdeveloped and our children cannot use them as much as we would like.Our project will transform our outdoors. We need a safe, secure environment in which children can explore and learn; a free flow between indoors and outdoors, offering a rich and wide-ranging set of experiences. Our vision is an open patio area linking the classrooms to the outdoors. It will lend itself to nature and allow children to explore a multitude of activities. Ramps will give ease of access and fences will be erected to enclose it so that our children can play safely but with enough space do so freely and independently. We will add a shelter to provide year-round access come rain or shine.To encourage physical activity we will have a bike/trike road, which will involve some resurfacing and landscaping. This will be used for road safety lessons and by an outside provider for cycling proficiency. We will also have a construction area, den building, sand and water play to encourage problem solving and develop gross motor skills, stamina and strength. We will include pullies and winches to build a sense of weight, balance and coordination. We will have sensory zones with wind chimes, reflectors and plants that stimulate the senses. We will include areas to dig, plant, make mud pies, potions etc. In this busy world it is important to teach children how to be quiet, to enjoy their own company and to observe the wonders around them. For these moments we will develop outdoor reading nooks and areas for sketching or drawing.To encourage the imagination, embed communication skills and use numeracy we will have shops. The children will be able to role play buying and selling, but also develop an entrepreneurial spirit with projects creating, designing, growing and cooking items to sell to raise funds for the school, local community or charity. We will work with parents and other community sectors in this.The new outdoor area will also be used by breakfast/after school clubs and by a range of holiday club providers. In addition, we will run family days where family and friends can learn alongside us. We would love to tap in to and share local expertise by encouraging some of our retired neighbours to come along and join in the fun!
Children and their families will be involved in building and designing this area, adding to its positive and long lasting impact. Working together we hope to develop and manage a sustainable environment to be enjoyed by all. Funding is crucial in making our vision possible. It will enable us to maximise the beneficial impact of the outdoors on our children’s wellbeing, health and learning opportunities. Scientific evidence supports the fact that being, living, working and playing outdoors is hugely beneficial both to physical and mental wellbeing. Please help us to provide an environment that fosters health and wellbeing for our children, our staff and our community at large. Thank you!

High Cross Primary School

At High Cross we are proud of aiming high! Our school values are respect, curiosity and ambition. We are proud to be following our dream to help every member of our community to grow to embody these values. In the words of one pupil, “I can think better outside!” Let’s get out there and think!

Location: Rogerstone