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Outdoor Learning Environment

Fund applied for: £2,500

Location: Shropshire

2818 votes so far

Project description

Describe your project
We need to create an outdoor learning environment for our youngest children (age 2 - 7) and our children who use our wrap around service (7.30am to 5.30 pm all year round). We have the space but it is currently not fit for purpose. The space needs re-landscaping (following a building project for a hall which we have struggled for 6 years to get finances for) and filling with a range of quality outdoor opportunities: raised beds for growing projects; wildlife/sensory areas; physical play areas (climbing, balancing; rolling, cycling, ball play); imagination/pretend play (mud kitchen; builders/construction area; small world; mini road area); seating and quiet areas; sand and water play; environment/sustainable opportunities (composting; solar panel water feature; weather monitoring area; fruit trees and bushes.)

How will your project benefit your local community?
We are the only nursery and wrap around/childcare service in a wide catchment area (c 12 square miles). Our youngest children and children who are on site 10 hours a day deserve better facilities to stimulate their development and have fun in the outdoors. Our Nursery and Reception children have a low baseline (2015 36% reached aged related expectations - national was 66%). Since 2015 we are continually supporting the development of our youngest children with often 0% entering school at age related expectations. Free flow to outdoor play is central and has significant impact on young children's learning and as Ofsted itself acknowledges: ' children's achievements up to the age of five can determine their life chances'. In addition our wrap around service is oversubscribed. This is a vital service for working parents and these children deserve a range of fun, stimulating activities.

Please give details of any support you have from your local community
Our community is fully behind us as the only educational, nursery and childcare facility in the area. We are oversubscribed due to the high regard for our services. Our PTA is making this their fund raising focus which, with funds from this grant, we hope we can bring to fruition. We have the free services of a local landscape designer who is currently drawing plans for us.

How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
130 pupils in the school and nursery (who also use the wrap around service). Overall this is about 90 families.

Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
- Landscaping of the area - Labour and materials to create: raised beds for growing projects; wildlife/sensory areas; physical play areas (climbing, balancing; rolling, cycling, ball play); imagination/pretend play (mud kitchen; builders/construction area; small world; mini road area); seating and quiet areas; sand and water play; environment/sustainable opportunities (composting; solar panel water feature; weather monitoring area; fruit trees and bushes.) Our PTA is organising a promise auction to also fund raise. They hope to raise £2500 to match the calor gas grant in order to pay for the project (estimated total cost of £5000)

When and why was your project founded?
Our nursery and childcare service has been benefitting the community for many years (c. 10). The school has substantially grown (44 pupils in 2006 to 130 in 2019) but has had inadequate accommodation for many years. Creating the outdoor learning area is part of a wider project to address this.

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