Children attending Cranmer Primary School in Mitcham can now make the most of the outside world as part of their daily classroom activities thanks to the school’s new Curriculum Garden and outdoor learning areas.
The areas reflect one of the school’s targets on ‘learning about, and appreciating, the awe and wonder of our environment.”
Cranmer Primary School’s Nursery Nurse, Jenny Fortune, with the help of her husband, other staff, children and parents, have transformed a previously under-utilised area of outdoor space into new and imaginative areas for drama, sensory development and other educational opportunities.
The Curriculum Garden boasts a section for each aspect of the school’s Foundation Stage Curriculum including a stage for drama, a pirate boat, a quiet area, tepees, secret pathways, a butterfly garden and a sensory area.
The school’s parent body, The Cranmer School Association, has also raised money through a number of events to develop a well-shaded, serene and imaginative outside quiet garden and classroom area – which is already proving very popular during the lunch hour.
Irene Leeves and Clive Rockell, shared head teachers say:
‘The development of the new outdoor spaces will offer children quality learning opportunities in addition to the usual learning environment in our classrooms.
“The Curriculum Garden offers children in the Foundation Stage fabulous exploration opportunities in all areas of the curriculum, while the quiet garden offers a pleasant place in which to relax and chat with friends at playtimes. Both will add variety, stimulation and enjoyment to a child’s time at Cranmer.
“We’d like to extend a big thank you to all of those who contributed their precious time and efforts into the development of these areas, all of which we know will benefit our pupils for years to come.’
Councillor Debbie Shears, cabinet member for Children’s Services, says: ‘It’s encouraging to see schools in Merton using innovative ideas that add variety to the school curriculum.
“These new outdoor learning spaces are a great example of the positive progress that’s being made in building a strong network of quality local schools for children in Merton.’