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From the beginning the outdoors has featured large in the life of Orchard pupils. The local Nature Reserve provided such a magical playground during our early years that we have endeavoured to create a similar experience for the children here on our school site.
Working closely with English Nature we have planted over fifty locally sourced trees together with a hazel walk leading to a tree house. A reading corner is hidden under a canopy of trees though for more rigorous pursuits we have a climbing mound, tractor tyres and activity trail. The camouflaged den and seating around the fire bowl provide opportunities for imaginative play and a meeting place for our Beaver Scouts.
The large canopied sand pit gives ample opportunity for large excavations whilst the smaller digging pit provides a different medium ideal for transporting. Our small orchard has trees that reflect the class names and further seedlings have been planted in the sensory tyre garden, which forms a barrier between the playground, and play houses. The next big challenge is to introduce water to the site.
Children are heavily involved in the cycle of growing and seasonal change. We are active members of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and our allotment, which contributes vegetables to our kitchen, has recently been expanded to increase our growing potential.
We bring the outdoors into the classroom and we take the classroom out into our extensive natural environment that enables our pupils to experience at first hand the fascination that nature has to offer.