From Spring through to the Autumn we spend lots of time in the garden. In summer we often have our meals there too. We have lots of space, shade and sunshine and the children take advantage of it all.
The sandpit is in constant use - the children never tire of it - and our Wendy House is often the focus for role play. We had shops and post offices one week last year, and a vets clinic and garden centre the next. The building site was particularly popular with bricks, cement mixers and lots of water ..... there is no end to the children's imagination and creativity.
Beneath the gazebo we set out the construction toys and small world areas. Our artwork, covering a multitude of skills, takes place under the trees. Last year we painted a collage in the style of Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso. You should have see our water lilies, sunflowers and starry nights!
And always there is space to run and chase; the tree house to climb and the climbing frame to swing on. There is the big terrace to ride tricycles on and for sit 'n ride cars, and secret pathways to explore and bushes, in which to hide and make dens.
We do regular 'Keep-Fit' sessions with music. Members of staff alternate this with action stories, where the children take the parts. A great favourite is "Where The Wild Things Are" which has infinite potential for stomping! We have music and dance in the garden and science sessions too.
All in all the children have a wonderful time, full of fun and excitement.
Every summer for the last 30 years or more, we have run our Summer Activities programme throughout the school summer holiday period. Every year the 6-week programme changes, though we keep a few of the old favourites like the Elswick House Bake Off, The Gruffalo Hunt and Pirates Day. Each day the theme changes and members of staff organise interesting and exciting activities around that topic. Here is our programme for 2021, which finished at the end of August.
In 2021, most of the days were spent in the garden as the weather, though rather grey, was mild and dry. But whatever the kind of summer we have, the children get lots of fresh air and exercise, whether it's Sports Day, our Summer Carnival, the Teddy Bears Picnic or Building Big with Boxes. Here are some photographs showing the kinds of things we get up to in the garden during our Summer Activities Programme.
In the summer we also like to take trips out in the minibus to local woodland areas and to nearby farms. One of our favourites is 'Going on a Bear Hunt' in Freeford Woods; another one is Tracking and Trailing in the Woods. But the best - the very best! - is when Farmer Rob takes us on the Tractor 'n Trailer Ride. We go round the village and into the fields to learn about the crops growing there. And this time, he reversed into the lake and we nearly got our feet wet! It was brilliant!!!