THE BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR LEARNING AND PLAY

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Bishop Challoner School has introduced a new infant playground this academic year. Completed in October 2016, the safe, fenced area contains various play equipment and educational games, all specifically designed for younger pupils to foster and enhance their learning.

Outdoor play provides an important environment to foster brain development, motor skills, and social and cognitive development, as well as being fun, which means happy children.

There is opportunity at break and lunchtime for the children to play in any way they choose, whether it be alone or with others supported by a wide range of structures and spaces.

The playground maximises opportunities for the children to interact, explore, enrich, build and to learn from their peers. They learn to negotiate, compromise, work together, and also to control themselves and tolerate and respect each other. The tractor and castle promote role play and social play, providing children with places to congregate and communicate.

The introduction of a canopy affords the opportunity to integrate the outdoors with the indoor classroom with one sense of place and identity. This enables children to move freely back and forth between the inside and outside encouraging them to experiment with autonomy and independence.

Forest School

To build on the success of Bishop Challoner’s Early Years learning experience, a dedicated Forest School provides an opportunity of learning through child-led, outdoor play. Children spend a morning every week on the Forest School site, where they are independently engaged in their learning with support from the Forest School Leader when requested. Children question and find answers while problem solving and managing their own risk in a safe and managed environment.

Children spend a morning every week on the Forest School site

Bishop Challoner’s qualified practitioners carefully facilitate programmes that are uniquely tailored to the needs of the individuals within the group and have the fundamental aim of building pupils’ self-esteem, confidence, independence and creativity. Children participate in mud painting, leaf collecting, den building and learning to whittle wood.

Forest School children watch the seasons change and explore the natural world every week as they follow their own interests and learn through play.

Bishop Challoner School is hosting an Open Morning on Saturday 11 March, 9am-1pm. For further information call 020 8460 3546 or email admissions@bishopchallonerschool.com

228 Bromley Road, Shortlands, Kent BR2 0BS; bishopchallonerschool.com