Our Garden Environment
“There is no such thing as inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing!”
At Archfield we are fortunate enough to have five outdoor spaces and we utilise these areas in all weathers. We are very lucky to have such a large outdoor space situated so close to the city so the children really are at an advantage. We have distinct areas for our under twos and over twos as well as a large sand pit and even a story garden.
Outdoor play is of huge importance to ensuring high levels of well being for children and adults. It is also paramount to children’s learning opportunities during the time where their brain is making the most connections during their lifetime.
‘Outdoor learning complements indoor learning and is equally important. Play and learning that flow seamlessly between indoors and outdoors enable children to make the most of the resources and materials available to them and develop their ideas without unnecessary interruption. Outdoor learning encompasses all that children do, see, hear or feel in their outdoor space. Fresh air and exercise are important factors for promoting good physical health. Children who spend more time outdoors are known to increase their energy and capacity for learning, are more able to focus and develop the social skills require to play and co-operate with their peers.’ Effective Practice: Outdoor Learning. Department for Education 2007.
We aim for all children to go outside at least twice a day in any weather with the appropriate care taken to protect the children.We provide waterproof overalls for our children that aren’t yet mobile to ensure that they can enjoy the benefits of outdoor play without getting too soggy! We also ask parents of our older children to provide waterproofs and wellington boots throughout the year as we never know when there is going to be perfect ‘puddle-splashing’ weather here in Bristol!
We value our outdoor space as an extension of the indoor environment and we ensure that the children are provided with different challenges and skills. The outdoor space has a significant role in many fundamental aspects of young children’s health and development including the four principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We encourage physically challenging and risky play outdoors so the safety of children accessing the outdoors area is crucial. A full risk assessment has been carried out and is reviewed regularly.