Haddon Dene Preparatory School are very excited to unveil their new outdoor learning space.  Mrs McBride (Forest School Leader) and Mrs Green (Chair of the PFA) worked tirelessly during the Easter holidays alongside contractors N. Uden Civil Engineering to create an outdoor learning environment to be proud of.  Previously waste ground at the rear of the school, the new outdoor learning environment is now a useable space for all types of lessons such as science, art, PSHE, and maths.

Children from across the school have enjoyed outdoor lessons where they have planted their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  The children have created their own bug hotels to attract different species of insects.  Early years have made full use of the mud kitchen area providing a fantastic opportunity to role play and build gross motor skills.  A climbing frame has been installed using sustainable and recycled materials.  A pathway has been built, leading to a secret fairy garden.  There you will find two huge reading thrones where the children can read in peace and tranquillity.

Earlier this year, Haddon Dene won a Green Schools Award for their commitment to improving the local environment.  Classes regularly go out and conduct beach cleans, collecting over 25 bin bags of rubbish so far.  This new outdoor environment will teach the children about the need to preserve natural habitats and the importance bees and insects play in our food chains.  Children will also learn about food sustainability, looking at the process from seed to plate.  Each class have designed additional features for the outdoor learning environment using recycled materials.  For example, in Year 4, the class have created a waterfall feature using recycled plastic bottles.

As Mrs McBride is forest school trained, the longer-term aim is to install a fire pit where the children will learn how to make their own fires safely.  The school are also looking into the possibility of housing rare breed chickens in a purpose-built coop. 

Joanne Parpworth, headmistress at the school said, ‘This space is invaluable.  Mrs McBride and Mrs Green have gone above and beyond to create a space which will enhance and deepen the learning of our children.  There they will learn about the importance of environment preservation and how to be more creative with everyday recycled items.  Our core curriculum will be enhanced during these outdoor lessons and as a result, the children will develop wider skill sets important for success later in life.’

What beautiful outdoor space you have and how wonderful you have made it all look and sound. We hope you really enjoy learning in the outdoors.