Outdoor Learning

At St Mary's we take every opportunity to make use of the fantastic outdoor space and facilities that we have available to us. We have a very large school playground and field, which are used for playtimes, PE, sports events and special occasions. We also have a beautiful spiritual garden, which was designed by the children and created with the financial support of our PTFA, the Paddlers. The children especially love developing their physical skills by using the adventure trail and climbing equipment that is available to them.

Everyone takes care of the outdoor space, but our school Eco Team members especially help us to remember how important it is to look after our world. They lead the way by carrying out activities such as energy conservation work and composting. St Mary's Playleaders also support their friends by helping younger pupils to use the outdoor space well at breaktimes.

Teachers provide lots of opportunities to take curriculum work into the outside environment. Every class has the opportunity to participate in Forest School learning each year, which is a really enjoyable learning experience for every child. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 you will often find the children learning outside. Older children also make the most of the outdoor space, especially for their science work and art work, as well as in the annual Bikeability training course. Year 5 and 6 pupils also attend the annual orienteering competition, for which they travel off site and test their skills against pupils from other Essex schools.

We also make good use of local outdoor spaces and providers. One example of this is our visit to Bradwell Outdoors, where the children take part in a wide variety of specialist outdoor and adventurous activities on land, in the air and on the water!