At Billingshurst Primary we are extremely lucky to have extensive grounds that allow our children excellent access to learning outdoors. In Reception the children can access their own purpose-built outdoor learning area, with a soft play area, gardens, gazebos and even an area where they keep the chickens. This area is secure and safe, and is organised for the learning and social needs of the children each day. Children and staff learn outside in this area come rain or shine: wellies are the order of the day in the winter!
Each Year 1 and Year 2 class have access to the outdoors and choose to spend time out learning together. In Key stage 2 (Years 3 to 6) classes also access the outdoors. We have a large playing field, numerous hard-surface playgrounds that are used all year, as well as quiet areas with seating and gardens. Our Gardening Club work very hard to develop these gardens, initiated by parents and the PTA of the previous junior school. We will be investing in developing these areas further as plans are already in place for this. The children grow vegetables and flowers, which not only aids their learning but makes our school look beautiful.
We believe every child has the right to access the outdoors and this is something that we are going to be extending in the future. In Year 4 and Year 6 we organise residential trips to Lodge Hill and Blacklands farm respectively where children have the chance to take part in outdoor activities, which for Year 6 includes camping! We are planning to develop our use of the outdoors by working towards becoming a Forest School; the children would have further opportunities to take part in learning outdoors, sometimes off the school site, within our curriculum. The children show us how much they enjoy learning outside and our vision is to give the children further opportunities for this throughout their time at the school.