Step Outside Quality Award
We are proud to announce we have been awarded the Step Outside Quality Award for Early Years Education , well done Mrs McCreavy and the EYFS team supporting her !
Mrs McCreavy summed up beautifully by saying ' Although we already had great respect for the important part the outdoor environment plays in a child’s development, we were keen to ensure that our outdoor environment at Mere Brow provided our children with the most varied and stimulating range of experiences to help develop their independence, resilience, problem-solving and team-work skills. In addition, we wanted to extend our outdoor learning opportunities so that the children could progress across all seven areas of learning. Therefore, as a school and an EYFS team we were enthusiastic to learn through Step Outside and get started on our improvements. Being involved with Step Outside has had a positive impact on all staff and children in the EYFS. As a staff team we are more focused on the uniqueness of the outdoors and have gained deeper insights into the many benefits that spending time outside can have on our children. Following the lockdowns when a lot of our children spent much time indoors away from their friends, it has been wonderful to see the children enjoying spending prolonged periods of time outdoors, remembering how to play together, using and extending their language and communication skills and enjoying getting messy in the mud kitchen and water investigation areas! Consulting with and collecting the views of our children about our outdoor area was a really rewarding experience and gave our planning and development a feeling of joint ownership with the children from the start. We also think this has contributed towards the positive way the children have engaged with the improvements. The most rewarding effect of Step Outside for us has been, without a doubt, the positive impact it has had on our children’s learning and development, not least in relation to their well-being and personal, social and emotional development. Our children have shown themselves to be happy outdoor learners who enjoy the freedom to be able to run around in the fresh air, experience and learn about the changing seasons, take on different roles as they learn to collaborate, take risks and enjoy the responsibility of taking care of living things be it plants or the birds. We also feel grateful for the fact that since September we have had the Year 1 children in our class together with Nursery and Reception and we have seen already the benefits it brings to those children and how the outdoor environment complements and enhances their learning within the National Curriculum.'