Transformation of Outdoor Learning Environments at Burnham Market
Parents, friends, businesses and the local community joined the staff and children at Burnham Market Primary School in the autumn sunshine on 30th September for the opening of their outdoor learning facilities
Burnham Market Primary School, part of The Wensum Trust, has recently benefited from the hard work of its Friends and Parents Association (FOBS) fundraising efforts. At a special event organised by the FOBS, parents and members of the local community were invited to the school, where they were thanked for all their support of the fundraising events, during the last academic year. There had been a huge success raising funds to enhance the outdoor areas at the school and so it was really important to the school to be able to show what has been achieved. Thanks to the generosity of parents and the local people of Burnham Market, the school was able to renovate an old beach hut structure, which has been doubled in size and is now a fantastic outdoor learning space, catering for a full class and smaller groups of children, allowing them to get out into the fresh air and enjoy learning in a different environment.
The school has some wonderful lunchtime clubs which can now take place outside in the beach hut, providing a great space for the children to take part in colouring and play related activities.
This was part of a larger project in partnership with a company called Butterflies of Britain (B.O.B), which included; improvements being made to a woodland area on the school site and a renovation of the Early Years Foundation Stage garden area, to ensure new reception aged children have a great start to their school life. A team of parents spent several weekends clearing out the woodland area and creating a new path to provide access for all children. B.O.B then built some amazing outdoor facilities in the woods which includes an outdoor classroom, fire pit, a textured kitchen, parkour area and small world area with story circles. B.O.B is now providing woodland school classes for all children on a Friday, helping them to learn about woodland animals, insects and trees. The children are loving the new outdoor lessons and the school hopes to be able to raise further funds, to continue them all year.
The FOBS team are so proud of what has been achieved so far and is really pleased to hear about how much enjoyment the children are getting from the new facilities. A spokesperson for FOBS said; “We couldn’t have done any of it without the generosity and support of the local community, for which we are very grateful. We are really proud of our excellent school and so pleased to be able to support the fantastic teaching staff by providing this renovated outdoor space”.
FOBS plan to continue their efforts this year by raising funds to weatherproof the beach hut, so that is it can be used all year round. They also plan to ensure that the school can fund the woodland classes for the full academic year and hope to be able to create a much needed shelter on the school field, to provide a shaded area for the children.
Mrs Rachel Stroulger, Headteacher added; “We have the most amazing team of parents, staff, governors and children at Burnham Market Primary School and we are all dedicated to provide the best learning environment both inside and outside, that we can. We are immensely grateful to many local sponsors and donors, who have given both their time and made financial contributions, to enable this whole project to work. Together Everyone Achieves More is our school mantra and we absolutely have shown that here”.
Photographs by Ian Burt