Exploring outdoors – Bath Spa University

At Oak Tree Nursery we adopt an educational approach to playing and learning outdoors.

The Development Matters non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) says:

"By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility."

We also believe that having the opportunity to explore in the outdoors supports children to develop:

  • strong social skills and high self esteem
  • confidence in their abilities and physical ability
  • knowledge of boundaries – physically and emotionally
  • a sense of freedom within rules that are set for their safety, as well as learning to identify and manage risks
  • independence
  • knowledge and understanding of nature as they see the environment changing with the seasons
  • communication and language skills
  • use of phonic knowledge
  • ability to work together to achieve their ideas.

Exploring the wonderful Newton Park campus fosters curiosity and motivation to learn and explore. It also helps to teach children to respect each other, the natural world and their local community. The campus at Bath Spa University is a safe place for children to explore and is well-maintained by our onsite grounds team.

Nursery practitioners plan time to explore the University campus, as well as the surrounding areas such as the village of Newton St Loe, based on the children's fascinations and interests. Being part of the University community means we are quite often surprised at what we encounter as we walk around. This can include dance students performing at the outdoor auditorium, the sheep being sheared by the farmer, the swans and ducks strolling around, the choir practising for a performance, and much more.

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