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24 February 2017

We watched with great anticipation as the new garden began to take shape. The ELS garden was designed with great care to provide open-ended learning opportunities for our Stage 3, 4 and 5 children. Our children have created many mouth-watering meals in the spacious mud kitchen and enjoyed exploring the sand moving along the pipes into the crescent shaped sandpit.

The children adore investigating the movement of water in the bespoke water area where they learn to work as a team so that one person can pump the water and other children can change the direction of the water by moving the portable wooden half pipes, lifting up the waterfall barriers or collecting water in simple yet stunning metal buckets. For those children feeling very active they can meet the challenge of climbing the wooden beams to get to the wobbly tunnel or clamber up the boulders to reach the platform before sliding down the long slide.

Under the platform the children make dens, ‘homes’ for tag games and create large group role-play together. We have a paved ‘road’ for the bikes and children enjoy negotiating the curves and learning to speed up or slow down to allow for collaborative play. The performance area is well used for our young actors and singers as they perform to an intimate audience seated on mini Astroturf benches. As we settle into our beautiful new garden we have started to add our own touches to follow the children’s interests. The children have mark making opportunities to express themselves through drawing and water painting and can use a myriad of wooden cut offs, blocks and logs to build their own bespoke constructions.

Once our grass seedlings have become a carpet of green, we will be able to open up the final parts of the garden to allow more space for ball games and to access the exciting tunnel. The ELS garden is truly a space of opportunities that meets all the Areas of Learning in the EYFS and great exploration and investigation takes place in this inspirational space each day.

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