The striking new Early Years outdoor playground at Reynolds Academy complete with pirate ship.
Nursery school pioneer Margaret McMillan said: "The best kept classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky," (c1925). When Reynolds Academy pupils return fully to school in September 2020 they will see how that statement has been brought to life with the provision of a spectacular new outdoor play area.
Principal Rebecca Scott explained how the Academy, which is part of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, has utilised lockdown to transform the school's outdoor environment for Nursery and Reception children.
'We have transformed the Early Years playground into a vibrant, enticing and safe place for the children to learn and play. We believe that having the opportunity to learn outdoors provides young children with one of the best possible environments in which to learn. The previous area had seen better days and the equipment no longer provided a challenge for the children," she said.
"We recognise the many benefits for children learning outside and have carefully designed the new outside area to encourage children to be active, to develop social and communication skills, to play collaboratively and to support the development of gross and fine-motor skills.
"In addition to this, it is through outdoor play that children learn how to assess risks, and our colourful surface will provide a safe environment, reducing the risk of injury from trips and falls.
"As this is the place where those important early foundations for learning are built, it is important that our dedicated Early Years Team have the resources to continue to find new and interesting ways for the children to explore their environment and develop a deep love of learning that will hopefully last a lifetime. We now can't wait to have all of our Nursery and Reception children back so we can see their smiling faces as they explore this new area."
Some Early Years pupils who are back in school this month have already had the opportunity to explore the new playground. Ava Dixon told teachers that she likes playing on the pirate climbing frame and going down the slide. Ava added that she likes playing 'Princesses and Pirates.'
Reuben Vine spoke about how he also liked playing on the pirate ship and that Mrs Hilditch pretended to be Tick-Tock the crocodile (from Peter Pan). Reuben says that when he runs away, he shouts, 'Arrrr', just like a pirate!
Mrs Scott said: "We look forward to the children spending many happy hours learning through play with their friends in this enhanced, colourful, engaging and exciting environment."
There are so many new areas to discover.
The new playground provides many ways to play.
Ava Dixon and Joseph Miller enjoy the calming and mesmerising chrome sphere water feature and the wooden water channels that children can explore and enjoy the feeling of the water flowing through their hands.
Daisie Thompson, Ava Dixon and Reuben Vine take the boat out!
Lilly Brocklehurst has words of encouragement for Joseph Miller as he scales the new climbing wall.
Scarlett Carter slides easily into the fantastic new playground.
Daisie Thompson digs for treasure in the new sand pit, which is just part of the spectacular new playground at Reynolds Academy.