At Edwalton Primary School the children are lucky to have a rich environment on their doorstep. This includes extensive school grounds and the Meadow Covert – one of the few remaining areas of ancient woodland left in the area. The Meadow Covert nature reserve covers approximately four acres including a pond and is rich in all forms of natural British wildlife. It is a great asset in assisting delivery of the curriculum and in fostering an interest in and respect for our natural environment and its wildlife.
Within the school grounds we have an enclosure and four paddocks which house a variety of farmyard animals including pigs, hens, pygmy goats, sheepand rabbits. Older children share the responsibility of caring for the animals, thus realising the needs of living creatures. The outdoor animals and a variety of indoor animals also provide a stimulus for learning and an opportunity for problem-solving in a ‘real’ situation.
A further feature of the grounds is the school gardens. Small plots are conscientiously maintained by children and their parents or grandparents during weekends or playtimes. The gardens give the children a sense of ownership and responsibility for their school surroundings. We have a summer wild flower meadow which is invaluable for a range of wildlife investigations. We also have an extensive area of scented, sensory gardens. We have an extensive play area with a hard surface for netball and basketball, a ‘mound’ area of astro-turf with a tunnel and a new ‘all weather’ playground. This has a matting safety surface with a wide range of wooden play equipment, including a traversing wall, wobbly bridge and many new seating areas. This can be used in winter and summer. The hard area is marked with games such as hopscotch and is equipped with seating for those who prefer to sit and chat quietly.
We have recently developed a 'Peace Garden', shown below. This is an area we developed for children to enjoy at playtimes, whether they wish to reflect on their day, talk quietly with each other, or just enjoy their time in a quiet environment. The peace garden is also often used within class time with teachers or teaching assistants.