December 11, 2017
Poringland School is a primary and nursery school in Norfolk. And they have a lovely approach to teaching and developing children generally. For them, it seems to be more about nurturing than just the exams the children have to get through to progress within the school system these days. It's already an ECO school and a Norfolk Healthy School too.
But, under the guidance of the Head Teacher, Peter Dean, They have taken this to another level and developed a new vision for the whole school.
"All children will leave Poringland with a desire to learn, inspired by innovative teaching and active learning; with the skills and self belief to enable them to succeed; with the confidence to solve problems, welcome challenges and to be independent learners who have a love for learning. Children will understand the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle. They will have a respect for others and a sense of moral responsibility as citizens in a modern world."
It was with this vision in mind, we approached the project. Our brief was to create outdoor classroom space and adventure play for both primary and nursery children. The pictures below speak for themselves and we are all delighted with the results. It doesn't end here though and the PTA are hard at work fundraising for more. If they can raise the money, they'll build more adventure play and more outside teaching space. So have a look at the video below and if you can help, then please visit their PTA page here. Their fundraising video is at the bottom of this page too.
For our team, they were a complete pleasure to work with, but what we love the most is the impact it's had on the school itself. Again, it was summed up by Peter Dean perfectly
"The world has changed a great deal over the last 20 years. The western world has two major concerns among others and they are obesity levels which are increasingly worrying and mental health. These two areas can work together as science proves that active, healthy lives lead to happier, higher functioning people. Primary education is therefore the time where we need to find solutions. If our children can have healthy, active lives and enjoy learning this way, then I would expect to see things. change. The Government have sent Sports money to every school in England and they use this money in different ways.
At Poringland where I am Head Teacher we have just spent money on the most exciting phased project I have ever been involved in. CAPCO excel in outdoor play and learning environments and we were lucky enough to have them build a phased play and learning area in our school. Words cannot describe the transformation well enough, you would have to come and see it to believe it. We have an outdoor classroom which we use for various lessons but around it a play area with balances, a look out tower and a fantastic slide. Schools don't change much inside but with a little imagination they could outside.
The teachers now call The Nursery deck and Play Bridge the 'ark' and the 3 year olds use it all the time - it has transformed their learning experience and is a joy to behold!
Having seen the result I firmly believe this is the future. Inspirational, well built, environmentally friendly spaces that inspire the imagination and encourage healthy, active play. For me this is just the beginning and we are looking at the next phase in this exciting project. We hope other schools will come and look and see what can be achieved."