|The wooden gates can be closed off.|
In the outdoor space they have numerous shelters dotted around the place, some planted like willow dens or others are wooden, some were even movable willow arches. I always like to try & create quiet areas within the larger, noisy outdoor space & this is exactly what they have done so successfully at Alfreton. There were so many opportunities for children to be in smaller groups amongst the larger group - at most times there are up to 52 children in the school at one time & yet it never felt that way. I saw little groups of children playing with each other in the mud kitchen area, inside the grass tunnel, the willow dens & just sitting on the grass chatting with the adults.
They have a gorgeous sand pit/construction area just outside the main exit & we got to see in use throughout the day & how the adults set it up for play as well. It was great to see the 'H' crates in action in another school, as the green crates we have at Windmill have become known to the wider school audience. Once again the pile of crates was set up beautifully before each play session to entice the children to engage with the various items.
|Area just for bike play|
|Large outdoor transient art.|
The best part of exploring this incredible space was that I got to see so many Cosy Direct products in action, it is hard to sometimes tell how useful something is going to be from looking at it in a catalogue, so this was even better than going to an exhibition.
Once again, Angela & her team has used every inch of space & are not precious about it looking pristine - it looks so lived in & well used. You can tell when people are serious about outdoor play when there are waterproofs & wellies for everyone, not just the children.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit this amazing school, grab it. I promise you will come away with loads of ideas of how to enhance your own outdoor space.
Thanks again to all the Alfreton Team for their patience at the many questions! And to Nicola for being our chauffeur & guide for the day.