Tore Primary playground expands pupil learning
New play equipment installed at Tore Primary school is supporting a creative approach to learning as the whole playground has become an outdoor classroom.
Installed in Tore Primary’s playground is a bird hide, mud kitchen, water exploration area, outdoor stage and a playhouse built between two trees. This has been made possible with £9,500 funding from the Big Lottery Awards for All (Scotland). The project also allowed for the installation of a greenhouse at the school for pupils to grow fruit and vegetables.
Staff at the school felt that the playground could be enhanced to offer more opportunities for outdoor learning and throughout the funding application process all pupils were consulted about what items they would like in their playground and where they would like them. Teachers and children worked collaboratively on the project with joiners, from DJ Munro Joinery who installed their new equipment to a very high standard.
Head Teacher Audrey Buchanan said: “We like to involve our pupils in decision- making and they were fully involved in the process of choosing items for their outdoor learning. Our whole playground is an outdoor classroom and supports our creative approach to learning. The pupils have super ideas and recently we have had outdoor cooks, den-making sessions, and transient art activitieds.
“We are very lucky to have such great support from families and partners in our community. Our Parent Council funded an outdoor classroom and sandpit table. The charity Blythswood and local families donated kitchen items for the outdoor mud kitchen. The children even used mapping skills to consider which areas of the playground would be best suited for their ideas.”
She added: “A huge thank you also goes to Mrs Pirie our P1-4 Teacher who completed the application for the Awards for All Scotland grant with the Big Lottery. This money has funded the entire project, something that would have otherwise been impossible for a school with only 18 families to raise the funds. Since the installation of the new areas it has been nearly impossible to get the children to come indoors come rain, hail or shine! They have been having great fun playing and learning outdoors while developing skills or creativity, imagination and communication.”
The project aims to further develop Tore Primary’s use of outdoor space to meet the needs of the curriculum. Outdoor learning is very important in today’s education system and something Tore Primary tries hard to foster through gardening and using their playground area for activities.