Our garden updates and our journey begins on our way out of Covid - hurrah!
Welcome to May’s blog, it has been a busy month as we have decided to make our Kindergarten rooms back to being one bubble, from 17th May, in line with the relaxing of government guidelines. Babies and Toddlers are still in separate bubbles. When deciding if this was the right move for the three Kindergarten rooms, we weighed up the risk versus reward, and decided the benefit to our children, especially the children going to school, outweighed the risk. By accessing the whole garden, it enables planning in the moment to work at its best in the garden. The children can choose to access more variety of environments and can benefit from the freedom and space, benefiting their levels of well-being. The risk of transmission is so low outside and the levels of Covid in our surrounding area are low we felt it was the right time, it feels so refreshing to be making these positive steps and planning for the way out of Covid!
We began thinking how to make the garden from three gardens back to one by considering what works well and reflected on the EYFS which is being revised and an updated framework is being implemented this coming September. We went back to the drawing board and sketched out ideas and layouts onto a map and worked closely with all three rooms, consulting room leaders for their ideas.
On 13th May we had a wonderful garden project day, the children all enjoyed a morning of Forest School and woodland adventures which enabled a quiet garden! We were able to staff six staff (Kathryn, Robert, Zoe, Totty, Sheryl and myself) to help with the garden enhancement, we began by taking everything off the block paving areas, swept them and then began putting our plans into action. We created a new large construction area on a section of grass near the playhouse, we placed a membrane down and barked this area for a base to store the materials. We have created a new stage area and bench seating for an audience, to encourage children to create their own performances. In the middle of the garden we are creating a minibeast area, separate to the one in our vegetable patch. We feel it would be good to create more of a non-fiction area which we can set up with non-fictions books and bug hunting ID sheets and equipment, as part of our continuous provision. Another new area we have created is a gravel area with diggers, dumper trucks and cranes – an area requested by children! It was such a lovely teambuilding day and always feel proud how our team always gets stuck in and pulls together well.
Another new area we are all really excited about arrived in the garden on the 14th May, is our Shepherd’s Hut! This Shepherd’s Hut originally came from my Grandpa many years ago and have been using it as a tack room. It is no longer needed for this purpose so Farmer Brian and Kingsley have striped it right back and gave it a wonderful renovation. With the family history to it, it has been so lovely to see it brought back to life and now sounds proud in the garden. We have set it up as a wonderful reading den, and placed in it leaf cushions, blankets, a basket of books and bunting.
Over the last two weeks, the children and staff have been amazing and everyone is so positive at how well it is working – happy team and happy children! We will continue to reflect and involve the children as we continue to develop the garden further.
Thanks for reading,