Big Local support for an outdoor classroom at Queen Mary Avenue Infant School Cleethorpes

Earlier this year, staff, parents and pupils from Queen Mary Avenue Infant and Nursery School celebrated the grand opening of their new outdoor ‘classroom’. The classroom was developed following a partial grant of £5,000 from North Cleethorpes Big Local. The school, which is one of the most deprived in North Cleethorpes, received the grant to create an outdoor environment where the children could learn, play and engage with the natural world.

The idea to convert one of the school’s outdoor play areas into a classroom came about in order to enhance and develop the topics covered within the curriculum, and encourage the children to become more physically active. The total cost of the outdoor classroom was just under £28,000, the rest of the funding came from the school’s budget, Awards For All funding, and from the PTA. The PTA raised money for the project by holding events throughout the summer, Christmas fairs and coffee mornings. The outdoor classroom is equipped with a mud kitchen, real pans and bowls, a water wall and pond. Part of the outdoor classroom is covered by a canopy which is used all year round to create a dry space where the children can read, write or draw pictures whilst in the great outdoors. Not only this, but the space also includes a climbing stack with a soft landing area. The school intend to purchase wellington boots so that the children can play outside in all weather conditions.

As well as being a space for the children to enjoy, the new outdoor classroom has proved a huge hit with parents. It is hoped that parents of children already at the school, and those who are considering enrolling, will see the difference in the standard of provision that the children are receiving as a result of the classroom’s creation.

Head teacher Kerry Lakin said: “Outdoor centred learning is such a key part of early year’s foundation stage curriculum. We wanted a high quality outdoor learning environment that would enhance provision for our children. We are delighted with the finished result”.

Big Local Investment

This school serves the most deprived area of North Cleethorpes and they were looking to develop an outdoor classroom to enable the school children to engage with the natural world during their school time. This would benefit a large number of children and their families in the local area.

The investment from Big Local North Cleethorpes was £5000.

Additional investment of £10000+ was gathered via fundraising at the school.