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Shared Outdoor Learning Area


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We are having a new Reception unit built and will be sharing an outdoor learning area with Nursery. We can not set up family group key people groups with hursery and reception due to the layout and 2 separate buildings. Does anyone have experience of sharing an area like this? We are planning zoned areas and will provide resources suitable in size for both age groups.


I am concerned about how to share planning and outside staffing and writing obs on all the children.


Do you tell the children they should only go inside in their own building?

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I'm in Nursery and share the outside space with Reception. We have classrooms next to each other and tried to function as a unit but it didn't work with the timetable pressures etc so we have gone back to 2 separate classes sharing the outdoor area. We did attempt to plan together but found it very hard to make it work as we were following our own children's interests and needs so it was often hard to find common ground. We have set up continuous provision resource areas outside with resources to support both ages e.g. mark-making shelves, sand, water, digging etc and have highlighted the learning for both development stages in an over-all plan. Then we enhance with additional resources for our children's needs/interests. Of course, the children have access to all the resources, and often play together.

We make sure that all the children have the same rules of play and are shown how to use certain resources where necessary. The only problem that we sometimes get is that the Nursery children have it to themselves for the first hour, and can sometimes be put off what they are doing when the Reception children come out.

We tend to stick to our own indoor areas, which the children have never had a problem with. We usually only observe our own children, and just let the reception staff know if their children are doing anything which we feel might be important. But as we don't know their children as well, we would most likely write lots of things down that they already know about them!

In terms of staffing, we usually have 1 member of staff from each team but are flexible with this depending on the number of children inside and out.

Good Luck xx

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thank you Green Hippo, that is helpful. We are improving our continuous provision this year to give the children more choice/self selection opportunities within each area so we could develop this further and then use enhancement boxes. A good reason for me to ask for more £££ to buy outdoor furniture for the easily accessible storge for creative etc!

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