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Outdoor environment


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Hi everyone, I am an nqt in a reception class and I would really like to improve the outdoor environment to make it more inviting and most of all engaging and a place for learning.

My topic for next week is homes, buildings and families and my focus is on the outdoor environment. However I have a mental block and am really struggling for ideas. The children's objectives which i would like to cover are counting and ordering numbers, focus on their social skills as this is something alot of the children suffer with and their language so lots of group activities.

I have created a construction role play area with red tape around it, tuff spots with sand and diggers in, big lego blocks, wooden blocks, design planning sheets, hard hats, numbered cones and high vis jackets. ALso alongside this I have a home corner set up in the wendy house encourage talk and imaginary play.

 

Any other ideas would be fab. Thank you in advance.

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The way I tend to work when I am starting a new area or theme in an area is to set up an amount of equipment and then observe to see how the children would like to develop it and respond to that. So for me the set up you have described would be sufficient for the time being, and I would make sure the adults in the class are then modelling use of the equipment and activities to support the objectives you have identified. Then as the children started to use the area I would see how their play was developing and respond to that. It does sometimes mean that the time you spend developing a theme feels a bit wasted as the children change to something else very quickly, and is one reason why I tend not to have themes for a term or half term anymore - but that's a whole other conversation and one which as an NQT especially you might not be in a place to have yet if school does do themes.

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Sounds like you have thought it through well and have some great resources there.

 

I agree with holly35 but thought some of these pictures from a nursery near me may give you some ideas for another time!

 

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Edited by LornaW
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why not set up a maths area with a trolley of drawers with resources for children to choose from? and a table to use them on or mat on floor. we just use indoor resources and then swap each half term or so so that they don't lose interest. we put counting/recognising numerals resources in when that's the aspect of maths we are focussing on for half term. then shape/size/measuring resources when ssm focus. to ensure over year both aspects of maths have been worked on. you could also have a washing line with numbered bob the builders on and they could put them in order. and number line available to support them x

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I agree with holly, use your initial set up as a starting point and observe the use and interest and enhance slowly from there. I say slowly as children can and need to take a while to plan and form their ideas. Adults should be able to take your objectives in to play (without hijacking their play though!) and support learning this way. (Abc does a great piece on this on his blog)

 

You should find that social aspects are naturally supported by just being outdoors, this is our experience anyway...far less squabbles, bickering and naturally wanting to share! Can't beat being outside, add the interested adult and you're flying

 

Enjoy

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