Garden will help pupils to explore and develop in Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Excited children at one Lowestoft-area primary school have been enchanted by a new learning area.
Staff and pupils at Somerleyton Primary were all smiles as a celebratory event was held to mark the opening of an 'incredible' facility.
An overgrown garden in the school grounds at Somerleyton has been transformed over the past year with the space re-designed and a new outdoor classroom created.
And to celebrate the opening of the new learning garden, professional storyteller Patrick Ryan visited the school at The Green in Somerleyton and held a variety of workshops with the pupils.
Complete with an area for imaginary play, the new learning garden also features areas for investigating nature and storytelling – giving the children the chance to
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'explore and develop' their skills.
Delighted with how everything has gone, head teacher Mrs Louise Spall said: 'The day went really, really well. The school grounds have been transformed over the past year, with staff, parents and governors all contributing to its development.
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'To celebrate the opening of our garden we invited Pat Ryan to spend the day with us, and he enchanted the children with his retelling of stories from around the world and then worked with the children on their own story telling skills.'
With story telling sessions held for the whole school, among the positive feedback and comments from the children were: 'excellent stories,' and 'the stories and activities were good.'
Mrs Spall added: 'In a small school we need to utilise every space we can, making sure it gives children challenges and opportunities. The children will be able to explore, discuss and share, helping them to develop their vocabulary and social skills.
'Using an outdoor classroom is a wonderful way of putting learning into context, engaging the senses and making meaningful connections.'
After the staff, governors and parents all joined forces to transform the area, they have been working on this since January – with labour days held and clean up sessions organised over the Easter holidays.
'I am absolutely thrilled,' Mrs Spall said. Everyone pulls together here. The bug hotel, which was built by a parent, is complete with bug viewers to allow the children to get up close and really study the creatures they find, while the carved chair was built by a governor.
'The children could not wait to see the new learning garden, and Pat was amazing – really inspirational,' she added. 'He worked with all the children throughout the day, telling stories in our learning garden and running writing workshops that encouraged the children to use their imaginations to inspire story telling.
'Everyone involved had an exciting day and enjoyed spending time in our incredible learning garden.'
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