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What a lovely day to write a blog about the garden, the sun is shining, you can hear the water trickling onto the pond, see the flowers growing and the birds are singing! Our garden truly has burst back to life with the return of all the children and Spring definitely in the air :)

Since their return to school all children have been given the opportunity, each half-term, to have an outdoor learning session with their class and Mrs Griffin.  We are so happy to see them running about the garden, digging in the mud and having fun. Each year group has done different activities but everyone has a time for free play in the garden.  Of course most children gravitate towards the mud and water butts and have created waterways, mud pies and lots and lots of squidgy mud. We also have other natural activities for the children to explore. Many have enjoyed cooking in the Tikki Kitchen and swinging on our very popular rope swing but did you know we also have a music wall, natural lego which is actually various sizes and shapes of logs, a bird hide and a cowboy horseshoe game. The children have also been busy using logs and sticks to create some amazing dens and climb over our new attraction made of a tractor tyre cut in half and turned on it's side (we haven't thought of a suitable outdoor learning name for it yet, but will let you know when we do).

The adults have also been busy running lots of teacher led activities for the children outdoors.  Including creating animals and bugs out of clay and leaves, scavenger hunting, making cress heads and plate gardens and of course, always a firm favourite with the children (and adults) making s'mores over a fire. 

As it is spring we have been planting up the garden and so far you may have noticed the children have improved our strawberry patch and herb garden and planted lots and lots of flowers.  We are so looking forward to watching them grow.  We also have our Sunflowers germinating inside (thank you to Dunhelms) and Mrs Potter has donated lots of tomato and pepper plants that the children will be putting into bigger pots so they can get nice and strong to be planted next month when we are clear of frosts...our staff room is our greenhouse :)

Nature has always been at the forefront of our outdoor learning experience and when creating our garden and because of this our garden is teeming with birds. We always ensure there is plenty of food and water for our winged friends.  Did you know we have had visits over the years from herons, ducks and sparrow hawks. Our resident robins have been watching us potter around the garden all winter and they have now been joined by blue tits, finches and many other kinds of birds, we have noticed the blue tits flying in and out of one of our nesting boxes, so are hoping babies will emerge soon.  Our bee drinking station has been cleaned and filled reading for the thirsty bees, the hedgehog house has had a spring clean and the ponds is full of wildlife. 

We are very excited for the rest of the summer term and working with the children outdoors.  It is always such an honour for us to experience the outdoors with your children and it constantly amazes us to see the children's interpretation of experiencing and playing in nature.

Miss Starr and Mrs Griffin 

PS Don't forget to have a look in the website Gallery for lots of photo's of the children in the garden :)