Work is underway on a new transformational learning space for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children at East Hunsbury Primary School.
The school has teamed up with Wellingborough-based Timotay Playscapes to plan three distinct areas for pupils aged four and five. Features include a role play village, an outdoor learning zone (with ‘deluxe’ mud kitchen), creative studio area, water play, climbing apparatus and a construction area complete with gravel pit, sand pit, trike and cycle area, as well as a ’show time’ performance stage and storytelling area.
In April 2022, East Hunsbury was confirmed as a Good school following an Ofsted inspection, and this investment in its EYFS facilities is another sign of its commitment to building on that success with the quality of learning and teaching going from strength to strength. The project itself has been designed to support “creativity, independence and innovation” from the moment children start at East Hunsbury Primary School.
“Early years is one of the most important stages in a child’s life – they have to be learning and happy from day one – and, as a school, we have a clear vision on what is required to support that,” explained Headteacher Kathryn Pennington. “From our perspective EYFS children need to be learning from everything in their school environment, and this environment also facilitates how we teach. We are investing in teaching our inspirational and enabling curriculum and it is important that we have the facilities to support this.”
Kathryn continued: “Through my experience working nationally and internationally, I have seen at first-hand some truly great EYFS practice in many different schools and the design we have come up with is informed by that. However, most importantly, this is about supporting the needs of our children in our community and making them happy. We are really pleased to be working with Timotay Playscapes, as a locally-based company, who are hugely experienced and have provided some excellent challenge throughout the project. This is a major commitment by the school to families in our area.”
The EYFS area, which is due to be completed in December 2022, is the latest development in a long-term building and maintenance programme. Recently the school’s specialist unit, which teaches 50 children with profound and multiple learning difficulties, underwent a refurbishment which included a new sensory room and there are also plans to install a brand-new all-weather pitch and outdoor gym equipment. “As a flagship school for inclusion, we hope that the EYFS outdoor space will provide even more opportunities for every child in our school community to learn and grow together,” Kathryn revealed.