Ramsgate Arts Primary opens outdoor learning centre with mud kitchen and tepee

Little ones explore the new outdoor learning centre at Ramsgate Arts Primary

An outdoor learning centre is the latest addition to Ramsgate Arts Primary which opened its £4 million site in Newington Road last September.

Parents and children enjoyed a picnic lunch on the all-weather grass after an official ribbon-snipping ceremony by pupils heralded the multi-use facility officially ‘open’.

Children then had the chance to test out the many learning and play stations that will be used for a range of activities as well as for more formal teaching.

Special guest at the opening was Colin Clutterbuck from Living Timber who created many of the purpose-built play stations, learning zones and special features.

These include a timber tepee, a mini performance stage, integrated work tables and benches, a mud kitchen and gardening area and a water pump, water wheel and chute for experiments.

Mr Clutterbuck, who also designed the play galleon in the grounds at Upton Junior School in Broadstairs, said: “The whole idea is to give pupils a whole range of different environments to enjoy outside.”

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Head of School Nick Budge agreed. He said: “The outside learning area is fantastic and it gives us another educational resource for our children.

“It has areas where they can do more formal work like writing and reading and Maths, a place for listening and storytelling, and some quiet corners.

“It is also a great space for learning through exploring and for discovery activities.”

Michaela Lewis, Executive Head Teacher for Viking Academy Trust that includes RAPS, Upton Juniors and Chilton Primary, said: “This school continues to develop and it seems that there is always something new on the horizon for RAPS pupils and families to enjoy and experience.

“Outdoor learning is an important feature of our other schools and we know it has many benefits for our pupils.”

As well as the timber structures and all-weather grass, the playground surface features a giant coloured alphabet snail and a Maths hop-scotch layout, together with a marked out mini road circuit for tricycle riding and road safety.

The final verdict went to the children who tried out the outdoor area in advance of their fellow pupils – and they say “It’s awesome.”