This blog, along with our website will document the ongoing development of our ‘Wild Learning’ at Michael Drayton Junior School, Warwickshire.

Over the last 2 years, we have worked hard to transform lots of the school grounds for outdoor learning. One area is the WildLearning Area….

I wanted to create something a little different; something that would stand out from the crowd and offer the staff and pupils a unique, versatile, yet workable space for learning throughout the year.

Plan1

The area had already been fenced and a pond area, with decking had been put in place, so I based my plans around this. Feeling that the pond was not big enough, I chose to add to this exisiting pond, digging an additional one, with a bog area as well.

My plans also included dividing the area into four ‘zones’;

Birds:
– Planting for birds to provide seed heads and berries
– A feeding station with hide accessible at break and dinner times
– A giant bird box for children to enter and build their own nests. This
will also double as a bird hide.
– Information boards to help with bird ID

Mammals:
– A ‘Mammal Dome’ burrow and tunnel system for children to enter
– Hedgehog boxes and feeding station
– Mammal feeding station viewable from dome
– Habitat creation good for small ammals to hide and live in

Insects / Invertebrates:
– Meadow planting for an attractive, insect rich habitat
– Nectar rich planting area to attract butterflies & bees in particular
– Large invertebrate habitat wall where all children contribute to make a
‘bug/bee home’ with them all mounted to create eye-catching functional
art structure
– Giant frames on which children can build a spider webs
– Frames for spiders to build webs within the grass/meadow/insect areas
– Information boards to help with insect ID

Pond:
– Two pond areas, with varying depths and natural planting
– Bog area
– Pond-dipping platform

Paths run throughout the site and to the specific zones, where there are seating areas for children to work safely. There are paths all the way from the school buildings to encourage all-year round use.

Plan2

 

Another area of development has been the addition of animals into school. We now have a number of hens, 2 rabbits and 2 guinea pigs. The children care for these animals and their care and lives are incorporated into the curriculum wherever possible. You can read more about this on our website

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We are also working hard to develop a large ‘Grow Zone’. This large  area of raised beds will allow all children to experience growing fruit and vegetables from seed, care for them, harvest and then eat them. We are only in our second year of developments with this and have great ambitions for the area this year. Again, much of this is documented on our Wild Learning website

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