St Mary's Primary School Scone's new outdoor learning space a hit with students

STUDENTS at St Mary's Primary School, Scone, are developing their creativity and curiosity with the opening of a new outdoor learning space which puts imaginative play front and centre.

The refurbished playground includes additions such as a new sandpit, kitchen, dry creek bed, tractor, fire pit, stage, and classroom setting.

The sandpit and tractor seem to be the standout among children, with students of all ages relishing the opportunity to play with their peers and new relationships being fostered.

"When I first saw the sandpit I thought about how big it was, it's the biggest one I have ever seen," Year 6 student Fletcher E said.

"You can do more things in the sandpit because it is bigger than the old one, more space," Year 4 student Charles P agreed.

The changes to the school's outdoor learning environment are all part of St Mary's 'Successful Foundations' project - a positive, play-based action research initiative which assists children with their transition from pre-school to school. It is also the result of many P&F fundraising initiatives.

St Mary's Principal Kim Wilson said change to the outdoor environment has given the children so many new possibilities to engage in play for learning, wellbeing, and relationships

"While students from all grades are immersed in play at recess and lunchtime, teachers have noticed many new relationships and friendships blossoming," she said.

"They have noticed risk taking, learning linked to play, construction, a range of new interests developing, creativity and curiosity, and the use of greater vocabulary as they enact scenes of life at home such as working on the farm, around the fire, or in the kitchen."

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