The sensory garden, by request of School Council, was the finishing piece of the jigsaw after Etheridge Hall was completed. Following discussions with teachers, Mrs Bromley, Mrs Jackson and Mrs Palmer, it was built by Dave Smart and in consultation with a plant expert from Highfield Garden Centre at Whitminster.
The sheltered area is to be a calm space for everyone, not a running around area. It is a place to be quiet, away from all the other busy, noisy areas where children are able to listen to water and watch it trickle over pebbles. There is an all-weather patch of grass, there are benches to sit on and logs to look at and study, alongside a variety of stones and pebbles, fragrant and colourful plants and grasses. There are young trees, some of which have berries for birds, and there are even two nesting boxes on the wall.
There is a beautiful wooden outdoor classroom which is an elaborate, hexagonal, open-sided structure which can be used for a whole class at a time and which staff are encouraged to take advantage of. Equally, the children are able to sit inside when they are free, sitting away from the sunshine or protected from the rain while being outdoors.
The playground area has been marked for outdoor learning and with a chess board and hopscotch. There is a number square without numbers for our own ideas to be chalked out, there are Venn diagrams (aka sorting circles) for puzzles, a number line for numbers to be chalked and an alphabetical caterpillar for alphabetical sorting, for practising letter shapes or just simply learning the alphabet.
On the walls of the Studio Theatre there are big chalk boards for learning and designing, handwriting instruction or group thinking, or simply being creative.
“We hope that everyone will enjoy using this lovely new addition to our campus and that even our Nursery children will be visiting soon.” – Julie Palmer, Headmaster’s Wife.