On the 9th May the Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness visited the school and officially opened our new Outdoor Classroom & Sensory Garden. Under the guidance of Ms Curran & Ms. Mulhall this unique initiative came to fruition over the Easter holidays and the May Bank Holiday weekend. The school community of parents, students and staff gave up their time to help this project to be completed.
Paddy Colgan, from Kilbeg, with the help of some of our parents did the initial groundwork & built the outdoor play furniture. We have a mud kitchen, wobble board, see-saw, balance beam, tyre tunnel, picnic area, outdoor blackboards and & two fantastic sandpits.. The junior classes access this space at break & lunchtime. All classes use the space with their teachers as an outdoor classroom.
We bought seedling plants & herbs and the children helped to plant them to create colourful sensory zones in the new play space that will appeal to the children's sense of sight, taste, touch & smell. We upcycled children's wellies and planted our nasturtium seeds in them.
All of the equipment helps develop hand and eye co-ordination, balance and spatial awareness. More importantly it is a huge benefit for students who need sensory breaks and feedback. It also provides a safe and caring quiet place for students who may need some quiet time to regulate themselves. With mental health awareness being raised in communities it is a great resource for students to spend time in, to reflect or take a time out as school can be a very busy place with a fast pace.
This wonderful addition to our small school will enhance the learning experiences we can create as well as help build children’s confidence and give them a love of nature.