Larkholme is a school where mud is a well used education tool

Splashing around in the school yard is nothing new.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 1:07 pm
The dirtier the better, that’s the aim of infant playtime at Larkholme Primary. Since the school re-opened after the enforced break, the youngest pupils have been making the most of the enhanced outdoor curriculum and the fabulous play space which they have been using regardless of the weather.

But pupils at one Fleetwood primary school are having great fun learning the true meaning of messy play indoors and out.

Photos by Daniel Martino

School took advantage of lockdown to redesign the Early Years Foundation Stage department so that the outdoor area allows opportunities for big scale play with no restrictions.
Gone are the old tunnels and climbing equipment and instead there is a mud kitchen, sand and gravel pits and a growing area as well as hard surface and grass where the children can build dens,run around and play to their hearts content.
Headteacher David Fann said the main aim had been to enable the little ones to develop their imagination and other skills by getting outdoors after months being locked down.
It proved such a success the whole curriculum has now been adapted to encourage creative learning . Outdoor learning is also being developed across the school with one day a week being set aside for the rest of the year groups to experience the great outdoors.
The early years uniform was swapped for jogging bottoms and sweat tops so they can quickly change to go outdoors and a special hut houses their outdoor clothing.
Mr Fann said: “The children are happy and want to come to school. “We have a carefully thought out curriculum and the children really enjoy it. "
The headteacher added: "They like being outdoors experiencing what it is like to do things like building dens or mud pies with other children while also developing their language. "
"Children cannot develop a vivid imagination without a rich palette of experiences,” said Mr Fann.