CLOVERDALE’S new patch of nature is open and ready to explore.
Cloverdale Primary School and Cloverdale Education Support Centre students came together last week for the grand opening of its brand new nature playground on campus.
With logs, a creek bed, wooden shopfront, teepee and more waiting under the trees, the students were keen to get hands-on with their new learning and play environment.
A parent with children in both schools initially suggested the idea to the principals, and the co-located schools collaborated on the project to create a suitable space for students from both the primary school and education support centre.
This meant putting extra thought in to incorporate features like flat surfaces to ensure children with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or sensory impairments could join in.
Cloverdale Primary School Principal Lee Brady said while the school campus was already big, the nature playground added a bit of variation.
“This is an area for city kids to experience a bit of nature,” she said.
“The science teacher can bring the kids down here… It’s real life learning, and it’s fun.”
Cloverdale Education Support Centre Principal Deb Taylor said it was fantastic to give her students a chance to get stuck in to nature.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for them, to have them out playing with sticks and mud and sand and all those sorts of things,” she said.
“I can just see them there making mud pies.”
Along with creating another space for outdoor play and science education, the area also provides students with a place to test their balance and physical skills.
Parent Jodi Shepherd, who has a daughter in Year 5, said the playground was socially smart and gives the children multiple areas to play and rest together.
“It’s a way for them to expand their imaginations, their memories. I think it’s great,” she said.
“Who doesn’t want the kids out playing? That’s what primary school’s all about.”