Outdoor Learning Garden is Flourishing at RAPS
A scheme to expand the outdoor learning experience is nearing completion at Ramsgate Arts Primary School.
Since RAPS Landscape 2020 was launched in the month before pandemic lockdown, the creation of an outside classroom to be used for a variety of subjects and themes is almost completed.
Areas of Astroturf and planters with graceful trees, herbs and grasses to offer a greener scene and a softer visual look are in place.
As part of the programme, The Isle of Thanet Tree and Wood Initiative has donated a prehistoric Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo Biloba) to the site; and 12 saplings including Mountain Ash, Whitebeam and Wild Cherry were donated via the town’s Friends of Ellington Park Committee.
Head of School Nick Budge said: “The project is developing well, considering the constraints of developing it during a lockdown.
“There are aspects yet to be completed but we aim to have an official opening and planting out ceremony into the start of the new school year in the autumn.
“We are improving our landscaped areas all the time – it is crucial as we teach our children about the importance of supporting biodiversity, green spaces and the natural world.”
Children who were at school in the late spring helped with planting out the trees and now the boys and girls keep a keen eye on wildlife in and around the planted shrubs and grasses, as well as assisting in watering them and keeping them tidy.
Mr Budge added: “The outdoor classroom is a fabulous way of working and is already popular, while learning about the plants and trees and their care is another life skill for our pupils to develop. There are also quiet corners which are important for pupils and staff to enjoy.
“We are looking at other aspects including a sensory garden and we hope this will be completed during the first term of the new school year.”
The school’s hard-working parent council has raised money for Landscape 2020 through initiatives including school fairs, while the plants were bought with support from Youngs Nurseries at Broadstairs.
Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Junior School at Broadstairs and Chilton Primary School, Ramsgate.
To book a tour of RAPS and see the arts learning in action, contact Head of School Nick Budge on 01843 582847.