We’re excited to reveal the plans for our new nature play space.
Just under 2 years ago, we began our journey to explore and understand the potential of nature play and what it should look like at SPW. Staff formed a working party together with a parent representative and a nature play advocate/expert. We visited several nature play environments around Adelaide and engaged with Nature Play SA. We then consulted with a number of junior primary students where we gathered all sorts of amazing ideas that could be incorporated into our nature play space.
The current Bowen Garden area, behind the Library, was selected as the perfect space we could transform.
However, as we worked through this project, we took the time to really understand why we were creating a nature play space and what experiences we wanted to open up for students. The essence of our nature play environment is to create a space of wonder, encouraging children to explore their own unlimited imagination and creativity.
In 2017 several groups of Year 6/7 students re-validated and added to our plans as part of their Passions & Interests project, one idea being a chicken coup, which was then added to our final plan.
So, we are very excited to announce that in Term 3 we expect to start the construction of SPW’s nature play space, ready for all sorts of fun from Term 4, 2018. A key contributor to this has been the many generous donors to the SPW Foundation Annual Appeal, as the Foundation recently committed $130,000 towards the cost of the project.
Our nature play space design has now been finalised. You can see in the design that we have five broad areas all with different features and landscapes:
1. Kitchen garden and chicken run
Our veggie bed area is expanded allowing for a whole class to work in the space along with a potting bench and working tables. The chicken coup is set amongst some fruit trees together with compost bins and the worm farm.
2. Fallen logs and loose parts play
A zone for utilising gross motor skills along the large fallen log, or perhaps discovering some engineering skills by constructing structures with the large sticks.
Space for a class to gather for a change of pace. Log seating with a storytelling log chair.
A split level sandpit broken into smaller areas, framed with large rocks to climb over. Featuring a hand pump and ability for children to construct and divert water to different sandpit areas.
5. Imaginative play
Highlighted by a large nest that children can climb into, log wall to walk along, play kitchen and a balance stone path to explore.
The existing mature trees in the area will all remain, joined by a range of new plantings and greenery.
Importantly, our nature play space is not just for play time. Classes across the school will be using it during the day; using the amphitheatre as an outdoor classroom; working on the veggie garden and investigating plants or composting; or integrating the chickens into a unit of inquiry.
We think nature play at SPW will be an amazing place for children to explore their own creativity.
To view the full nature play space plans please click here.
A display of the nature play space plans will be available to view in the Front Office from Week 4. Please come in and take a closer look at the future direction of this space.
This article was written by David Brock, Business Manager.
Together David Brock, Business Manager, and Amanda Kelly, Head and Learning and Teaching, are key members responsible for the development of the nature play space. We thank them for the ongoing commitment to the development of this site. Please contact them if you have any questions about the development of the nature play space.