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Amazing outdoor learning area opened at Barking school

Councillor Carpenter opening outdoor area at Eastbury Primary SchoolTags Children , Family

There was plenty to celebrate at Eastbury Primary School’s Deaf Alternative Resource Provision (ARP) this week, as staff and pupils were joined by special guests to open a new outdoor learning area.

The outdoor area boasts a colourful tunnel, two playhouses, a giant story chair and a picnic table. These new facilities will support role play to help the deaf children build their vocabulary, using speech and sign language. 

Sensory play equipment, including sand, water and a mud kitchen, offer a fun way for children to develop their fine and gross motor skills and their understanding of new concepts.

Lisa Shepherd, Headteacher at Eastbury Primary School, welcomed Councillor Carpenter, Cabinet Member for School Improvement and Educational Attainment, to officially open the area. She was joined by Huma Raza, Vice-Chair of the Governing Body, and Joy Barter, Group Manager for Early Years at Barking and Dagenham Council. 

“With the borough’s financial support, we have created a very special place for children to learn.

Speaking after the event, Lisa said: “A huge thank you to Councillor Carpenter, who officially opened the Deaf ARPs Outdoor Learning Area at Eastbury Primary.

“With the borough’s financial support, we have created a very special place for children to learn.

“We are now able to provide exciting outdoor learning experiences to develop children’s skills and knowledge.

“Pupils particularly enjoy having story time outside, sitting around the giant story chair!”

child playing in tunnel in outdoor learning area

The ARP offers 12 places for children with moderate, severe or profound hearing loss and an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP). They are supported by specialist staff, including Teachers of the Deaf, Communicators and Speech and Language Therapists.

The deaf children are involved in all mainstream activities, assemblies and trips. They also take part in additional trips to ensure they have a strong understanding of deafness and their deaf identity. 

The picnic table in the ARP’s new area has proved popular and is used for a range of activities, including snack time, writing and maths. 

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter said: “I am honoured to have officially opened the new outdoor learning area at Eastbury Primary School.

“It was wonderful to see the outdoor area in person, it was beautifully decorated to celebrate the occasion, and I was pleased to cut the ribbon to declare it open!

“The children will really benefit from the new facilities, and it’s great to see them having fun as they develop key skills.”

child playing in mud kitchen in outdoor learning area

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