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MP Opens Okeford’s Outdoor Area

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Dec, 2015 12:58 PM

Local MP Simon Hoare has officially opened Okeford Fitzpaine CE VA Primary School’s new outdoor learning area.

The school welcomed Simon Hoare MP to officially open the new Reception Outdoor Area last month [November 2015]. The specially designed area develops pupils' outdoor learning alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Class teachers worked with pupils, asking them to draw a plan and list the resources needed. There was further assistance from the local community, including dedicated staff and parents.

Activities devised include digging to find minibeasts, planting winter plants, den building, making nests for nocturnal animals and finding different ways to move water.

The occasion was celebrated by children, staff, parents, governors and representatives of the local community, including local Rector Lydia Cook and Lay Minister Sue Le Riche.

MP Opens Okeford's Outdoor Area- Panorama
Panorama of the opening ceremony

Receiving a thank you gift, L-R Miss Alison Chant, Mr Simon Hoare MP, the Revd Lydia Cook and Mrs Sue Le Riche
Receiving a thank you gift, L-R: Miss Alison Chant, Mr Simon Hoare MP, the Revd Lydia Cook and Mrs Sue Le Riche

Okeford Fitzpaine Primary is a small, village primary school with a rising roll of pupils as it moves from strength to strength. A ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in January 2015 was followed by a 100% attainment rate for Year 6 pupils in their end of Key Stage 2 results for Reading, Writing and Mathematics in July 2015.

Pupils are taught in small classes with a teacher and a teaching assistant and have a thirst for knowledge. On recent parent feedback forms, one parent commented that her daughter “…would come in [to school] at weekends if you’d let her!” Another parent commented, “…she surprises us with her knowledge sometimes!” 100% of parents surveyed confirmed that they would recommend the school to another parent.

Part of the success is due to its Christian ethos. One Year 6 pupil commented recently, “Our school feels like a small family.” 

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