Achieving early learning literacy goals outside the classroom

Achieving early learning literacy goals outside the classroom
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From outdoor libraries to rhyme time performance areas, at Hand Made Places we’re bursting with ideas to engage more pupils by taking literacy sessions outdoors.
Our range of playground equipment has been designed to support the early learning goals set out in the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 curriculums.
A variety of rich experiences can be delivered through our playground projects, capturing the attention of little ones and igniting their imaginations.
Under the EYFS curriculum, the literacy strand is made up of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading.

A life-long love of reading

Language comprehension is said to develop “when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.”
Our outdoor playground furniture and playground equipment can be used in a number of ways to support this.
To engage children in listening and to improve their attention and understanding, we can create outdoor story corners.
Complete with the iconic Storyteller’s Chair, reading areas can feature individual Button Stools, Block Seats or for whole class seating the Modular Radius Bench and Amazing Seating are popular choices.
Options for engravings in our outdoor timber seating range include Mini Beasts, the Solar System, animal Tracker prints and Leaves.
As we make our playground furniture to order at our North Staffordshire workshop, bespoke engravings are also available.
These are brilliant tools to encourage children to make comments about what they have learned and ask questions.
Totems are also a useful addition to outdoor learning spaces. As well as providing a tactile element to a sensory garden, the themes which the Totems are based on encourage children to express their ideas and feelings as well as understand topics like time, movement, colour and sounds.

Skilled word reading

Little ones are expected to work on the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. 
In the EYFS curriculum framework, writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
Our outdoor activity boards are great outlets for this, and include Chalk Boards, Dry Wipe Boards and Tracing Boards.
Our playground shelters and outdoor classrooms offer inspiring environments to accommodate formal learning as well as free play.
The Darell Gazebo is big enough to host a whole class, while smaller group learning sessions can take place in the Caversham Gazebo or Forest Story House.
The Westgate Classroom is a canopied area which can cater for a range of lessons.

Interaction and development

As well as providing a safe and comfortable space for little ones to engage in group discussions, we also encourage creative expression through outdoor performance areas.
These include formal performance spaces which can accommodate an audience as well as playground stages where imaginative play can take pupils on a pop star journey.
Stories, rhymes and poems come to life on the Star Stage and Super Star Stage, while the Puppet Theatre is a fun and inclusive way to explore vocabulary in a back and forth exchange.
Role play is also a great way to invite children to share their ideas and use new words and phrases in a range of contexts.
Taking literacy lessons outdoors can help all children become more comfortable using their language skills through reading, conversation and story-telling.
Contact our teams today and explore new and exciting ways playground improvements can help early years and primary school settings achieve literacy goals.