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The youngsters at Ellacombe C of E Academy, part of the Learning Academy Partnership, have been making a big splash… and squelch… and splat this half term as they launched Wet Wednesdays! Armed with waterproofs, wellies, curiosity and bundles of energy, children and staff are embracing the chance to access large-scale, fun, wet and messy learning activities.
Ellacombe C of E Academy in Torquay, Devon, have utilised their state of the art Early Years provision to ensure all children are given the opportunity to explore and develop their key skills and characteristics of effective learning – playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically – the solid foundations needed for the rest of their young pupil’s school life and beyond.
Last year the Learning Academy Partnership invested £25,000 of additional funding into Ellacombe to enhance their outside learning environment and the team have been keen to use their outdoor space, whatever the weather! These new experiences allow the children to investigate natural materials outdoors and bring a sense of forest school to Ellacombe.
The Learning Academy Partnership provides a first-class education to its pupils across the South West, and has done so since it was founded almost 10 years ago. The Trust is rated the best Multi Academy Trust in the country for the performance of disadvantaged children and in the Top 10 Trusts nationally for the progress that children make.
Miss Blakesley, Early Years Lead, said: “The space was designed to create a sense of awe and wonder and to stimulate curiosity in all pupils which it has done all year. Now we want to give our children bigger experiences to develop and extend their imaginations, their knowledge of the world around them and their key skills. What better way than through messy play each week?”
Wet Wednesdays have been introduced as the practitioners understand the way a child engages with new challenges, other people and their environment underpins their learning across all the curriculum areas. Living in a built up location, children can often miss valuable play opportunities to make a mess and explore water and mud. Big, messy, fun activities give children the chance to investigate and learn in exciting, free and playful ways, to spark joy and chatter, to inspire curiosity, to grow confidence and to build perseverance. Each week their learning opportunities are inspired by the story of the week and activities have ranged from walking barefoot through mud to creating their own island out of paper mache – the messier the better! These experiences enable children to think critically, imaginatively and to problem solve.
Mrs Van Der Meer, Reception Teacher, said: “Our children have truly thrived from these adventures and their excitement is shared from one week to the next. They can’t wait to see what our next Wet Wednesday will bring!”