St Stephen's Nursery

Outdoor Learning

Outdoors and Active

We have a large garden for our children to play in with lots of different areas to explore including a sand pit, mud kitchen and a climbing area. During each nursery session the doors are open, and children are encouraged to be independent and move freely from the indoors to the garden to play and take part in activities. 

We go out in all weathers and believe that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”.  In the winter the children need to wear a warm waterproof coat, sturdy shoes, a hat and gloves.  In the summer they need a sun hat.

There are many benefits to learning outdoors:

  • Encourages an active lifestyle
  • Gives children an appreciation of nature and the environment
  • Develops children’s social skills
  • Encourages independence
  • Helps children to understand risk

We follow many aspects of the Forest School approach in our garden and we have a mud kitchen, fire pit and allotment area where we grow our own fruit and vegetables.  This approach to learning outside supports children’s problem solving skills and nurtures their creativity.  As well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.






Physical Friday

Every Friday is “Physical Friday” at nursery.  This means that all activities planned for the day involve the children being active both indoors and outside.  The children use the Federated site which includes using the running track on the Primary School playground.


We follow recommendations from the British Heart Foundation that says children aged two and over should have at least three hours of vigorous exercise every day.   Vigorous exercise means movement that gets children “puffed out and rosy cheeked.”


Physical skills in nursery are taught in three main areas: 



Ball skills



















The nursery has a physical overview for the year so that children learn new skills in a progressive way and build on the skills they have already learnt.








Walk on Wednesday’s

On Wednesday’s we encourage all children to walk to school or at least walk part of the way. This is part of our commitment to promote healthy lifestyles. Every child who walks will receive a sticker and a certificate at the end of each term.