Outdoor Learning Areas

Here at Yarlside Academy, we take every opportunity to make learning come to life for the children. With this in mind, we make full use of our extensive grounds whether it be curriculum work, Forest Schools, sporting events or an exploration of nature.

The School Council took an active role in liaising with classes to find out how they wanted their school grounds developed and they had some wonderful ideas.

Below the map you can find out more information about our Outdoor Learning Areas.


Playtimes have become more stimulating with our playground apparatus. We have an obstacle course, scramble net, orangutan and climbing wall which follows the gradient of the banking.

This challenges the children’s sense of balance and creativity. The apparatus is timetabled for the Key Stage 2 classes along with the football net and playground tyres.

Outdoor learning and exploration is a key part of early learning and development. The children are given opportunities to access a range of resources to support the embedding of the 7 areas of learning.

We use this area as an extension of the indoor classrooms and allow the children to apply their new learning. A lot of the resources are free standing and moveable which allows us to vary the environment in which the children can learn.

We are currently auditing this area and purchasing new resources to further enhance the experiences that we can offer the children in our Foundation Stage.

This area includes a variety of zones, each of which focus on a different aspect of nature. We have a wildlife section designed to attract insects and small animals; a pond and waterside area; a scented garden; a fruit growing area, an alpine zone, a woodland region and moorland section. What a variety of areas to explore!

What better way to add atmosphere and mystery to a story than telling it in the outdoors where sounds, scents and visuals help to bring it to life. Teaching staff may use it to engage the pupils’ senses when storytelling and children also use it as an arena to share their own stories.

Our playgrounds are not only an area where children socialise and interact with each other, but also practise and engage in competitive sporting activities such as netball and hockey. The infant playground also has its playground apparatus which consists of play huts, a train, a ship and a multi-functional climbing frame. The apparatus is timetabled amongst the Key Stage 1 classes and Reception class.

We have recently had a traverse climbing wall installed which is used during PE sessions as part of our Outdoor Education curriculum. The children participate in lots of fun games and challenges whilst furthering their physical development.

Our prize winning allotments are organised in family groups. Children from each class (Reception to Year 6) contribute to the planting and upkeep of them. This is a great resource for helping children understand where food comes from and what plants need in order to grow and thrive. The produce grown is used in the curriculum for cooking, or given to our school kitchen to use for school lunches such as our Roast Dinner Day where parents are invited to join their children for a school lunch.


We also keep our own chickens that the children have seen hatch in an incubator in Reception class. How exciting to see them grow and develop into full sized hens that now lay eggs which we sell to the local community.


We are fortunate that we have a substantial sports field that caters for a significant portion of our sporting needs. Whether it is football, tag rugby, rounders or athletics, our pupils have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of sports and also take part in inter-school competitions.