Please take a look at our latest leaflet with information about our Nature Area.
Latest news from the Nature Area
Our Sensory Garden
The sensory garden is moving forward. We need to thank Mr Nimmo for building planters from pallets- thank you. Many classes have filled the planters with soil, year 5 will be painting them and year 2 and 4 laid the artificial grass and patio stones today! It's starting to look better. Now to build a couple more planters, attach trellis to the walls and decide on plants to grow!
Thank you to the Rochford Scouts and Wickes - we are transforming our Nature Area with your help
Last night, 6th Rochford Scouts visited our nature area. Luckily, their parents were persuaded to stay and all adults/scouts worked so hard. The painting of the pond area and other fences was completed. Old, broken seating was removed and new benches were made for our children. A new bridge was cemented in to make it very safe! Lastly, the old prayer area is being transformed into a sensory garden. This area was cleared, flattened and a new planter was made. Just the start of the jobs - we now need to finish the seating area, build new planters and prepare the sensory garden.
Thank you so very much to the wonderful scouts and their parents who worked tirelessly- we couldn't do it without you!
A massive thank you to Wickes who kindly donated ballast and cement for us to place the new bridge, trellis for the new sensory garden as well as soil for the new planters. They also donated all of the paint for us to use. A big thank you coming from St Helen's, we are so grateful for all your donations.
Thank you Wickes, Rayleigh Weir, for your generous donations
Our sincere thanks to Wickes who have donated £100 worth of stock for our sensory garden. We have managed to buy strong liner, sand, pebbles and trellis to start our sensory garden. Thank you so much.
Some of the photos below are our 'before' photos. Please check back to see our finished project.
Update 11th July
Firstly, we need to say thank you to Wickes who kindly donated sand, compost and paint. Mrs Miller is hoping to make wormeries next year so the sand and compost will be very useful! The nature area needs a bit of a spruce up too so thank you for the paint.
Secondly, our sign for the nature area is now standing proudly in it's new home. It welcomes everyone. Thank you to all the children involved in making and creating but mostly, thank you to Mrs Hardcastle who displays her artistic talents once again!
Nature Area competition
I received 28 entries for the Nature Area sign competition. The standard of entries was incredible and with my esteemed panel of judges, we could not choose one winner! Instead, we chose parts of 12 entries. Every entry will receive a prize. I am awaiting the arrival of these in school. Each winning entry will have a chance to paint on the sign over the coming months - it will take time so please be patient as we can only paint for about an hour a week but every winner will get the chance to paint their own design. Updates will be placed on the website. All entries can be viewed in the Nature Area part of the school website too. Lastly, my thanks to my judges but also and more importantly, to all the children who took the time to enter. Thank you.
6R – Gifty, Szymon, Tobenna, Shirley, Sophie, Oliver, Susan, Zoe, Diego, Rutuj
6A – Michelle, Effie 5WH- Harrison, Alex Joy,
5RP – Amelia, Elvira, Khristina, Michael
4F- Luana, Joshwin,
4G- Rabya, Lily Lewis, Alba, Kiki,
Seagulls – Georgina Lee
Seahorses – Mina, Nina
Jellyfish- Chloe Roberts,
Hedgehogs – Emma, Phoebe
Shirley (6R) – logs for wording Nature Area
Amelia (5RP) - Squirrel
Luana (4F) - Hedgehog
Zoe (6R) Magnifying glass/swing
Tobenna (6R) Robin
Mina, Nina, Kiki (Seahorses, 4G) Tree hands
Georgina (Seagulls) Background colour
Michelle (6A) Tyre swing, ladybird
Sophie (6R) Fire
Diego (6R) Leaves
Szymon (6R) fence
Emma – Hedgehogs - Butterfly
A big thank you to the 6th Rochford Scouts and a great team of workers
On Monday 21 June, Mrs Curtis, Mrs Miller and Mrs Conyard with over 30 scouts from the 6th Rochford Scouts group and their parents and leaders braved the British weather to achieve many jobs around the school grounds! The sand pit was partly emptied from reception, bark was moved to various areas. The willow dome was given a new lease of life and trees were replanted in the reception play area. 6 planters were laid with three being built in record time on the night. These were then filled with top soil in preparation for each year group to begin planting in the new academic year!
We wanted to say a big thank you to the scouts, leaders and parents for their tireless work, what they achieved in just one evening was incredible. They are due back to finish the jobs in a couple of weeks. Thank you.
We also want to say thank you to Wickes for their generous donation of sleepers to build the planters.
Yesterday afternoon, Year 5 designed and made traps to catch a range of dragons. They used bait and some ingenious ways to trap their dragon!
Nature Area Adventure
5A visited the nature area today. They investigated what happens to various materials when they are put into a fire. They predicted, tested and drew conclusions.
They also enjoyed delicious marshmallows.
Fun was had by all, climbing trees, making potions, stick play and investigating habitats.
2019 - 2020
Listening and learning outside - Year 4
Year 4 investigated different sounds in the nature area. They made their own musical instruments, listened to the birds and watched popcorn explode on the fire whilst listening carefully to the crackling, fizzing and popping!
4G were busy in the nature area - feeding the birds, climbing trees, making and building!
Enjoy all the photographs.
Year 3 enjoying Science outside
Year 3 enjoyed the nature area. They were testing their sledges on different surfaces - nature area, playground and grass for friction. They also fed the birds with cheerios, bread/honey and bird seed.
As part of the Woodland Trust Plant a Tree day, Year 6 organised for years 1 and 2 to plant our trees.
57 trees were planted around the school grounds. Grass was removed, soil dug over, holes dug, trees planted, canes put in to support and protective covers were put around the new saplings.
Hopefully many of the trees will take hold and grow with the classes who planted them!
A busy Monday was had by 3GC, Year 4 and 5. They learnt about fire - how to light one and all the safety aspects involved in lighting a fire and maintaining it. They also enjoyed marshmallows with biscuits. Year 4 thought about how fire would have provided light, power and heat whilst living before electricity. Year 5 thought about the forces involved within a fire.
What's living in our nature area?
Year 4 hunted for living things in their own habitats. Here's what they found. Do you recognise these creatures?
Can you name them?
What do they eat?
What type of habitat do they live in?
How big do they grow?
How long do they live for?
Year 3 are learning about Bones so made their own skeletons outside using natural materials.
Year 5 are kite making!
The nature area is being used every week this year by different classes. Teachers link work to its use and many excellent science, history, geography, art and music lessons are taking place outside. We use the nature area as a stimulus for writing and to undertake practical maths investigations.
Learning about nature and being outdoors is excellent for pupil's mental well-being and encourages them to be resilient, creative and solve problems.
Preparing to plant
On 22 November, Year 2 and 6 were very busy preparing our grounds for planting trees. We were given 100 trees from the Woodland Trust and plan to use them as barriers and to create a story telling magical area! Year 2 and 6 worked really hard to remove all the grass and prepare the soil. The trees will be planted on Thursday 28 November.
Watch this space for more information.
The whole school are amazed at the wildlife which visits our nature area!
Year 6 can't wait to see what animals come prowling around the nature area!
We have been lucky enough to set up a camera trap in the nature area. We are hoping it gives us a real indication of the animals which habitat our local area.
Watch this space for the evidence!