Ever since John Dibdin was appointed as head teacher, it has been his intention to allow his pupils to learn outdoors as much as possible.

His vision at Lanchester Community Free School in Watford was realised last summer when an Early Years Garden opened complete with a water play activity and ‘mud kitchen’ as well as a sandpit, building area, and chalkboard.

Now the garden has some artificial grass which means the ground does not get too boggy.

When Mr Dibdin joined in Easter 2018, he wanted to create an exciting outdoor area for the children in reception. He has personally constructed the water play, kitchen, chalkboards, and outdoor sink himself, but left the decking and grass to the professionals.

Watford Observer:

In November, Mr Dibdin created a model which mirrored artwork created by one of his pupils that commemorated the centenary of World War One.

The head teacher said: “Outdoor learning is such an important part of children's development. It keeps them fit and healthy, gives them the opportunity to engage with nature and most importantly, is great fun.

“Since I started at Lanchester last Easter, it has been a really high priority for me to establish a safe and exciting outdoor area for our Reception children, which hadn't been in place before.

“A new external door has allowed children to access the space freely from their classroom and also creates a separate entrance for their parents to drop them off at school, which is lovely. The Garden itself, has lots of fun activities

“The children are really loving it and it will help us to provide the outstanding learning opportunities that they deserve.”