Swing Gate School is a nursery and infant school based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire with around 180 children ranging from the ages of 4 to 7 years old.
Promoting wellbeing, happiness and health at school
Happiness and wellbeing are at the heart of Swing Gate School and we are always looking for ways we can improve our children’s learning experience. We know that every child is unique, and we want to create an environment which meets the physical, social and emotional needs of all our children.
Children love being outdoors, and offering opportunities to explore, play and learn outside teaches them about nature, the world around them and how to care and protect it. Whether that’s learning about recycling, ensuring we don’t waste energy - our Eco council have been busy discussing ways we can help make small changes that bring big benefits.
Exciting new plans ahead
Next year, Swing Gate School wants to do even more to increase the wellbeing of our children and has big plans to overhaul and improve the outdoor areas of the school. An exciting part of this plan is to create a fabulous new Sensory Wellbeing Garden using a redundant area of the school grounds. School budgets cannot stretch to fund this project, so Friends of Swing Gate School, a charity run by volunteer parents, has stepped in to help fundraise. For the school to meet the diverse needs of pupils, and give them the best possible start to their school journey, it is vital for us to improve the outdoor environment and maximise the use of all space available.
So how will this new wellbeing garden help?
- It will provide stimulating sensory experience for children with diverse needs, who need to touch, smell, hear and see the environment around them.
- We will strengthen our happiness and wellbeing programme by offering a calm space for children to play and explore the outdoors.
- We will learn about nature, growing plants and food and the importance of looking after our natural world.
- Planting trees and plants will improve the air quality, both for the school and surrounding area helping support the fight against climate change.
- It will use an area of the school which currently is not able to be used by the children and so will increase the outside space available for learning and playing.
The final plans are still in being drawn up, but the garden will consist of variety of materials, textures, smell, colours and plants. We will use natural or recycled materials as much as possible. It will be easy to maintain, safe and used in both play and learning.
We’re involving the children at Swing Gate at every step of the project, from contributing ideas to the design, to getting involved in the planting and building, and caring for the garden in the years to come.
What do our pupils think?
We asked the children what they would like to see in this garden. Here’s what a few of them said!
“I like growing flowers and plants and smelling them”
“The playground is very busy and I would like a quiet place to sit that is pretty”
“I like all the different colours, and looking for mini beasts”
“Wow, that would be great”
Can you help us raise funds?
The Sensory Wellbeing Garden is part of a wider plan to overhaul and improve our outdoor play facilities, so we have plenty more fundraising to do.
Please help us make this a reality and bring a bit of happiness to Swing Gate School!
Thank you for your support. We are truly grateful for any donations we receive. The children will benefit tremendously from this new outdoor learning experience.