What is LINE?
All of us know how important it is for children to get outside for fresh air, exercise and simply to enjoy the world around them. Teachers have always been aware that often the more memorable learning experiences take place away from desks and beyond the classroom.
From 2012-2016 Marlborough was involved in Natural Connections’ action research project aiming to revitalise Learning in the Natural Environment or LINE.
Our involvement as a whole school community confirmed our belief that every child should be given the opportunity to experience and learn from and about the natural environment. Parents’ and volunteer involvement in the LINE project was extraordinarily positive and, through a series of Big Dig days and follow-up activities, we improved the opportunities our school environment can offer.
This way of working is very important for us at Marlborough although, combined with damaging winter storms, LINE has had an impact on the wear and tear of the grounds and another legacy of the project has been the need to revitalise the school’s outdoor spaces.
In 2015-2017 the school’s Pupil Parliament worked with staff, governors and contractors to ensure the sustainable and long-lasting impact of the project. Together, and with the continuing support of parents, we have redesigned the grounds, planned priorities for future development and begun to oversee some significant improvements that underpin our belief that our biggest most classroom space is actually outside the doors of the school building! This includes our school kitchen garden, wildlife and secret garden spaces, the Ministry-of-Mud and Jungle Run, the Poop Deck courtyard, an Outdoor Orchestra and the improvements to the lower school outdoor areas that from 2017 will see improved learning and play facilities in the woodland garden, sand and water play areas, mud kitchen, playground and castle.