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Inspiring Learning Outdoors at Hull Collegiate School’s New Open-Air Space

  • Inspiring Learning Outdoors at Hull Collegiate School’s New Open-Air Space

On Friday 4 May, Hull Collegiate School’s eagerly awaited Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) centre officially opened its doors to pupils, parents and teachers.

The new centre has been carefully designed to give the school’s youngest pupils an inspiring, welcoming and spacious place to learn and play.

Along with all the facilities you would expect, such as bright and airy classrooms and state-of-the-art technology, the new centre boasts a fantastic outdoor space that seeks to inspire imaginative play amongst pupils.

It includes a sand and water discovery area, a storytelling corner, a mud kitchen and even a hobbit house!

There are also cycle tracks, climbing towers and building and construction zones.

Pupils can try their hand at gardening in the centre’s self-contained growing area and play in the wild camp corner, the double wigwam dens and potting station.

They can even let their imaginations run away with them as they explore the magical secret garden, leading on to a woodland experience that includes a safe waterside pond viewing area and amphitheatre.

A grand opening

To mark the opening of the spectacular new facilities, the setting hosted a party for current and prospective pupils and their families.

To reflect the new centre’s potential for imaginative storytelling, children dressed up as their favourite characters from Julia Donaldson books and participated in a host of exciting themed activities whilst indulging in ice cream.

Each activity contributed to the magic of the redevelopment, making for an electric atmosphere.

The centre was officially opened by United Learning chief executive, Jon Coles, who cut the ribbon.

Opening the centre, he commented, “Every aspect of this centre has been designed with children in mind – from the bright and spacious classrooms to the spectacular outdoor space, children will be inspired to be creative, use their imagination and try new things. It has been a pleasure to open the centre and to see children’s faces light up as they explore their new environment.”

Positive impact

For the school, the centre has made an instant difference. “Although the new outdoor space was only completed a few weeks ago, we are already seeing the positive impact it is having on children’s wellbeing and learning,” said Antje Kell, head of Hull Collegiate Prep School.

“The space both inspires creativity and curiosity, and enables children to assess risk. It is the perfect environment in which to deliver an education with character – an education which inspires and challenges children and ensures their time at school is happy and fun.

“I am proud of the experienced team we have in the EYFS and of their commitment to excellence. The achievements of our Reception pupils are now higher than any in the school’s history and this new environment will ensure that we can continue to lay the very best foundations for learning amongst our youngest pupils.”

For Gary Cornhill, design consultant at Timotay Playscapes, it was a rewarding project: “Timotay Playscapes are delighted to have worked in conjunction with Hull Collegiate to create a new open-air learning environment,” he said.

“The great outdoors stimulates and creates the foundation for learning in all core areas. We are incredibly proud to have partnered with Hull Collegiate, who provide an incredible learning environment that challenges, enthuses and encourages their pupils.”

For more information, call 01933 665 151, email or visit

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