As the government announces cautious changes to the lockdown restrictions, there is great excitement in being able to do a little more, especially more of a chance to see family face-to-face, even if that is in a restricted manner. In all the information sharing about how we will open up in a gradual manner, one aspect has been stated as being essential and that is the use of the great outdoors.
As we all know from the regular scientific advice over the last month or so, being outdoors does reduce the risk of spreading the virus and, consequently, being outside is an important part of the government’s strategy. However, being outdoors is important for so may reasons.
Thankfully, during this recent period, we have been hugely lucky with the weather and that has allowed people to be outside either in their gardens or for local walks and, more recently, spend more time in parks. We have seen many pictures of children at home in their outdoor areas – planting, gardening, building – all of which has looked fantastic! The opening of garden centres has been another welcome move to allow people to spend more time planting and creating spaces, no matter how small, which are enjoyable to be in.
At Harlow Green, our children know the value of being outdoors as they are used to taking part in forest school sessions with Miss Rowe, in amongst nature. It is always lovely to see the smiles on their faces when they are outside in the open air, amongst the plants and trees, where they can be really hands-on. The impact on mental health as well as physical health is proven and this is integral within our curriculum.
Over the next few weeks, we hope that families can have an increasing opportunity to be outside and to enjoy the nature that is around us. Even if people do not have access to their own garden, we live in an area that has open spaces such as parks and fields where people can get out and feel a little freer. We would love to see more pictures of our families safely enjoying the outdoors so please send us some photos to the usual email addresses.