Waterford is excited to share the PreK Outdoor Classroom, a Certified Nature Explore Classroom, which fosters highly effective, nature-based outdoor learning, and has been nationally recognized by Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
Research shows the importance of outdoor play, exploration in nature and hands-on activities for young learners. Waterford’s PreK program enhances this important play through the research-based classroom, which was finished and dedicated in the Fall of 2018, and made possible by a very generous anonymous donation.
With its multi-use stations filled with oversized rocks, logs, tunnels, chess boards as well as water and mud stations, a large block-building station, this Outdoor Classroom is a newly-imagined place for our students to explore, learn and grow.
The Lower School Outdoor Classroom was designed by Nature Explore, a professional landscape architecture company that incorporates research on early childhood development with design expertise and engaging learning spaces for children.
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As our students use this space day after day, it will become a stage, a laboratory, a castle, a ship, a wilderness, a country, a home. In this classroom, our students will learn to create, negotiate, test hypotheses, share, engage in dialogue, problem-solve, and collaborate. When I think about all that is taking place in this space, I am hopeful for our future, as these are deeply important lessons that our students are learning, teaching each other, and teaching us.