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.


"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. "

- Dr. Melanie Battistone, Lower School Head​​​​​​​