Lower School Outdoor Classroom Dedication
Waterford students, parents, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the official dedication of the school’s newest learning space, the Lower School Outdoor Classroom.
The Outdoor Classroom’s dedication began the moment that our children set foot in the space and began their important and sacred work of play. - Dr. Melanie Battistone, Lower School Head
The construction of the classroom is an extraordinary milestone for the Waterford School, and is the result of the marvelous generosity of an anonymous Lower School family. Head of School, Andrew Menke expanded on the school’s gratitude, stating that, “This space supports one of our strategic plan imperatives—improvement of the student experience as students, their families and teachers connect, share, and learn in this wonderfully joyous outdoor learning space! We thank you for making this dream a reality.”
The Outdoor Classroom has 14 unique activity centers, each featuring its own educational purpose. Each of the centers—including a digging area, tunnel hill and action area, secret garden, and an oversized chess board—are all intended to provide Waterford’s youngest learners with opportunities for risk taking, problem solving, and collaboration.
The new classroom was designed and built by Nature Explore based on research from some of the nation’s leading experts and psychologists on child education, especially for our preschool students. Waterford inspires a love of learning, which begins at the youngest ages. The Outdoor Classroom is an integral extension of the Waterford PreK academic program and was built to provide unique learning experiences for its students that cannot be recreated in a traditional classroom setting.
Lower School Head, Dr. Melanie Battistone profoundly elaborated on the educational value that the new classroom will bring to Waterford, stating that, “The Outdoor Classroom’s dedication began the moment that our children set foot in the space and began their important and sacred work of play. And that dedication is renewed each day by our little ones when they stream out from their indoor classrooms, eager to transform the bark, sand, logs and water into the realities of their imaginary worlds. 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”.
To see more on our Outdoor Classroom, click here.