Outdoor Activities at Phoenix Independent School
PROMOTING A COMMUNITY OF GROWTH
The Courtyard Garden
Whilst we don't have vast amounts of outdoor space on our immediate site, we think we've made the most of what we have.
The Courtyard Garden provides students with a peaceful area to socialise at breaktimes where they can eat their lunch or chat to friends. Students are encouraged to participate in keeping our garden tidy and a place where everyone can enjoy.
The Courtyard Garden features a sitting area designed and built by students out of discarded pallets, several small garden areas containing plants, fruit trees, bird tables, insect feeders and a rainwater capture system to help students to learn about the importance of looking after our environment.
YMCA Winners of Queen’s Award 2021
We are fortunate that we have the multi award winning Y-Active Leisure Centre just a short walk from the school to make sure all our students have the opportunity to take part in sport and fitness. The centre offers a gym, multi-purpose sports hall, dance studio, climbing wall and a floodlit 4-G all-weather astroturf football pitch. We use the centre on two afternoons per week.
In the summer months and / or when the weather allows, we also use the nearby park to offer students a quick game of foodball, rounders, tennis or anything else that takes their fancy in the park which is about a two minute walk from the school.
Outdoor Education Centres
The first pandemic lockdown gave us time to reflect on how we could improve what we offer at the school, especially in terms of access to outdoor space. We looked at what had the biggest impact on our own lives and mental health during the lockdown and decided it wasn't parties, shopping, holidays but access to the outdoors. We realised how lucky we were in Stoke on Trent that despite being a rapidly growing inner city metropolis, we also had some amazing green spaces and surrounding countryside. We decided that we wanted to make sure students were made aware of what was on offer by giving opportunities for them to spend time enjoying these spaces and taking advantage of what they had to offer.
In 2020 several staff members completed the Lowland Leader qualification to enable them to take students out to explore the local area and the nearby Peak District National Park. We also partnered with our local outdoor education centre to access more specialist expertise and facilities. Students visited the Outdoor Education Centre each Friday to follow a programme of activities including mountain biking, canoeing, climbing, abseiling, archery, team building, bushcrafts, rifle shooting, axe throwing. Part of the programme also included visits to the Roaches in the Peak District to practice the skills learnt in centre in climbing, abseiling, bouldering and navigation.