OUTDOOR learning and ‘real life curriculums’ will be at the heart of Swindon’s two newest primary schools.

Both William Morris Primary and Badbury Park Primary opened with small ceremonies yesterday and will welcome 34 reception year pupils combined on Monday.

While North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson and mayor Kevin Parry cut the ribbon at William Morris in Tadpole Garden Village, there was a smaller ceremony at Badbury Park’s temporary site in the new housing development off Marlborough Road.

The latter school’s permanent home on Day House Lane will open next year, just yards from a Romano-British farm.

Gary Evans, CEO of Blue Kite Trust which owns the schools, said: “We’re hoping to give the children the best chances in life and the best start to education that we can possibly give.

“We have these practical, real life curriculums we do very much believe in forest schools and outdoor learning.

“Ever since we’ve been involved with Badbury Park, we’ve realised the connections with Coate Water, with the Ridgeway, there’s a farm across the road, so we knew that we wanted to use the environment as much as possible. This will always be a school with a lot of outdoor learning.

“For William Morris, being named after the famous artist, we’ve taken that theme and put it all the way through the school so that we can use that to enhance the children’s education.

“We always try to make sure that when children are in a school that they’re absolutely connected to the local community, through the areas where they’re growing up.”

Louise Dance, headteacher of Badbury Park, said: “Today the parents will see our approach to learning, which is a curiosity approach.

“What they see is very authentic resources, very natural, so we’ve avoided plastic. We’ve gone for heavy, steady, real artefacts and resources, which is all due to the curiosity approach. There is lots of exploring and encouraging the children to use their imagination.

“Because we’re a forest school, there will be a lot of outdoor learning. This year, because we don’t have extensive grounds, we’ll be going over to Richard Jefferies Museum.”

William Morris held an open morning for its new students to see their classrooms. Its new curriculum will focus on teaching life skills as well as the standard national curriculum.

Jo Fraser, headteacher of William Morris, said: “We had our opening today, where the children get the chance to try out the class, with our official start on Monday.

“It was lovely to see all the children, all the work we’ve put into the site is all for the children, they’re the main point.

“It’s really exciting, the aim is to be enthusiastic because if the teachers are enthusiastic then that will transfer to the children.

“The curriculum will focus on life skills including giving the children musical lessons, teaching them how to cook, teaching basic first aid and giving the children the confidence to talk.”