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Scole Primary School pupils celebrate official opening of their outdoor classroom

Primary school children were jumping with joy when their new outdoor classroom opened.

Youngsters from Scole Primary School attended the official opening at Scole Pocket Park a fortnight ago and are looking forward to learning about wildlife first-hand.

“The children were all very excited it is something that they were not used to at school,” said reception class teacher and outdoor learning co-ordinator Emma Souter.

Pupils from Scole Primary School in their woodland classroom at Scole Pocket Park. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Pupils from Scole Primary School in their woodland classroom at Scole Pocket Park. Picture by Mecha Morton.

“We have a field but to have a woodland space now is very, very exciting for them. They were jumping up and down, it was nice to see a positive reaction from all of them.”

The site, previously described as abandoned, overgrown and a dumping ground, was transformed and secured with fencing by a team of volunteers from Scole Nature Trails Trust (SNTT), who have created the public park from four parcels of land acquired by the parish council through donations and a loan.

The charity was set up in June last year to secure the future of nature sites in Scole after they were transformed by a team of volunteers.

The sites have proven popular with villagers and walkers alike.

Leigh Trevail, Trustee of SNTT, said: “To be able to provide this facility for the pupils of Scole Primary School is extremely rewarding.

“The trustees of the Scole Nature Trails Trust never imagined that the children would take the woodland classroom to their hearts in the way they have. Their appreciation of such a simple concept is more than we ever expected.”

The woodland classroom is a chance for children to take learning outside.

“Throughout my class we use outdoor learning all the time but the other classes never had the opportunity to,” said Ms Souter.

“Not all children find the classroom environment the best place to learn. This gives them the freedom to learn in another way.”

The children will be learning things across the curriculum, from maths to English, to nature and wildlife and use the area for fun activities such as Easter egg hunts.

Despite the official opening on July 3, the school has been using the woodland classroom for a while.

Speaking of the positive aspects of the facility, Ms Souter said: “More and more research suggests that children need the opportunity to learn outside.

“A lot of the children are able to develop their self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem and some of the children who are quite quiet come out of themselves more when they are outside and they learn to work together and develop their communication skills, too.”

For the opening, the school was presented with a specially made sign by a local craftsman and also brought artwork to decorate the area.

In the future, they would like to build bug hotels for insects.

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