School gets funding for the great outdoors

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Gedney Church End Primary School is now well-placed to develop good-natured pupils after a £1,500 cash donation towards a purpose-built outdoor learning area.

It includes a garden, classroom and orienteering trail and has been built by Lincolnshire Outdoor Learning after a grant was provided by Lincolnshire County Council member Coun William Webb.

His donation from the Councillor Big Society Fund, by which council members can give financial support to community projects in their area, was match-funded by the school whose staff are keen to include outdoor learning in its curriculum.

Headteacher Luke Whitney said: “Over the last couple of years, our school has developed residential provision for pupils in Years Four and Six who are taken to an outdoor education centre for three or five-day stays.

“All activities at the centre involve problem solving and this has helped our children develop really good teamworking skills and also a love of the great outdoors.

“We wanted to look at ways of bringing this approach to learning back to school which resulted in us contacting Lincolnshire Outdoor Learning, a relatively new company set up by one of the tutors at the residential centre we use.

“It provided a purpose-built outdoor learning area which can be used to teach children about the natural world and we also plan to grow fresh produce through the establishment of a gardening club that will operate after school.

“All in all, we are really pleased with our new area and would like to express our thanks and gratitude to Coun Webb for his very generous Big Society Fund donation.”

Coun Webb, who attended the opening of the outdoor learning area on Wednesday with his wife, Jane, said: “I’m very pleased to be able to support my local school and I’m sure the outdoor learning area will greatly enhance educational opportunities for pupils.

“I was shown round the area by the headteacher on Wednesday and the children enjoyed being out in the sunshine.

“It’s good to see children being encouraged to learn outdoors and to think for themselves, which is so important in today’s curriculum.”