Northampton primary school installs brand new outdoor classroom with its own solar panel and wind turbine

The classroom will be mainly used for science lessons, but also for yoga and story time

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 9:00 am

A Northampton primary school is hoping to revolutionise the way children learn with its newly installed outdoor classroom and improved outside environment.

East Hunsbury Primary School surprised its staff and students with the classroom and a renovation of the wildlife and pond area when they returned from the Easter holidays.

The outdoor classroom came about as the school has recently been taking part in an Erasmus funded project - Science Outside the Classroom - with the University of Northampton, Weston Favell Primary School, a kindergarten school in Croatia, another in Sweden and a primary school in Spain.

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The outdoor classroom at East Hunsbury Primary School.

As part of the project the school has been developing science lessons using the UK curriculum, but teaching lessons outdoors as staff believe it is the best place for learning.

Due to a donation from the Smurfitt Kappa Foundation and other grants and donations the school applied for, an outdoor classroom has now been built and pupils are already enjoying it.

The classroom has its own solar panel and mini wind turbine to monitor and provide energy and the school has also rejuvenated its pond and wildlife area as part of a wider project to improve its outside space.

Alison Fortuna, special unit teacher and forest school leader who successfully submitted the bid is delighted with the new classroom, said: “When the children and staff returned to East Hunsbury Primary School after the Easter holiday they were excited to see a new Outdoor Classroom had been built.

“Taking aspects of the school curriculum outdoors whenever we can has never been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The timing of our project and the arrival of an outdoor classroom couldn't be more ideal.

“The whole school will be able to access this space to expand our outdoor learning opportunities.

“The children love learning outdoors and this gives us endless possibilities to bring learning alive.”

Plans are already in place for the classroom to be used for yoga, story time and outdoor science.

Staff are also hoping that other school practitioners will visit the classroom to see the changes that they have made to teaching resources.

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