New outdoor classroom is a breath of fresh air
Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Housing and also in Education, Environment
School children in their new classroom
Pupils and teachers at a school in Widnes are celebrating the opening of their new outdoor classroom.
Funded by Beyond the Garden Gate, the classroom at St Bede’s Catholic Junior School is transforming learning by bringing teaching outdoors.
Ideal for the school during term time, local community groups can also use the classroom throughout the summer holidays.
Headteacher Angela Pagett is thrilled with the new classroom: “We are delighted with the outdoor classroom. It’s a great place where children can relax, play, socialise and entertain – it even has a stage.”
The outdoor classroom was identified by local people through Halton Housing Trust’s ‘Beyond the Garden Gate’ project, a neighbourhood investment programme that works with its communities throughout Halton to prioritise funding.
The Beyond the Garden Gate programme has worked closely with Halton Borough Council and the school to get the project off the ground. Michele Murphy, Neighbourhood Regeneration Assistant at the Trust said: “The classroom is a great asset for the school but also the local community. Local schools, St Bede’s Catholic Church, cub and scout groups and social clubs can also book the classroom, so it really benefits the whole area.”
Students from Warrington Collegiate College used their skills to build the timber structure and local company Finn Forest donated wood for the flooring and seating. The classroom also has disabled access, so the space is accessible for all.
Local Councillor, Sue Edge, thinks the classroom is a great asset to Appleton Village: “The classroom is an additional platform for learning and talent. It’s ideal for the summer and gives people a feeling for nature.”
For further information about Beyond the Garden Gate, visit the website - www.beyondthegardengate.co.uk or follow on Twitter and Facebook - @beyondthegardengate.