Outside learning sees school in award win

Donna Callaghan, deputy headteacher, with pupils Shannon Gough, Liam Moor, Brooklyn Downey, Kendra Smith and Karen Brownrigg, higher level teaching assistant.
Donna Callaghan, deputy headteacher, with pupils Shannon Gough, Liam Moor, Brooklyn Downey, Kendra Smith and Karen Brownrigg, higher level teaching assistant.
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A North Shields school has been honoured for the way it takes education out of the classroom.

Percy Main Primary School helps pupils expand their horizons and learn more about art, heritage, adventure and the natural world through a curriculum enriched by teaching in outdoor environments.

As a result, the school has just been given the prestigious ‘Gold Award’ from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC), making the school one of only six in the country to receive the accolade.

Deputy headteacher Donna Callaghan said: “We do not believe that learning has to be confined to the classroom.

“The school’s ethos is that the boundaries of the classroom should not prevent children experiencing life and lessons beyond their immediate school environment.

“We are so proud to have gained this award. It is lovely to have all of our hard work and effort recognised.”

The teachers plan lessons meticulously to ensure that outdoor learning is central to the way in which they deliver the curriculum and pupils are regularly taken on educational visits which are linked to their subject learning.

The school also benefits from having a range of inspiring and continually evolving outdoor environments which are frequently used to enhance and enrich learning across the school.

Karen Brownrigg, outdoor learning co-ordinator, said: “We’re thrilled to receive official recognition through the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom and we look forward to building on this outstanding award in developing our provision which contributes to the many benefits of taking the curriculum outside the classroom walls.”

The LOtC Mark, awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, is the first national accreditation for schools which recognises and supports the development of learning outside the classroom.

Chief executive Beth Gardener said: “Learning outside the classroom provides the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life.

“Gaining LOtC Mark (Gold) demonstrates that genuinely valuable learning outside the classroom experiences are part of the everyday life of the school and are available to all of the children. Learning outside the classroom has many proven educational benefits.

“I congratulate Percy Main Primary School on being awarded LOtC Mark (Gold).”