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Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools celebrates Empty Classroom Day

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools (PODS) hosted a celebration of outdoor learning at the National Trust’s Stackpole Estate in May to mark International Empty Classroom Day.

The event was attended by 150 primary pupils from Ysgol Maenclochog, Ysgol Brynconin, Ysgol Hafan Y Mor, Penrhyn VC School, Tenby VC School and Haverfordwest VC School.

150 primary school pupils enjoyed the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools event at the Stackpole Estate on Empty Classroom Day.
150 primary school pupils enjoyed the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools event at the Stackpole Estate on Empty Classroom Day.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Discovery Team Leader and Chair of the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools Partnership, Graham Peake said: “It’s great to see so many groups and organisations committed to working with local children in our amazing outdoor spaces. 

“We need to work to ensure that all children have regular have outdoor experiences as part of the time at school as it‘s clear that there are significant benefits for all those involved.”

Pupils had the chance to participate in workshops in the woods and on the lawn with Sustainable Schools, the Field Studies Council, National Trust, Foundation Phase Team at Pembrokeshire County Council and Sport Pembrokeshire.

Activities included building with natural materials, fire craft, orienteering, games from around the world, co-ordination exercises and food webs in nature.

The event was enjoyed by all, with one pupil commenting that it had been “the best day of my life”.

Speaking at the event, Kate Evan-Hughes, Director for Children and Schools for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “The Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools partnership provides lots of different types of activities that give a breadth of experience to teachers to see different ways of using the outdoor learning environment."

"We need to show how outdoor learning can be cross-curricular in itself and that it meets the needs of the curriculum."

Teachers were given time to engage in a short training session on the potential of delivering subjects from the new National Curriculum for Wales outdoors. Teachers also found the day informative and enjoyable.

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools brings together specialist organisations and individuals, creating a dynamic partnership which offers support to schools to develop their outdoor opportunities linked to learning across the Curriculum.

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Published 12 June 2018

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