CCEA celebrates Outdoor Classroom Day with visits to local schools

Published: 19/05/2023, 10:45am
Outdoor Classroom Day May 2023 Photo 1

This week CCEA, as part of Outdoor Classroom Day, met with St James’s Primary School, Whitehouse Primary School, and Hazelwood Integrated Primary School to see how children are learning and exploring outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Outdoor Classroom Day (May 18) is a global initiative to inspire and celebrate outdoor play and learning, at home and at school, encouraging children to connect and explore with the natural world around them.

CCEA Chief Executive, Gerry Campbell, and Temporary Director of Curriculum and Assessment, Corinne Latham, visited St James’s Primary, with Whitehouse Primary also in attendance as part of the schools’ shared education programme. Paula Cunningham, Principal of St. James’s Primary School, along with teachers and pupils, demonstrated some play-based lessons that take place at their Forest School, which covers multiple areas of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

CCEA Chief Executive, Gerry Campbell said:

Outdoor Classroom Day reminds us of the benefits of learning outdoors which supports the wellbeing and development of young children. It’s inspiring to see local schools take advantage of their surroundings and use outdoor facilities to connect with nature and explore the world around us. It was clear to see how joyful the children were when taking part in outdoor learning.

Dawn Blain, Principal of Whitehouse Primary School highlighted the importance of learning outdoors and learning through play:

We find that in addition to developing problem-solving and social skills our pupils increase their sense of adventure and love for nature.

Gerry and Corinne then visited Hazelwood Integrated Primary which delivers a significant proportion of lessons outside and in their Forest School. Principal Jim McDaid and the Hazelwood teachers and pupils helped highlight the importance of how nature and the outdoor environment can enhance the skills of young people.

Pupils enjoy Outdoor Classroom Day, May 2023
Outdoor Classroom Day, May 2023
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