Outdoor classroom for Fife primary school

The school year ended at St Marie's with a special event celebrating the opening of a new outdoor classroom.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:24 pm
The official opening of St Marie's PS's new outdoor classroom; Pictured: (Left) William Sloan, Mariam Farquharson, Les Soper, Mary Caldwell, Patrick Callaghan and Jacqueline Crawford. (Front) Kirsty Fowler, Bryonny McCormick, Daniel Martin and Joshua Saunders
The official opening of St Marie's PS's new outdoor classroom; Pictured: (Left) William Sloan, Mariam Farquharson, Les Soper, Mary Caldwell, Patrick Callaghan and Jacqueline Crawford. (Front) Kirsty Fowler, Bryonny McCormick, Daniel Martin and Joshua Saunders

The whole school, led by a piper, turned out for the ceremony at the new facility in the school’s grounds.

Headteacher Mary Caldwell said that the classroom would help to push the school’s drive towards outdoor learning.

“We had bit of extra money which we felt we’d like to channel into that direction,” she said, “So we came up with the idea of building an outdoor learning class space and since then we’ve been working hard to bring it to fruition.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The official opening of St Marie's PS's new outdoor classroom; Pictured: (Left) William Sloan, Mariam Farquharson, Les Soper, Mary Caldwell, Patrick Callaghan and Jacqueline Crawford. (Front) Kirsty Fowler, Bryonny McCormick, Daniel Martin and Joshua Saunders

“After the summer holidays we’ll start a new, exciting chapter with a programme of outdoor learning which will continue throughout the year.

“ The children will be working on their life skills as part of teams and investigating, enquiring, carry out research so it’ll be very much hands on.”

Each class will be assigned two slots each week to use the classroom working on different outcomes, with the room fully equipped and resourced.

Mrs Caldwell added: “The children will start off having their lesson here, go outside for their activity and coming back and share what they’ve done.

Brooke Valence and Sophie Stewart (both 11) enjoying the new outdoor classroom.

“There are also plans to use it for circle time activities and the music teacher Mr Adamson has told me he’d like to use it too!

“We’re quite tight for space in the school so this is going to be used well - the staff have already taken up all the available slots!

The ribbon cutting to officially open the classroom was undertaken by Les Soper, of Growing Kirkcaldy and the Rotary Club of Kirkcaldy, who helped build it and has also installed 13 planters in the school grounds, one for each class.

He said: “I think this is fabulous.

“Anything that gets the kids outdoors is great.”

The school also has plans in conjunction with the Woodland Trust to open up a gate which would lead into Pannie Den and create areas for the children to explore.

(All pics by Steven Brown)

Les Soper and headteacher Mary Caldwell cut the ribbon to declare the outdoor classroom open
The official opening of St Marie's PS's new outdoor classroom; Pictured: (Left) William Sloan, Mariam Farquharson, Les Soper, Mary Caldwell, Patrick Callaghan and Jacqueline Crawford. (Front) Kirsty Fowler, Bryonny McCormick, Daniel Martin and Joshua Saunders
Brooke Valence and Sophie Stewart (both 11) enjoying the new outdoor classroom.
Les Soper and headteacher Mary Caldwell cut the ribbon to declare the outdoor classroom open