Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter, was delighted to visit Heath Primary School on Friday 18th October, to formally open their brand new Outdoor Learning classroom.
In recent years, Heath Primary School has invested a lot of time and energy into developing its outdoor space to provide fantastic outdoor learning opportunities for its pupils all year round.
To date, the completed outdoor projects include a working garden, complete with an eco-greenhouse, allotment, orchard and workshop; a Forest Schools area, wildlife pond and dipping platform and animal enclosures housing rabbits, chickens and ducks, not to mention a number of mini-beast hotels and a bird-watching screen.
The outdoor classroom and projects have been almost exclusively funded from outside sources, including the school’s own Parents and Friends Association (PFA) and alongside grants from Tesco’s Bags for Life scheme, the Sugar Tax fund and Kesgrave Town Council’s SPARK fund.
Not resting on its laurels, Heath Primary School is now seeking funding to start work on creating a sensory garden, which will provide a quiet and reflective space for both children and adults.
During his visit, Dr Poulter met with a number of the pupils set to benefit from the new outdoor learning experience and he also took some time out to be interviewed by the school’s very own team of budding news reporters from "Heath News", who put questions to their MP about the effects of Brexit on Halloween, life as an MP and climate change.
Speaking about his visit, Dr Dan Poulter said “I was absolutely delighted to have been asked to officially open Heath Primary School’s fantastic new outdoor learning classroom. Aside from providing a wonderful space for the children to benefit from outdoor learning, this classroom also provides an essential quiet space during playtime or lunchtime for those who prefer not to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of playground activities.”
“It’s clear to see that Mr Whatley and his team are incredibly enthusiastic about providing an outstanding environment for the children to learn in and I look forward to visiting the school again soon.”
Co-Head Teacher, Mr David Whatley said “Here at Heath Primary School, we are passionate in providing our children with a broad and balanced curriculum and we take a very holistic approach to learning. Outdoor learning is a key part of the experience here at Heath – research shows that being outdoors is strongly linked to good mental health and we were delighted that our local MP, Dr Dan Poulter, was able to officially open our new learning setting.”