New outdoor classroom opens at Lairhillock School

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Pupils at Lairhillock School will now be able to broaden their horizons as they breathe in the fresh air in their new outdoor classroom.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Education & Children’s Services, Maria Walker, opened the classroom last week Wednesday, June 17.

The outdoor classroom is a hexagonal shelter within the school grounds, much of which is made out of recycled plastic, which will act as a community facility and outdoor learning space for school classes.

Funding for the classroom was raised by school’s Parent Council and also received from local businesses and grants.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “Outdoor classrooms are a fundamental part of the Curriculum for Excellence and encourage children to have positive learning experiences in a variety of settings.

“Teaching outdoors makes the lessons fresh and exciting for children, leading to more engagement from the class and ultimately more learning.

“At the same time, there is unprecedented growth in the use of the great outdoors for other learning and leisure experiences such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

“I hope the outdoor classroom sparks the imagination of those who use it to take part in these kind of adventurous activities outdoors.”

Vice-chair of the committee, Cllr Charles Buchan, added that she was glad pupils could enjoy the new classroom. She said: “Adventure in the broadest sense of the word promotes psychological and social development and by engaging with the great outdoors, patterns are being set at a young age that should encourage lifelong healthy lifestyles.”