New outdoor classroom planned for Stamford Junior School

The grounds team, from left, Gavin Banks, Stephen Porter, Colin Atter, Richard Taylor and director of outdoor education Edward Smith
The grounds team, from left, Gavin Banks, Stephen Porter, Colin Atter, Richard Taylor and director of outdoor education Edward Smith

Work has started on redeveloping Stamford Junior School’s outdoor area, so that it can become a ‘natural outdoor classroom’ for pupils.

The changes are being made possible thanks to the schools’ head of grounds Robert Carder, and the tireless efforts of his grounds team.

Stamford Junior School already runs Woodland Adventures and Forest Schools, which gives pupils the opportunity to learn about the natural world around them and develop specific forestry skills, including listening and observing attentively, using simple wood crafting tools and working towards using fires for warmth and cooking.

The outdoor area will help pupils explore a natural environment and discover first-hand the wonders of nature.

The site will include; a wood store, bird boxes, a woodchip area, and a circular ‘camp-fire’ style seating area constructed using fallen tree logs already present at the site.

Grass seeds will be planted and wild flowers will be allowed to flourish.

Additional features will include a path which will run from the gates at either end across the area. Anything which has to be cut down during the restoration will be used.

It is hoped that eventually the design will incorporate a gate giving access to the River Welland, which runs parallel to the school, to allow pupils to safely explore a greater level of wildlife and nature.

The aim is for the area to be a useable space before the end of the academic year, with final touches being completed over the summer.

Stamford Endowed Schools director of outdoor education Edward Smith was thrilled with the project. He said: “The whole area can be a valuable outdoor area that the students can use.

“I must extend a huge thanks to the grounds staff here, without their help and commitment this wouldn’t be possible.”

Mr Carder said: “We are aiming to create a natural environment for the pupils. A natural outdoor classroom.”