Outdoor learning is class for these local schoolchildren

Pupils at a Co Armagh primary school are set to benefit from outdoor teaching and learning when Northern Ireland schools re-open, thanks to a funding package which has supplied the schoolchildren with warm, waterproof jackets.

By Helen McGurk
Monday, 1st February 2021, 12:10 pm
P2 pupils Sophia and Lelia celebrate their school, Mount St Catherine’s PS in Armagh securing a Power NI Brighter Communities £1000 funding package. Their teacher, Monica Jordan applied to Brighter Communities for funding as the children needed warm and waterproof jackets to allow them to enjoy and learn from their outdoor classroom.
P2 pupils Sophia and Lelia celebrate their school, Mount St Catherine’s PS in Armagh securing a Power NI Brighter Communities £1000 funding package. Their teacher, Monica Jordan applied to Brighter Communities for funding as the children needed warm and waterproof jackets to allow them to enjoy and learn from their outdoor classroom.

Primary Two pupils at Armagh’s Mount St Catherine’s school will receive some of their lessons al fresco in a specially designed outdoor classroom.

To ensure the children at the Windmill Hill-based school stay warm and dry despite inclement weather, teacher Monica Jordan applied to Power NI Brighter Communities for funding for jackets, and the school was awarded £1,000 from the fund.

Commenting on the outdoor classroom, Mrs Jordan said: “With the help of local community groups and school volunteers we’ve created exciting learning zones with play equipment, tables and chairs.

“I even roped in my dad to help build some of the designated areas! From the ‘Construction Area’ to our ‘Seated Area’ and our ‘Recreation Area’.

“An outdoor classroom has everything we need and with the extra bonus of having the power of nature around us.

“It makes learning much more fun and keeps everyone fit and healthy. We have happy smiley faces every day.

“During the pandemic it’s been particularly wonderful to have these outdoor learning experiences and we find it really has helped pupils to feel less anxious and more focussed when they return to their normal indoor surroundings.”

Mrs Jordan said the children of key workers have benefitted from the outdoor classroom during the lockdown.

Mount St Catherine’s is one of 10 groups across Northern Ireland to receive a Brighter Communities award, launched during the latter part of 2020 and designed to enhance the lives of local people and help bring their projects to life.

Power NI, which this year marks its 90th anniversary, first introduced the Brighter Communities initiative back in April 2018.

Since then, it has supported a huge range of bespoke groups and clubs from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, Early Years and stroke recovery groups

Congratulating Mrs Jordan and the pupils at Mount St Catherine’s Primary School, Gemma-Louise Bond, senior sponsorship & events executive at Power NI said:

“It’s a fantastic learning experience for primaries one and two at the Foundation stage of their education and we’re thrilled to help everyone continue with their outdoor studies - wind, rain or shine.”

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