St John’s Outdoor Learning Project
The outdoor learning project at St John’s Primary School has transformed the school grounds into a place suitable for forest school activities. The centrepiece of the project is a ‘class- room in the sky’ treehouse with two pods capable of accommodating 15 pupils.
A woodland trail, peace garden, willow dome, climbing wall and outdoor musical instruments were also created during the last five years.
Emsworth architect says “The school had a lot of ground that wasn’t being accessed. One of the first things we did was the woodland trail because that opened it up. All that we have done connect into the national Forest School’s curriculum by taking teaching out of the classroom and into outdoor spaces.
“This was a project that focused entirely on the outdoors and one of the nice aspects was getting the chance to redefine their outdoor spaces.”
The majority of the money was raised through school events and a fundraising partnership. School supporters were governors, the Diocese of Portsmouth, Barclays, Waitrose and local councillors who were among the many who stumped up funds.
Architect: Ruth Butler. Photographer: Peter Langdown Photography