Youngsters enjoy the great outdoors

Children from Ellingham C of E First School enjoying their time in Alnwick's Bullfield Community Orchard.
Children from Ellingham C of E First School enjoying their time in Alnwick's Bullfield Community Orchard.
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Children at Ellingham C of E First School have been experiencing the great outdoors during the half-term break.

Reception and early years pupils have set up a woodland workshop in the churchyard at St Maurice’s, Ellingham, creating a covered den – or classroom – amongst the trees with sawn logs for seats and a ready supply of hot chocolate heated on a camping stove.

The outdoor classroom has been used by reception teacher Karen Swinbank to educate the children about plants and seed dispersal as well as identifying trees by their falling leaves.

Ellingham First School has held a Green Flag for nearly 10 years as a mark of its commitment to sustainability and the wider environment.

A biomass boiler to heat the school has been installed recently.

Headteacher Diane Lakey said: “We want all our children to grow up with an appreciation of the environment around them.

“They are blessed to be brought up somewhere as beautiful as Northumberland and will in time become custodians of their very special surroundings.

“By taking their classes outside, you open their eyes to the changing seasons and provide a stimulating and very different learning experience for them.”

Continuing the outdoor theme and making the most of the weather, Ellingham’s reception and early years children made a pre-half-term trip to the Bullfield Community Orchard in Alnwick and collected apples and plums to make a fruit compote.

The orchard was established in 2010 on land with a 99-year lease provided by Northumberland County Council. In September, the project won the Green Champion category at the Best of Northumberland Awards.