Outdoor education at Ottery St Mary Primary School has been boosted by the provision of a new shelter, thanks to a grant from the town council.

The school's PTA approached the council for help meeting the cost of a free-standing shelter in their Year 2 area so that a large outdoor courtyard could be used in poor weather. Parents and staff thought this would be a cost-effective way to make more outdoor activities possible for the Year 2 pupils, including the SEND learners. This would help the children develop a range of skills including communication, interaction and independence.

The cost of the shelter was £4,000 and the PTA asked Ottery Town Council for half of that amount, which the council was happy to contribute.

Headteacher Mark Gilronan said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to Ottery Town Council for providing a grant of £2,000 towards the project and for making the application process clear and simple to follow. 

“For some children, a practical approach to learning is hugely beneficial, especially following the pandemic where so many missed out on practical opportunities to form relationships in their formative years.

"The school has always, and will continue to, work hard on this with all of the children; the ability to provide further outdoor based opportunities for all of our youngest learners to cover their first three years in school will be absolutely priceless to us."