Pupils swap pens for spades at one Sheffield school

Pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale getting their hands dirty in the school's new 'outdoor classroom'

Pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale getting their hands dirty in the school's new 'outdoor classroom'

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Children at one Sheffield school are swapping their pens for spades during lessons in a new ‘outdoor classroom’.

Pupils at Oasis Academy Fir Vale, on Owler Lane, having been getting back to nature ever since their new garden classroom was unveiled earlier this month.

Since the opening, pupils have been getting their hands dirty by planting the school’s first crop of carrots, onions, potatoes and a number of different fruit plants.

Helen Round, principal of Oasis Academy Fir Vale, said: “We are delighted to have been able to create this new outdoor learning area for the children where we will be able to give them new experiences and skills that they can use in the future.’

“At the Academy every child is important and the staff and I are determined that everyone feels included and is inspired to come to school.

“The new garden classroom will make a big difference to a number of our pupils, many of whom are already developing green fingers.”

In addition work has begun on a ‘bug house’ where pupils will do biology lessons to learn about different insects and how they live and interact with the environment.

The academy has further ambitions for the outdoor classrooms, with plans in place for log stump seating so that more lessons can be held outdoors.

Mrs Round said: “Each child learns best in a different way; some like the structure of the classroom, others the silence of the library, or working in groups.

“Sometimes side-lined are those who do best by doing, being active and being outdoors.”

Oasis Academy Fir Vale is an inclusive academy for children aged between 3 and 11, committed to delivering first class-education and playing an active role in the local community.

It was in the top 10 per cent of non-selective schools nationally for progress in the 2015 end of Key Stage Four examinations.