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How is an outdoor classroom helping Guernsey's children?

How is an outdoor classroom helping Guernsey's children?

03 July 2019

“Our pond area has developed greatly thanks to the Co-op  and is now an area being used frequently by our children across the school.”

                           -Emma Dorrian, Vale Primary School

One of the best ways in which we can ensure the conservation and protection of our local environment for our future generations is to get them involved and learning about nature from a young age.

Vale Primary School saw the result that hands-on outdoor lessons were having on their pupils when they first installed a nature and conservation area back in 2016. Not only did it help the children develop their awareness of eco-systems and nature, it also helped with other skills such as confidence, self-awareness and the importance of teamwork in preserving the nature area.

So when the pond had to be removed for health and safety reasons, it was a fundamental loss for both the pupils and teachers of the school.

Seeing how much the pond contributed to the nature garden and the variety of wildlife it attracted, Vale School were eager to see a new, safer and more manageable pond reinstated as soon as possible for its pupils. This is one of the reasons why the school decided to apply for our Eco Fund.

In 2018, your Society gave over £17,000 to local eco and environmental projects based right here in the Channel Islands. Last year, we were able to make a real difference to over a dozen eco-projects, including Vale Primary School’s nature garden.

Your Co-op donated £1,000 to Vale School’s Outdoor Classroom. With this additional funding, they were able to more than bring back their pond area, but could go on to create a rich habitat for the all children to learn and study in. Teacher, Emma Dorrian explained how much the Eco-Fund donation meant to them and what it has enabled them to do:

“Children across the school are able to enjoy the pond life, collect data to use within maths and science, learn about the life cycles of various insects (land and water based), learn about ecosystems and what they need to survive, enticing the children to use the pond as a stimulus for story writing, art or poetry, the list is endless!”

The school now has a safer and larger area to accommodate all pupils and get immersed in learning about the nature surrounding them. What was an empty space before now has raised platforms and gardens accessible for all children, outdoor furniture so pupils can relax or learn outside, new plants and shrubs to welcome bees and other local pollinators into their garden – all in all, a wonderful outdoor space for everyone to enjoy.



The Channel Islands Co-operative Society’s Eco-Fund is now open and welcoming applications from all local charities and organisations.


Do you have an environmental project or activity that our Eco-fund could support? Find out more about how the Eco-fund could help, and how to apply for funding.