CHILDREN at Scoill Vallajeelt have been working with a craftsman to carve a storyteller’s chair for their garden.
It is the latest in a series of initiatives that aims to develop learning outdoors to benefit the Braddan school’s 200 pupils.
Head teacher Adrian Shorthouse said that health and safety made it easy for people to shy away from outdoor learning: ‘We need to manage risk but we also need to take advantage of the great opportunity and facilities we have, not just in school but in the wider island.’
He said: ‘Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. We need to make sure people appreciate that learning takes place any time, anywhere.’
Sculptor Gavin Carter worked on the rustic chair with the children on Wednesday. Using chisels and mallets, pupils carved letters into it.
It is hoped that the chair will be finished and installed by half-term, and will be a place where ‘magic and adventure’ can happen.
The plan is for children to take the role of storyteller in child-initiated learning times and also listen to stories in the outdoors.
Mr Shorthouse said: ‘The children have been really enthusiastic. They own it – they are the ones who have been carving directly into it.’
Willow domes are also being planned for the school field and the school is intending to erect two four-five metre diameter domes.
They will enable the children to have the experience of creating a living shelter and be able to use the shelters for group outdoor learning experiences.
It’s not the first time that Mr Carter has worked with the school.
A totem pole he carved with help from pupils is already in place in the school garden.
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