Great outdoors at Chichester high school


A HIGH school in Chichester opened an outdoor classroom at the end of term.

Clare Skinner, head of learning for Year 7 at Chichester High School for Girls, set about building something a little different for the school, and on Friday, July 18, the outdoor classroom was officially opened.

The mayor of Chichester, John Hughes, visited the school to cut the tape and invited pupils, parents and staff into the area to learn more about Clare’s project.

“I wanted the girls to be able to learn in the outdoors and experience nature at the same time,” said Clare. “I used an 80m stretch of land in the grounds of the school, which wasn’t being used, and included a performance area, snug for reading, nature area, vegetable pots, a classroom area, orchard and benches amongst the flowers.

“I would like the whole school to make use of the area in whatever way they can. It might be incorporating what can be found in the nature area into on-going classwork or it might simply be to hold a class outside in the nice weather.

“When I began the project, I realised I needed quite a lot of materials to complete all the areas, so I wrote to Covers, as I knew it was a family-run organisation with a depot just down the road from our school.

“Martyn Beck, the Chichester depot’s manager, was great. He got in touch and was very helpful, advising us on the best materials to use. Covers has helped us source decking, railway sleepers, cement and lots more for the project, offering us fantastic prices, too.”

Martyn said: “I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in this project for Chichester High School for Girls. It’s fantastic that I was able to help share the expertise and knowledge of staff at Covers in order to improve facilities at the school. The outdoor classroom is such a good idea, encouraging children to get outdoors and learn about where they live.”

Clare said: “On behalf of everyone at Chichester High School for Girls, I would like to thank Covers for their support, allowing us to complete our project within what was quite a limited budget. I would also like to thank the mayor of Chichester for officially opening our classroom.

“Finally, I must thank the parents who helped the project, too. They really were the pinnacle in construction of the whole area. We are very much looking forward to returning to school after the summer holidays and beginning to use the facility.”