A YORK primary school has received a big boost to build a new outdoor classroom and quiet area.

St Aelred’s RC School in Tang Hall has been awarded a £10,000 Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund, which will go towards the new outdoor facility.

This has been further boosted by parents, staff and children undertaking a number of fundraising activities such as bag packing at supermarkets, a day selling toys, books and refreshments, a sponsored marathon, a Community Matters donation from Waitrose and numerous coffee mornings, bingo and raffles.

Charlotte Black, a Year 1 teacher, said: “The £10,000 grant is going to have a massive impact on the outdoor space.

“It should pay for a big chunk of the new facility.”

Outdoor classrooms help schools to make the most of their environment teaching youngsters in the open air and letting them learn about the natural world.

Many schools now ensure that pupils experience the world beyond the indoor classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances.

Meanwhile, a year of intense fundraising has taken place by the Friends of St Aelred’s group, which is made up of parents and teachers.

The aim has been to raise funds to improve the school’s playground areas for pupils and the first phase of this involved Year 6 children designing an outdoor mural alongside artist Harriet Wood.

The Bishop of Middlesbrough, the Right Rev Terence Drainey, was impressed by the mural during a recent visit to the school.

While on his visit to the school Bishop Drainey took part in an assembly led by the children, followed by tea and cake he then went on to visit the children in their classrooms.

The Friends group has also funded a new garden with the children getting involved in planting fruit trees and growing vegetables.

Children from St Aelred’s were last in the news when they were among hundreds of schoolchildren from across York who took part in a day of song.

About 250 children from St Aelred’s, Lord Deramore’s, Fishergate, Hempland, Heworth, Tadcaster Grammar and Yearsley

Grove schools joined the Sing and Sign choir at the University of York for the annual Schools’ Choral Festival.

The choirs each brought a song they had rehearsed, and joined together in a version of Lean On Me.