Kilsyth Primary nominated for national award for its innovative work to promote outdoor learning

Roy Murray and his horse Bella visit the Woodland Centre at Kilsyth Primary to do some logging
Roy Murray and his horse Bella visit the Woodland Centre at Kilsyth Primary to do some logging
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Kilsyth Primary has made the final of the Scottish Education Awards for its innovative work at the Woodland Centre in the school grounds.

The school has been nominated in the Learning for Sustainability Award, and will find out if it has won at a ceremony on Wednesday, June 5, in the DoubleTree by Hilton in Glasgow.

Head teacher Louise Duncan explained the benefits of outdoor learning for her pupils and the importance of the centre to the community.

She said: “When I first came here this woodland area that had gone to rack and ruin.

“It was overgrown, it was full of rubbish, but I knew there was a great potential for outdoor learning and the forest school experience.

“In 2016 we had a 140-year celebration in the school; a big heritage project which involved lots of work with the community, the heritage group here in Kilsyth, as well as artists, musicians and outdoor learning partners.

“This grew out of the legacy of that project and the local community love it because what before was derelict land, an eyesore that people used in an inappropriate way, is now a lovely space.

“We have created the sound forest as one of our projects and the children come down and do outdoor music and we’ve often been joined by members of the community coming out to watch, so they’ve really embraced it.”

The Woodland Centre is also used by a local after school kids club, a nursery and the Homeschool Partnership Officer from Kilsyth Academy to do Reconnect.