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Armagh pupils stay warm and waterproof during outdoor learning courtesy of Power NI

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Despite the winter weather, Primary Two pupils at Armagh’s Mount St Catherine’s school are benefiting from outdoor teaching and learning following a £1000 Power NI Brighter Communities funding package.

The Windmill Hill based primary school is one of ten groups across Northern Ireland to receive a Brighter Communities award, launched during the latter part of 2020 and designed to enhance the lives of local people and help bring their projects to life.

Teacher, Monica Jordan applied to Brighter Communities for funding as the children needed warm and waterproof jackets to allow them to enjoy and learn from their outdoor classroom despite inclement weather.

“With the help of local community groups and school volunteers we’ve created exciting learning zones with play equipment, tables and chairs. I even roped in my dad to help build some of the designated areas! From the ‘Construction Area’ to our ‘Seated Area and our ‘Recreation Area’.

“An outdoor classroom has everything we need and with the extra bonus of having the power of nature around us. It makes learning much more fun and keeps everyone fit and healthy. We have happy smiley faces every day.

“During the pandemic it’s been particularly wonderful to have these outdoor learning experiences and we find it really has helped pupils to feel less anxious and more focussed when they return to their normal indoor surroundings.”

Power NI which this year marks its 90th anniversary, first introduced the Brighter Communities initiative back in April 2018. Since then, it has supported a huge range of bespoke groups and clubs from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, Early Years and stroke recovery groups.

Congratulating Mrs Jordan and the pupils at Mount St Catherine’s Primary School, Gemma-Louise Bond, Senior Sponsorship & Events Executive at Power NI said:

“It’s a fantastic learning experience for primaries one and two at the Foundation stage of their education and we’re thrilled to help everyone continue with their outdoor studies - wind, rain or shine.

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