Södra Wood, in partnership with Lawsons builders’ merchants and award-winning Adventure Playground Engineers (APES), has helped build a timber treehouse classroom for Morgans Primary School and Nursery. The facility was officially opened during a ceremony in early March.
Morgans, a two-form entry primary school with a nursery in Hertford, believes that every pupil should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances. A purpose-built timber outdoor classroom was seen as central to achieving this.
Timber itself is strongly linked to numerous wellbeing benefits, from increasing learning rates and concentration levels to improving test results and attendance. Evidence also shows that nature can be an effective way to nurture all pupils regardless of their needs.
Morgans firmly believes that sometimes the best way to get the most out of the classroom is to leave it and take learning outside. They feel this results in happier, healthier, and more well-rounded students. Higher levels of motivation, greater independence, improved attitudes to learning, and greater enjoyment and achievement are just some of the benefits Morgans expects to see as a result of this outdoor timber classroom.
Mrs Alis Rocca, headteacher at Morgans Primary School and Nursery explains: “Not only will this outdoor classroom offer more varied opportunities and help stimulate learning, but it will also act as a springboard for imagination, pupil development and a better understanding of the world. This facility will be a very special place for children to speak and listen, share ideas, debate and learn. We’re thrilled with it and look forward to seeing how the children at Morgans (and those that pass through in years to come) take advantage of the many benefits it offers.”
Paul Sexton, Lawsons’ managing director, describes how the project was brought to life: “Morgans approached us, shared an image of a small treehouse, and asked whether we could help. We said we’d love to and set our sights on much more than a treehouse! We wanted to create a purpose-built outdoor classroom that will help make a real difference. We approached Nigel at Södra Wood – our long-term timber supply partner – and asked for their help with the timber, and then we teamed up with Adventure Playground Engineers (APES) to help design and build the classroom.”
Nigel Buckley-Ryan, sales director, Merchants, at Södra Wood, commented: “We’re delighted to have helped out with this project. It’s wonderful to see schools like this implementing innovative projects for the benefit and wellbeing of its pupils. It’s also another brilliant example of the versatility and wellbeing benefits of wood. Not only is this treehouse multi-faceted and awesome to look at, but timber structures tend to have a calming effect on people. The use of timber also has the added advantage of being good for the environment. Morgans and its pupils can rest assured that the timber used for their treehouse will have really benefited the environment during its 50-70 years as a tree.”
For further information on Södra Wood, please visit www.sodra.uk