Outdoor adventures lead to awards for Hartlepool pupils

Getting muddy was all part of the fun

Getting muddy was all part of the fun

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School children who had a wild time in the great outdoors have been rewarded for their efforts.

The achievements of 42 exceptional youngsters from Clavering Primary School who gained the John Muir Award were celebrated at a special evening in front of proud family and friends.

Pupils canoeing

Pupils canoeing

The award is an environmental scheme focused on children taking part in all sorts of activities in the countryside, such as caving and canoeing.

Clavering school has held official John Muir Award Provider Status for the last five years.

Deputy headteacher Neil McAvoy was the master of ceremonies for the evening.

He said: “Our John Muir Award Programme pushes, challenges and squeezes our children, and we make no apology for that.

Our John Muir Award Programme pushes, challenges and squeezes our children, and we make no apology for that

Neil McAvoy, deputy headteacher

“Thankfully, Clavering families embrace the value of our outdoor learning opportunities – both our outdoor adventurous activities and our conservation endeavours – appreciating the wide range of transferable skills and attributes that are developed through the opportunities that we provide.”

A recent study by the University of Essex found that just five minutes of ‘green exercise’ can quickly improve mental wellbeing and self-esteem, with the greatest benefits experienced by the young.

The school also supports the belief that regular time outdoors produces significant improvements in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; learning ability; creativity; and physical, mental, social, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Outdoor learning at Clavering begins in nursery with the school’s Residential Programme starting in Year 3.

Caving was one of the activities for the award

Caving was one of the activities for the award

It culminates with children having the opportunity to complete the John Muir Award, which includes a week away from school, in Year 6.

Clavering headteacher Helen O’Brien said: “We are delighted by the positive impact of all of our outdoor learning opportunities, particularly our John Muir Award Programme.

“Clavering is incredibly fortunate to have talented and committed staff members, led by Mr McAvoy, who work tirelessly to ensure that every child is accessing quality outdoor experiences with nearly 150 children taking part in our school residentials every year.”

Youngsters take to the water

Youngsters take to the water

One pupil caving during his John Muir Award

One pupil caving during his John Muir Award

Clavering and pupils and staff who took part in this year's John Muir Award

Clavering and pupils and staff who took part in this year's John Muir Award