A Northumberland first school replaced its traditional summer fair, raising more than £1,000 to inspire and widen its pupils’ experience of the natural world.
For the first time Abbeyfields School in Morpeth, which is part of the Three Rivers Learning Trust, held a country show for its community.
The event offered a rich and varied experience, teaching new skills and raising awareness of ecological challenges to encourage people to consider their role in looking after the world, not only for themselves, but for future generations.
The country show complemented the Forest School, an on-site outdoor learning area surrounded by an orchard, meadows, ancient woodland and wildlife.
Such initiatives are intended to help children find the right balance between the modern world’s reliance on technology and the natural world.
Through its varied programme of outdoor learning, Abbeyfields School has taken every opportunity over the last ten years to inspire individuals of all ages to develop and deepen their love of the natural environment.
As part of this ambition, residents attending the country show were able to take part in a range of rural events and activities to reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle and gain a greater understanding of the ecosystem and traditional skills.
Alongside the school’s community of friends’ association, parents, children, governors and staff were joined on the day by a number of community groups, including its nearest neighbours — residents of St Christopher’s House.
Accompanied by traditional live music, children and visitors got involved in tasks and competitions around growing vegetables, knitting, crocheting, archery, bee-keeping, farming and animal care, natural photography, cooking, making jam and baking.
All proceeds will be invested in the Forest School and new playground equipment.
Headteacher Sandra Ford said: “Our school site is absolutely stunning, particularly at this time of year, and provided the perfect backdrop for our first ever authentic country show.
“Obviously, and as ever, the stars were the children; their enthusiasm and love of learning shone through as always, and everyone enjoyed a happy, memorable and inspirational experience.
“ A huge thank you to everyone who attended, and for the fabulous efforts of our school team, friends and the members of our local community, who made it such a wonderful day.”