HAIL, wind and lashing rain were no obstacle, only adding to the fun, for pupils and teachers at St Bernadette’s RC Primary School in Whitefield, as they braved the elements to create a new outdoor learning centre.

This month the school has been hard at work putting touches to its new Forest School.

Taking its under utilised grounds, St Bernadette’s has transformed the space into an outdoor education and play area which will be used to boost students learning and a love of nature.

They were helped along the way by charity City of Trees who donated 420 saplings ­— one for each pupil to plant.

Nisha Shikotra, the school's outdoor learning lead and Year 1 teacher, said: "As a school we are looking to move away from the chalk and talk of the class room and towards taking more lessons outside.

“Prior to this we didn't really have a Forest School area. We did have a lot of outdoor space but it was rarely used. So we decided that this project was something we were really interested in developing.

"Although the weather was horrendous for our tree planting it only added to the experience and the pupils absolutely loved it."

Once complete the Forest School will be used to give pupils weekly lessons in the great outdoors, using nature and the outside space to enhance their learning in subjects as diverse as history and biology.

It will also be used to help the pupils develop essential skills like teamwork, as well as build confidence and self-esteem.

Over the coming months St Bernadette's is further planning to build a fire pit where the youngsters will be able to toast marshmallows, make jacket potatoes, and enjoy mugs of hot chocolate at fireside story times.