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Outdoor Learning Den

Outdoor Learning Den 

Below is a log of fundraising events and activities for our Outdoor Learning Den Project. We had a team of dedicated parents and staff who worked tirelessly to support this exciting project; we hope you enjoy the page.

Outdoor Learning Den – Summer 2016


At the end of July we had our Outdoor Learning Den installed at Oakwood. After many, many fund raising events and lots of hard work from a very dedicated group of people on our Outdoor Den Committee, the Den is finally here! The following photographs show the construction of the building; over this term we will show you how the children are using it as part of our school environmental area. Please support us in looking after this wonderful resource.

Building the Outdoor Learning Den - July 2016

Outdoor Learning Den Final Build - July


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The Outdoor Learning Den team are pleased to announce after all the events and support from the local community we have been able to place an order with the Hideout House Company Limited for the Outdoor Learning Den pictured below. Our thanks to Simon and the team at the Hideout House Company for their partnering approach to this project meaning we can now move forward to create this fantastic interactive space for the children 


Look out for further updates as we approach the July installation date!

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FAMILY FUN DAY! Sunday 22nd May 2016

The weather held off and a great time was had by all. There was something for everyone at Oakwood annual Sunday Funday and a massive £1021.17 was raised toward the Outdoor Learning Den. Many thanks to all the families who attended and supported.

Oakwood Wins Outdoor Lottery Grant

Oakwood Outdoor Learning Den Flyer 2016

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Magic Show – October 2015

After school on Tuesday the Foundation, Year 1, 2, 3 and 4 children were entertained by the amazingly talented Wishy Washy and Zig Zag for our Magic night. The school hall was buzzing with excitement for the show and they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A massive thank you to all teaching staff who stayed to help the feedback has been amazing, teachers enjoyed watching as Mrs Jackson took centre stage with Wishy Washy and the magic table. Special thanks to the Outdoor Learning Den Fundraising Team who organised the event and thank you to all parents for their continued support. We raised a total profit of £301.48.


A special well done to all the children who participated enthusiastically and were so polite to all the helpers throughout the show.

Year 5 and 6 Entertainment Night - 2015

Years 5 and 6 had a fabulous time at this entertainment night. The children watched Big Hero 6 and enjoyed a light snack and drinks. The evening raised £96.90 towards the Outdoor Learning Den project.  Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you Babcock Apprentices! August 2015

Thank you Babcock Apprentices! August 2015    1

Babcock International – Community Project August 2015

A huge thank you to Babcock International, who loaned us their apprentices over the summer holidays to work on the outside learning areas at Beechwood and Oakwood Schools. Up to 90 young apprentices were engaged in outdoor projects across the two sites. Here are some of the improvements they have made at Oakwood…


The apprentices worked hard to clear the outside area of the debris left after the original clearance. They dug over the area and cleared the weeds and brambles that had begun to flourish again after our lovely ‘wet’ summer!  They cleared the path from the field gate down to the woods, which will give our children access during the autumn term


The apprentices built a new seating area for the children, put up bird and bat boxes and installed water butts (so the children will no longer have to drag their watering cans so far!) They made a bug hotel, which the children have named ‘Buggingham Palace’.


The apprentices set up a compost and digging area. They painted and weather-proofed the bird hide, sheds and class ‘growing boxes’. Each growing box has now been allocated to a specific class.


A massive thank you to all of the Babcock apprentices who worked so hard and enthusiastically for us over the summer, and to Babcock International for providing their labour, tools and materials free of charge. Finally, great thanks to Dave Tytherleigh, Pete Luscombe, Tracey O’Carroll and Lisa Darcy for organising and supporting this inspiring project.


Look at the fantastic improvements carried out over the summer.

The Lord Mayor - Grand Opening - July 2015

The Lord Mayor - Grand Opening - July 2015  1

Official Launch the Outdoor Learning Den Project – July 2015

The school was a buzz on Monday 6th July as it hosted the Lord Mayor; dignitaries and local companies to officially launch the Outdoor Learning Den Project. The Lord Mayor was very pleased to have been invited to Oakwood and spoke of the importance of incorporating environmental and outdoor learning elements into the   education syllabus.


He was met by Isobel and Aidan, the Outdoor Learning Ambassadors, who took him on a quick tour of the school before the children led an interactive assembly. There was a fun and lively overview of the project mixed with music from the brass band thanks to Mrs Litherland and fantastic contribution from the Gardening Club, thanks to Mrs O'Carroll and Mrs Darcy.


The Lord Mayor then went down to the Outdoor Learning area to open the newly finished Bird Hide. He toasted marshmallows with pupils from the Fire Pit; and met Woody the school tortoise. He even helped with some digging before he left! He commended the school for the positive feel it has in making the most of its       wonderful outdoor area and asked if he could pop back and pay us another visit very soon.


Overall the children really took the lead in showing the Lord Mayor the progress they had made in developing the area with all their great ideas and were proud to show what they had achieved over the past year with the Bird Hide, Pond, Fire Pit, Picnic Benches and Poly Tunnel. The Committee look forward to working with the children throughout the next year with all their new and exciting ideas for the area.

Our great thanks to Mrs Sparrow and Mrs O'Carroll for all their hard work throughout the year and in helping to official launch the Outdoor Learning Project - without either the project would just not be possible!




Launch Day!



Parents/Guardians are invited in for an afternoon of planting and to celebrate the launch of the Outdoor Learning Den where Companies and local stakeholders will be invited into school to promote the project




Bird Hide Update – June 2015

The bird hide is now near completion. We would like to extend our thanks to Mick Holt and James Greenaway for their hard work and tireless all-weather enthusiasm. Over the coming weeks we are intending to put up the bird and bat boxes that were kindly donated by The Plymouth Brethren. We also hope to set up a bird-feeding station to start to encourage our small feathered friends into the area.


Shed Update – June 2015

We now have a shed to keep all our tools and equipment safe and secure. The Gardening Club are happy now they don’t have to transport all their tools to and from the Foundation Unit. Mrs McCarthy is also grateful that she no longer has the Outside Den equipment cluttering up her classroom! Thank you to the Roszell and Darcy families for giving up time over the Easter holidays, and to Mickey and Andy for finishing the roof.

Polytunnel – June 2015

The polytunnel is now up and running. Much gratitude to Dave Tytherleigh and Pete Luscombe for putting this together over the half term holidays. Thanks to a kind donation from Sue Parkinson, it is now full of tomato plants. Gardening club have also planted other plants and vegetables such as runner beans, sunflowers, nasturtiums and peas.

Outdoor Learning Events – Summer 2015

Thursday 2nd July is Empty Classroom Day. We expect to have a ‘Dig It Day’ and invite parents into school to help us with various activities towards our outside project. More details to follow.


On Monday 6th July we are expecting a visit from the Lord Mayor to celebrate the launch of the Outdoor Learning Den. Companies and local stakeholders will be also be invited into school to promote the project

You can help too!

We would be grateful to receive any of the following items that you may have sitting at the bottom of cupboards or in the back of your sheds, paving slabs, plants, seeds, plant pots and containers, gardening tools e.g. spades or forks, logs for the firepit, buckets, water butts, compost, outdoor paint or varnish. Please see Mrs. O’Carroll or contact the office if you have any items to donate. Many thanks.

Fire pit in action! - Summer 2015

Fire pit in action! - Summer 2015  1

Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015

Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 1
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 2
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 3
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 4
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 5
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 6
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 7
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 8
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 9
Winners of the Thank You Card Design Competition - Friday 6th March 2015 10

Thank You Card Designs

The children in year 5 were invited to design thank you pictures. These pictures will be printed as Thank You cards and sent to the ever expanding list of people, suppliers and companies who are supporting our exciting Outdoor Learning Den project. The standard was very high and it was extremely difficult to select a winner, however first place was awarded to Florence R, second place to Lucy M, third place to Emma J and fourth place to Daniel C. They all received a certificate and an Outdoor Learning Den prize pack. The winning designs can be seen on the Outdoor Learning Den display in the dining hall. (Thank you to Mrs Luscombe for making the amazing prize packs.) Well done to all the children!


 Outdoor Learning Den Update - 24th February



Curry Night Success

The Outdoor Learning Den Fundraising Curry Night was on Saturday. The event went well and raised £575 in total towards the Outdoor Learning Den Fund. Pictured above are local band Highway Revisited who played to the crowd post meal. The team would like to thank everyone who joined them in making the night such a success!


Firepit Update


The first stages of the firepit were successfully brought to site and installed over the half term break. The base construction was kindly donated by local company Elmgate Engineering who fabricated and donated the metal base box and grill free of charge. This is the first area of the Outdoor Learning Environment to be developed; we look forward to its completion and the first event to allow the children to start using the areas. Plans are now being drawn up to develop a Bird Hide ready for late spring; we look forward to sharing the full development plans in future newsletters

Outdoor Learning Den Update - 13th February 2014


Plans to develop the surrounding areas to the Outdoor Leaning Den are progressing well with the Fire Pit Base arriving on site within the next few weeks. This will be the first stage of the development with other plans in progress this year for a Bird Hide, Pond, Poly Tunnel and Bug Hotels. We would like to thank Totem Timber who are the latest local supplier to support this project with their donation of some wood to be used in the development of the area.


The fundraising events are being well supported with thanks to those who have bought tickets to the forthcoming Curry Night which has now sold out! Overall the fundraising account to date has an impressive balance of £4,214. We have a long way to go but thank you to everyone for their efforts in either organising or supporting these events. We will keep communicating information at regular intervals to ensure that everyone gets a chance to understand how the children are developing and using the area. Keep a look out in our newsletters or on the Outdoor Learning page on our school website.


If you have any resources, skills or time to offer any free labour to support the project, it would be most gratefully received. Please contact Oakwood School to leave your contact details. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for our gifts!

Thank you for our gifts! 1

Local Company Support


We have a growing list of local companies that have been linked to key events and activities that we would like to thank for their support without which the project just would not be possible - THANK YOU:


Harrier Printing - School Calendar reduced print rate and £100 donation


Totem Timber - Wood delivery for general use


Elmgate Engineeering - Free fabrication and material for Fire Pit


Plymouth Brethren - Bird, Bar and Bug Boxes


Bird, Bat and Bug Boxes!

We would like to say a big thank you to Mr and Mrs Liesching for donating some wonderful equipment to our Outdoor Learning Den project. We have been given new bird boxes, bat boxes and bug boxes. The gardening club are looking forward to putting them up around the Outdoor Learning Den area in the near future. Mrs O’Carroll and her enthusiastic gardeners will be watching keenly to spot any new wildlife in our environmental area. We will keep you posted!

Green for Go!

Green for Go! 1

Latest News


Planning Permission


We are pleased to announce that we have now received approved planning permission from Plymouth City Council to build the Outdoor Learning Den. We are now looking at planning the Design and Procurement of the building and of course still raising vital funds to enable the build.


Fundraising Events - January and February


Look out in January for the Children's Movie Night showing 'Room on the Broom' on the 13th


Tickets are also being sold by reception for the Curry Night at Café Indiya on 21st February. The two course meal is £14 and includes Rice and Naan bread. Post meal there is entertainment by local band Highway Revisited.





An enormous THANK YOU to all parents, staff and stall holders who helped make our Christmas Fayre the best ever!

Your time, hard work and enthusiasm is massively appreciated. Also a big THANK YOU to parents and family who sent in contributions of sweets, cakes, bottles and other kind contributions. Finally a huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended and supported the event. We raised the grand total of £1026!!!

Outdoor Learning Den Fundraising Team all set for the Christmas Fete!

Outdoor Learning Den Fundraising Team all set for the Christmas Fete! 1
Thank you to everyone who supported the Christmas Fete to raise vital funds towards the Outdoor Den. Pictured above are members of the fundraising team who worked really hard to create some new and fun games for the children to enjoy!

Limited Print 2015 Class Calendar - On sale 5th Dec

Limited Print 2015 Class Calendar - On sale 5th Dec 1

Fundraising Quiz Night is great success! (Friday 28th November)


Quiz Teams from across the Federation got together to raise funds towards the Outdoor Den Project. The night was excellently organised by Julie Jackson and Donna Pearson (below) and was delivered in a hugely entertaining way!


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Above Julie and Donna celebrating another successful night.


Below the winning team from Beechwood celebrate scooping the trophy!

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There was a mixture of rounds the highlight being a music round sung by ex staff member and friend of the Federation Bob.


The night raised £126 in total towards the project. Our thanks again to Donna , Julie and Bob for a great night enjoyed by all. We look forward to the next quiz night and will post a date shortly to look for challengers to claim the Trophy from the Beechwood champs! 

Project Overview:
The project aims to raise funds to develop a part of the school grounds for Outdoor Educational activities
 “Happy, healthy and successful young people need to be outside. Research shows that access to outdoor learning and play has a positive impact on children’s health, learning and behaviour – improving focus and concentration, while enhancing cognitive skills, social skills, self-esteem, physical fitness and creativilty”

'Outside Learning Den' cleared space
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The Design

The Design 1