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A Calne school that takes teaching beyond the confines of the classroom has become one of a small group of schools in Wiltshire to be recognised by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

St Margaret’s Preparatory School has been awarded the Bronze award by LOtC, after undertaking a rigorous assessment.

A report by assessor Kim Hudson said ‘St Margaret’s Preparatory School is offering its pupils a large array of real-world learning experiences in their school grounds and beyond the school premises. I have no hesitation in recommending them for LOtC Schools Bronze Mark.’

The school’s Outdoor Learning Co-ordinator Kim Callaway said that to qualify, the school had to show it did far more than just building camps and lighting fires.

She said ‘The award recognises everything that happens outside the confines of the classroom. Not only the curriculum lessons that are taken outside on a regular basis, but everything from residential trips to visiting guests, such as the NSPCC and musical theatre companies. It also encompasses sponsored walks, taking part in Devizes Eisteddfod and maths competitions.’

St Margaret’s pupils regularly take part in a LEGO League challenge, which tests their programming skills and recently even had a visit by the UK Space Agency. Its Chamber Choir sang at The Royal Festival Hall in March and also supported the annual Julia’s House ‘Carols by Candlelight’ charity event. It is soon to join with other local schools to hold ‘The Big Outdoor Lesson’.

A representative for LOtC said ‘The Bronze LOtC Mark recognises those schools and settings which have an awareness of the benefits of providing frequent, continuous and progressive LOtC to all pupils. The award also acknowledges attempts to integrate LOtC into the life of the school and a commitment to developing LOtC to enrich the learning of pupils.’