Monday, July 1, 2013 - 15:30

Local school pupils will be leaving their desks behind this Friday (July 5) and heading for the Eden Project for a new initiative called Empty Classroom Day.

The aim of the growing event, which will see 150 schools from across the UK taking part, is to encourage schools to consider the outdoors as a great venue in which to engage pupils.

Among the activities at Eden are den building, campfire cooking, orienteering, camouflage workshops and creating 3D sculptures.

Many of the schools that are taking part in the day have previously worked with Eden to use outside space to its full advantage, from bringing children to the Project on school trips to taking part in Eden’s inspirational teacher training workshops and staff development programmes.

Pensans School in Penzance, who will be focusing on maths and 3D sculpture on Friday, worked with Eden over the course of several months in 2011 to improve the amount and quality of outdoor learning that took place.

Since then, many improvements have been made, including lunchtime staff becoming proactive in leading creative outdoor play at lunchtimes, the construction of a rooftop garden complete with a greenhouse made of plastic bottles and all of the classes becoming involved in gardening and growing.  

Sam Kendall, Eden School Programme Manager, said: “Eden will be filled with teachers and their students of all ages from Cornwall and beyond, taking their learning outside the classroom. 

“It’s not a ‘show and tell’ of work already completed in school, but a chance to demonstrate the broadest possibilities of outdoor learning, by using every inch of Eden for curriculum-linked work, led by regular classroom teachers.”

Eden will also be offering a free teacher training session on Friday, July 5 from 4-6pm. Themed ‘Earth, air, fire and water’, this completely practical session has been created to help teachers feel energised by Eden’s ready-to-use, curriculum-relevant activities. The free session is open to primary teachers, TAs and EYFS practitioners

To find out more about the free teacher training session, go to: