Friday, June 20, 2014 - 16:30

Around 400 children from 11 different primary schools in Cornwall and Devon left the classroom and headed to the Eden Project for a day of outdoor learning today (Friday, June 20).

The schools all chose to take their lessons outside as part of Empty Classroom Day, a national initiative that encourages schools and teachers to make the most of outdoor spaces and use them to animate lessons and help children to engage fully with the curriculum.

Last year more than 170 schools took part nationally, with many more expected to have got involved today. At Eden, the number of children learning outdoors as part of Empty Classroom Day has almost doubled since last year’s event.

The 11 schools were St Martin’s C of E School in Liskeard, Heamoor Community Primary School in Penzance, Sennen Primary School, St Maddern’s C of E School in Penzance, Hooe Primary School in Plymouth, Trythall Community Primary School in New Mill, Penzance, Connor Downs Primary School in Hayle, Gwinear Community Primary School in Hayle, St Just Primary School, Mousehole Primary School and Newlyn School.

Each school had free rein to use the Eden Project site to help enhance their curriculum-based lessons and devised a range of activities, including cooking, creating camouflage inspired by nature, boat building, making mythical clay sculptures and even a pirate treasure hunt.

Gill Hodgson, Eden Project coordinator for the event, said: “It’s really exciting to see the landscape of Eden being used in such imaginative ways. Teaching outside inspires both the teachers and the pupils and helps to make the curriculum much easier to grasp and of course, much more fun.”

As well as welcoming thousands of pupils to the home of the Biomes each year, Eden’s education team offer a range of inspirational teacher training workshops and staff development programmes.

These range from one-day workshops at Eden to help teachers enrich the curriculum with simple, practical and creative ideas, to in-school training programmes that help the whole school make the most of their outdoor space and create change.

For more information the variety of trips, courses and workshops available for students and teachers at Eden, go to: