Bishop gives his blessing to school’s great outdoors

Schoolchildren at Blyth's Bede Academy South wait for a visit by The Right Reverend Martin Wharton-Bishop Of Newcastle to unveil a outdoor learning environment and sculpture.
Schoolchildren at Blyth's Bede Academy South wait for a visit by The Right Reverend Martin Wharton-Bishop Of Newcastle to unveil a outdoor learning environment and sculpture.

A BLYTH school’s new outdoor learning area has been blessed by the Bishop of Newcastle.

The alfresco area at the Bede Academy’s south site in Shearwater Way consists of sculptures, seating and scripture extracts intended to inspire primary age children.

It was designed by North Yorkshire artist Steve Tomlinson and features imagery taken from paintings produced by students at the academy, as well as words written by Bede.

Music teacher Ian Hennebry composed an original hymn to Bede to be sung by pupils at the dedication ceremony.

The bishop, the Rt Rev Martin Wharton, said: “I have never been asked to bless an outdoor learning environment before, so this is a first for me.

“Bede wrote ‘it has always been my delight to learn or to teach or to write’. What more fitting motto could there be for the life of this school or this outdoor learning area?

“We pray that it will inspire young students and all who learn here, so that our lives may shine with the faith of Bede.”

The area will be used for outdoor lessons in subjects including art, maths and English.

Mr Tomlinson hosted several workshops at the academy with staff and students and presented sketches of the design before it was fabricated in galvanised steel and given an acid wash over the summer holidays.

Primary years headteacher Irene Watson said: “It has been shown that through projects such as this, results and behaviour are improved.”

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