ENVIRONMENTAL studies are proving a breeze for pupils with the arrival of a wind turbine in school grounds.
Nannerch Primary School’s eco committee showed off its new wind turbine which has been gifted to the school by Graeme Raine, whose company Raine and Shine also helped pay for solar panels fitted to the school’s new eco hut.
The outside classroom which was funded by the school’s parent teacher association (PTA) and rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd was added to the forest school in the summer.
And Mr Raine who had already fitted solar panels to the school building, was so taken with the school’s plans, he decided to help out.
Flintshire Council helped Mr Raine fit solar panels to the wooden building and he then donated a wind turbine of his own which he was replacing.
With the extra boost from the turbine, the hut is now totally off-grid which means all its heating and lighting comes from solar and wind energy.
Headteacher Jenny Lewis said the school’s outdoor learning which it has been developing over the last five years had made a ‘huge’ difference to the children’s learning.
“The children really respond well,” she said. “I think because it’s a village school and in an area of outstanding natural beauty it’s well set for that form of learning.”
All the school’s pupils have lessons outside at least once a week ‘rain or shine’, she said
Ms Lewis said the younger children work more practically, digging and playing and enjoying tasks in their ‘mud kitchen’.
Older children make things with the environment and carry out den building, problem solving and maths-related work outside.
“And the oldest ones can look at the effects of the solar panels and wind turbine on the heat,” she said, “and can read the data and then use it in their maths and IT work.
“They also play games and do lots of work to do with well-being,” she added.
Ms Lewis said the school was very lucky to have two fully trained forest school leaders on staff which meant that on special occasions, the pupils could also enjoy camp fires.
“We have marshmallows and everything,” she said, “but not every day.”