INTREPID school children have taken a walk on the wild side to stimulate their literary skills.
Years 6 pupils from Springfield Academy, in Darlington, took to the woods in a six-week wilderness project designed to hone a variety of skills and improve their learning.
Working with specialist teachers they took part in a range of activities in the great outdoors, from creative writing to creating shelters.
Teaching assistant Lisa Smith said: “We also looked out what makes a good learner. But what really struck me was how amazing the children’s writing became because we were outdoors.
“The environment inspired them so much and they found it easier to express themselves when the sounds, smells and feel of the woods were right in front of them. They just let themselves write freely.”
The Monday sessions also incorporated science as the children built shelters which taught them about forces, flexibility, friction and temperatures.
“They had to build the shelters after exploring the woods for suitable materials and then work in teams to produce the final product,” Mrs Smith said. “Some of the shelters fell down and the children developed a great sense of resilience as they put them up again without complaining.
“They really embraced the whole project and you could see them grow in self-confidence as they developed their communications skills.”
Pupil Annabelle Muttrie, 11, said: “You can write so much better when you are outside and everything is actually there before you. It has also encouraged us to play more outside.”