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This coastal school's new study centre will help pupils get closer to nature

PUBLISHED: 14:45 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:26 16 January 2019

Consortium Multi-Academy Trust chief executive and principal Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne with parents at Winterton Primary School, after the trust announced it would take over the school in 2018. The school is planning to open a new field study centre on its site. Picture: Liz Coates

Consortium Multi-Academy Trust chief executive and principal Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne with parents at Winterton Primary School, after the trust announced it would take over the school in 2018. The school is planning to open a new field study centre on its site. Picture: Liz Coates

Archant

A primary school is hoping to create a new field study centre on its site to make the most of its nationally-recognised surroundings.

Winterton Primary School and Nursery is planning to open a new field study centre on its site. 
Picture: ArchantWinterton Primary School and Nursery is planning to open a new field study centre on its site. Picture: Archant

Winterton Primary School has applied to build the study centre in its east wing, which will provide an extra learning space for pupils and be available for community organisations to use.

The new centre will also include residential facilities, with dormitories for up to 34 people and a communal kitchen, for which it has had to submit a planning application to Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

The application was submitted by the Consortium Multi-Academy Trust, which Winterton Primary joined on January 1, 2019.

In an article for the Winterton parish magazine, the trust said the field study centre could be used for activities including coastal and environmental studies, observing wildlife and embarking on walks through the surrounding Area of Natural Beauty (AONB).

Chief executive and principal at the trust, Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne, said the centre would be an important community asset as well as giving a “more holistic” education of pupils at Winterton Primary.

The academy trust’s curriculum includes a “pupil entitlement” with elements from the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 and three quarters’ list.

“As a trust our ethos is to deliver a broad and enriched curriculum,” he said.

“We were delighted when we went to Winterton Primary and were able to support securing the future of the school. They had such a wealth of outdoor activities that could support the learning not only for the children at Winterton but children throughout the trust.

“It is very much about what the centre and the AONB can do to support the school and the pupils’ learning. But it is also developing the field centre as a facility. It will be another income stream for the school, developing community links and supporting local businesses with an uptick in visitors to the local area.”

The planning application states that the residential development would take up around 780sqm on the school site in Black Street and will require the school to employ 15 extra staff, two full-time and 13 part-time.

Members of the public can comment on the application online or by writing to the council, until January 21.

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