PUPILS at an infant and nursery school have been enjoying fresh air in the great outdoors, from toasting marshmallows to burning off beans on their push bikes.

All pupils and staff at Cockton Hill Infants' School, in Bishop Auckland, took part in the activities on the school grounds and in the dedicated forest area, which they use all year-round.

The children worked in small groups to complete activities involving nature, cooking, art and design, literacy, and physical development.

Pupils had a fantastic time making pictures using sources of nature, such as grass, mud, and other natural materials, and will complete follow-up work in literacy and numeracy.

Tom Cuthbertson, headteacher at the school, said: "We decided to have the outdoor classroom days for the children so that they could catch up on lost time in terms of being outside after the restrictions of Covid-19, but also to have wonderful learning opportunities in an engaging environment.

"The children gained so much from participating. They developed their fine and gross motor skills, built resilience from participating in new experiences, revisited and learned new vocabulary and learned to negotiate with other children to complete a task.

"Nearly every child has said that their favourite activity was cooking on the fire.

"One of our key curriculum intentions is to promote respect of the natural environment, and this was an opportunity to consolidate that.

"After the restrictions of Covid-19, we felt that the children would really benefit from a significant proportion of their learning taking place outdoors.

"The children had an amazing day and never cease to amaze us all with their resilience, perseverance and willingness to learn.

"Similarly, our staff never cease to amaze me with their dedication, creativity and teamwork.”