Mearns treehouse classroom opens

New J1 pupils Brodie Butler-Madden and Harriet Jackson open Lathallan School's new treehouse classroom
New J1 pupils Brodie Butler-Madden and Harriet Jackson open Lathallan School's new treehouse classroom

Lathallan Nursery has held a special Teddy Bears Picnic to officially open the school’s new treehouse classroom.

Children from the Mearns nursery were read a story at the unusual facility by head teacher Richard Toley, before embarking on a large-scale teddy bear hunt across Lathallan’s extensive 62-acre wooded grounds.

New J1 pupils Harriet Jackson and Brodie Butler-Madden cut the ribbon on the classroom, which is set in the heart of the Johnshaven-based school grounds.

With a small onsite farm at Lathallan, a potato and vegetable field, several wooded play areas, two zip wires, extensive outdoor sports facilities and its own beach, a new treehouse classroom is seen as a welcome addition to the Aberdeenshire school.

Mr Toley said: “It was an enormous pleasure to host a Teddy Bears Picnic.

“We want all our pupils to achieve their full potential and offer a wide range of opportunities to our nursery, junior and senior school students. The new treehouse classroom will add a new dimension to teaching and learning.”

He added: “There is enough space to teach an entire class, it has access to power for whiteboard presentations and has removable Perspex screens to allow us to use the treehouse as a classroom all year round.

“As Scotland’s number 1 school for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, outdoor education is pivotal to our curriculum.

“Lathallan has more than 60 acres of wooded grounds and we use this to great effect with zip wires, a small school farm with pigs and chickens and a wooded Narnia garden.

“The new treehouse classroom will complement our existing facilities and I’m very grateful to Lathallan Parents Association for their significant contribution towards it.”

Lathallan caters for nursery, primary and secondary pupils with a current school roll of around 200 pupils across its junior and senior schools – with an average class size of 12 pupils.