Pupils enjoy their outdoor garden

114376_OUTDOOR_CLASS_11/12/11''(left) Kaci Leigh, Tyler Hart-McLaren, Maisie Twells, Bradley Lewis, Emily Trimmer. ''Pupils from Portsdown Primary School in their outdoor classroom. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (114376-216)
114376_OUTDOOR_CLASS_11/12/11''(left) Kaci Leigh, Tyler Hart-McLaren, Maisie Twells, Bradley Lewis, Emily Trimmer. ''Pupils from Portsdown Primary School in their outdoor classroom. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (114376-216)
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Come rain or shine youngsters at a primary school in Cosham are enjoying nature – thanks to a newly transformed outdoor classroom

Boys and girls at Portsdown Primary can’t get enough of the new facility which they use for a range of activities, from creative writing to planting bulbs and vegetables.

A team of 12 employees from Groupama Insurances’ offices in Port Solent helped spruce up their old school glass-house into the lovely new outdoor classroom.

The men and women rolled up their sleeves and spent a whole day cleaning up the glass house to make it tidy, safe and an inviting space for children to learn in.

Kacie Leigh, seven, is a member of the school’s Diggin n Dirt gardening club, which uses the classroom every Friday.

She says: ‘I’ve been using the classroom so much, I really love it because it means we have somewhere we can do our planting and where we can sit if the weather is not so good.

‘I enjoy planting vegetables and waiting for them to grow so that you can take them out of the ground and eat them.

‘When we pulled out the parsnip it was bigger than we imagined and it was a great surprise!

‘We’ve just made pretty Christmas decorations out of holly from the garden and tinsel and I’m looking forward to planting daffodil bulbs for mother’s day.’

Emily Trimmer, six, adds: ‘I really enjoy gardening and I am happy we have the outdoor classroom as it makes it a lot easier for us.

‘It is so nice to go outside and enjoy nature, and now we have somewhere we can sit down and draw pictures, make things or plant flowers.’

Learning support workers Ann Jordan and Tracy Blades, who run the gardening club,l said they were thrilled with the new classroom.

Ann says: ‘We are very grateful to the team from Groupama Insurances for the work they did – it is already making a huge difference to the children, giving them a very “hands on approach” to learning.’

Jamie Marchant, of Groupama, says: ‘We had a really great day helping the school and the icing on the cake is that we know that the children are now getting the benefit of our efforts as a team.’