Mount Street School
Mount Street School
Mount Street Infant School in Brecon has a regular intake of military children into the school community all year round. The school received a Local Grants award of £10,460 in 2018 to build an outdoor classroom in recognition of the school’s commitment to the military community.
20% of the children on roll at Mount Street have service pupil status. Of these, 14% speak Nepali as a first language. The school Estyn report, published in January 2020 shows that the school has an “exemplary” level of support for service children.
Head teacher Shan Kenchington explained the school’s inclusive approach:
“Our teaching staff are very skillful in welcoming the children in. Military families choose our school because they can feel the warmth and inclusion that happens inside the building. We don’t feel that there are “military” or “non-military” children here, they are all part of the school community”.
Outdoor learning has been embedded in the culture of the school for the last 20 years as the school is fortunate to have its own woodland and extensive grounds. Seeing the positive benefits that the Forest School curriculum gave to the children, the school decided that they wanted to offer them an outdoor classroom facility that could also be used by the wider civilian and military community.
The facility was opened in August 2019, and the school was able to enrich the lives of the students by organizing many activities. These included open air concerts, learning events, and events that embraced the Nepalese culture of many of the military pupils.
With current social distancing measures in place, the outdoor classroom is in high demand as both a teaching and a community facility. Groups are strictly timetabled, and offer the community a much needed outside resource. Forest School groups are taking place in small groups, and local groups such as the Brownies are able to meet in a Covid-secure environment.
“There is much uncertainty in the local community so it is great for use to be able to offer something without being inside. It also strengthens our links with the wider community. This facility is one positive thing that we can offer in a time of anxiety.”