New £170,000 outdoor space revealed at Nottingham alternative provision academy

New basketball hoops have been installed
Pupils can now play football and basketball at the same time following the improvements -Credit:Raleigh Education Trust

An academy for young people excluded from mainstream education has completed significant improvements to its outdoor area. This comes as Denewood Academy in Forest Road West, Nottingham, received a £170,000 investment from Nottingham City Council.

The improvements were carried out following consultation with the pupils at the school, which is part of the Raleigh Education Trust. A multi-games area, covered social areas, an outdoor gym area, and a nurture garden are all now available for students to enjoy.

Mark Clifford, Assistant Principal at Denewood Academy, shaped the plans for the new developments. He said: "The new facilities teach pupils new skills, whether it's communication, conflict resolution, or teamwork.

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A new outdoor learning area at Denewood Academy
The new outdoor spaces "bring learning to life" -Credit:Raleigh Education Trust

"There are many benefits that come when taking part on any sport or any activity and members of staff are also really keen to be involved. This will give our pupils the opportunity to develop relationships with the adults at the school in a different way than just being in a classroom teacher-pupil environment."

Mr Clifford explained that teachers can now also take learning outside of the classroom, making pupils calmer and bringing learning to life. Phil Willott, Director of Education at Raleigh Education Trust, added: "Our children deserve to be educated and receive the highest quality of education, and that includes access to outdoor spaces.

"It's really important for the community to see that as well because, sadly, there's often stigma attached [to alternative provisional school] and our children deserve the very best, like any child does. Our children can go on and achieve a lot and contribute a lot and should still receive high quality, inclusive education.

"Having those outside spaces is really important for our young people and our adults that work there as well." The "nurturing and therapeutic" outdoor spaces benefit from an outdoor gym area which has six pieces of apparatus, outdoor learning communal spaces, which include a garden, and two additional table tennis tables.

The academy will also receive a £244,650 expansion after securing a grant through the Higher Needs capital funding from the Department for Education. The school currently provides education to pupils who have been permanently excluded from mainstream education in key stages two and three.