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Portfield Special School, Pembrokeshire

Portfield Special School, Pembrokeshire

This special school believes that its students benefit from working outside, and that gardening and contact with nature has value for all its children whatever their level of ability.

They have developed the grounds on lower school site over many years, and incorporated the outside environment into the design of the recently built upper school.

Positive features in the new build include the creation of external spaces adjacent to classrooms that are accessible to all, and partial cover to provide a transitional space between indoor and outdoor learning areas.  Lessons often extend into the spaces outside - tables and chairs are brought outside and the partial shade and shelter keep the spaces dry whatever the weather, so they can be used throughout the year.


The grounds include a range of gathering spaces for groups and whole classes, a raised pond and bird hide as well as a willow tunnel, composting facilities and a polytunnel.  Gardening activities are run by a teacher who aims to ensure that horticulture supports fully inclusive learning experiences. He believes that children, even from a rural setting, need to reconnect with nature and understand that what they eat comes from the soil.