Outdoor classroom at Highlands College?

A GAZEBO could be erected at Highlands College for classes to allow for better compliance with current social-distancing guidelines.

Highlands College's Nightingale Block. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30037632)
Highlands College's Nightingale Block. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30037632)

Plans have been submitted for a new outdoor learning facility to provide extra space under current restrictions.

The planned timber structure, which has a shingle roof and no windows, would be built behind the college’s Nightingale block on the playing field to the north of the site.

Jo Terry-Marchant, Highlands College principal, said that the pandemic had presented a number of challenges for education providers, including changes to teaching and learning practice, as well as new timetabling to enable physical distancing.

‘The college has proposed an exciting solution to meet the needs of our community via the purchase of a gazebo. This can then be used as an outdoor classroom space for appropriate activities and also be utilised during breaks and lunch to enable further distancing and social interaction in a healthy environment.

‘It is well documented that Covid-19 infection rates are reduced when outdoors, as opposed to within confined spaces.

‘A number of jurisdictions across the world have used outdoor learning spaces to enable more children and young people to return to education, and to provide a safe and healthy environment for them.

‘Scotland is reported to be currently developing an approach to outdoor learning, to address concerns about the amount of time students would spend at home under blended learning plans.

‘Likewise, Denmark has also significantly increased the amount of time their students spend outside as part of their measures to address Covid-19.’

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