Southampton Primary School is set to make the most of a new outdoor learning environment thanks to local donation

Southampton’s Oakwood Primary School’s 410 pupils are a step closer to benefitting from a fun and exciting multi-area outdoor learning space thanks to a £1,000 donation from the Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF), which has helped the school achieve its fundraising target.

The new learning space will consist of a story garden which will double up as an outdoor classroom, the addition of bug shelters and bird boxes to the science trail, seats and new equipment for the well-used pond area and new raised planters for the garden area for the children to plant vegetables and herbs.

Maria Whitmarsh, Acting Headteacher from Oakwood Primary School, said: “We are very lucky to have a partially wooded site, but it is under used and we wanted to make the most of it and harness the transformational benefits of outdoor learning.

“We think our plans for developing each of the areas will really help our aim to be the best local school for our children and families. We are very grateful to the Barker-Mill Foundation for helping us to reach our fundraising target and making the new outdoor learning environment a reality.

“Our pupils and families have had lots of fun with fundraising events to reach our target, like our March ‘Moveathon’ and the School Fete in June.”

Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “We cannot underestimate how important outdoor learning is for children. It brings so many benefits not just to their health and well-being. It encourages their curiosity, to get outdoors in the fresh air and learn about the environment. We hope the children will enjoy many hours of fun learning.”

The multi-area outdoor learning space is set to open in November.

If you’re a charity looking for funding from the Barker-Mill Foundation, please visit: for further information.