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Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill has shown itself to have a strong commitment to providing excellent learning outside the classroom (LOtC) to its pupils by achieving a national Learning Outside the Classroom Mark (Bronze).

Awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the LOtC Mark (Bronze) accredits those schools that have a strong awareness of the benefits of providing frequent, continuous and progressive LOtC experiences to all pupils and have begun to integrate LOtC into the life of the school.

Castle Manor Academy spokesperson Mrs Baldwin said “Being awarded LOtC Mark (Bronze) is a real coup for all the staff and governors here as it shows that we are really making strides in providing our pupils with potentially life-changing opportunities. We’re thrilled to get official recognition for our efforts and we look forward to building on this award to integrate LOtC into the everyday life of the school.”

LOtC Mark is awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the national voice for Learning Outside the Classroom. The Council also provides free online guidance and information for teachers on how to plan and organise high quality LOtC activities. LOtC Mark is intended not only to recognise existing exemplary provision, but also to assist and support schools in developing their LOtC offer to enable all children to have access to meaningful LOtC experiences. LOtC Mark is the first national accreditation for schools which recognises, and supports, the development of learning outside the classroom across all subject areas.

Learning outside the classroom is known to contribute significantly to raising standards & improving pupils’ personal, social & emotional development. It also contributes to the quality and depth of learning (OFSTED, Learning Outside the Classroom – How far should you go? 2008).

Schools and other educational organisations looking to gain the LOtC Mark (Bronze) will need to meet a set of five quality indicators and will be supported through a developmental process by the CLOtC team and a package of support materials, which include guidance, good practice exemplars, downloadable templates and training materials.

Elaine Skates, Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said:

“Learning outside the classroom provides the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life.  LOtC Mark (Bronze) demonstrates that the school is committed to developing and delivering genuinely valuable learning outside the classroom experiences for their children and young people.

Learning outside the classroom has many proven educational benefits. The LOtC Mark (Bronze) award will support schools in integrating LOtC into the life of the school, thereby ensuring that many more young people have memorable, exciting and valuable learning outside the classroom experiences. I congratulate [insert organisation] on being awarded LOtC Mark (Bronze).”

More information about LOtC Mark can be seen on their website