CHILDREN at Pitton Primary School have designed and built their own school yurt.

Inspiration for the novel outdoor classroom came from Year 5 and 6 teacher, Gemma David, who spent a summer holiday in one and envisaged it would be a perfect cross-curricular project.

Having studied the origins and history of the Mongolian-style circular tents, children in years 5 and 6 came up with their own design and then set about building the hazel lattice-framed yurt from scratch, including measuring, sawing, whittling and joinery.

Parental help was also invaluable, with a team making the crown for the lattice frame, the canvas cover and the wooden base. Children throughout the school – along with friends from the village – all combined to decorate the inside, including creating embroidered wall hangings.

Headteacher Michael Holyoake said: “The construction of the yurt is all part of the school’s drive to improve the provision for learning outdoors.

“We’re lucky to have wonderful grounds here and the yurt is now an additional learning space for us – it really lends itself towards atmospheric story-telling and music, and it is a valuable space for outdoor studies for everyone in school.”

The project was made possible thanks to a successful bid for Big Lottery Funding.