AMBITIOUS plans to expand outdoor learning for children at a Bicester primary has been given a £15,000 boost.

The team at St Edburg's Primary School has revealed its plans to create a new outdoor learning classroom at its site in Kingsmere.

It would enable children to get outside more often, roll up their sleeves and get stuck into nature, as well as provide an extra space for the community to use outside of school hours.

The school's art coordinator Julie Cordingley, who runs the current Forest School programme at St Edburg's School, said: "We are really excited about this project as the children absolutely love being outside and we know that it helps build their knowledge and appreciation of the local environment."

The primary school is now fundraising for the project which hopes to enable children to learn more about local habitats in Bicester, and conservation.

Money is being raised to build the new classroom base which will be specifically designed for outdoor learning and art projects.

The project had a £15,000 boost to get it off the ground from Oxfordshire County councillors for Bicester Lawrie Stratford, Les Sibley and Michael Waine.

Each councillor has put forward £5,000 towards the project from their Oxfordshire County Councillor Priority Fund - a pot of money allocated each year to councillors for spending in their local areas.

Headteacher Margaret Kunzer said: "We know that children are spending less time outside than they did and we want to give them more opportunity to be active and engaged outside.

"This project will enable us to do just that and will help build children’s knowledge, self esteem and confidence.

"We are so grateful to the council for their support of the project."

The school is now actively seeking donations and practical help from local businesses including the developers on Kingsmere.

County councillor for Bicester West Les Sibley said: "We hope that our initial support will help kick start the funds required for this exciting and creative outdoor learning project, including a Forest School and Art Cafe.

"The classroom would also give a designated space for a school garden including the schools own allotment and quiet space.

"We urge the Bicester community to fully get behind this excellent scheme by helping to raise awareness and funds for this worthwhile initiative that benefits all in our community."