Roade Primary School Teacher Training Day

6th May 2022

The Courteenhall Estate plays host to many educational visits and training days and works closely with local schools including Roade Primary.

Here Head Teacher Mark Currell gives an overview of why it’s so important to access the outside space at Courteenhall, work with the learning needs of primary-aged children and expose them to the natural environment that they may not have access to.

‘This was the second of our Roade Primary School teacher training days at Courteenhall. There are many reasons why the strong relationship between The Courteenhall Estate and our school are so important. Through the inspiration of the Estate and the surrounding countryside, we have created our programme to meet the needs of all our pupils and be fully inclusive and fully trauma-informed.

We have been collaborating with Alex Preston of ALP tuition who has designed a programme that supports children and young people in overcoming anxiety and leads the way in breaking down barriers to greater learning and progress in school.

The benefits of working in nature, the outdoors and fresh air are now more than ever at the forefront of our practise with our children. We know that our young people need to be outside and take their learning further into the great outdoors. Where better than the fantastic grounds of the Courteenhall Estate?

Our children will have the opportunity to experience the estate for its artistic beauty, scientific diversity and powerful history. Children get to visit, ask questions about the Estate, to see the aspects of everyday life, meet the animals and the Estate team who are always keen to talk to the children about what they are doing! All aspects of the curriculum can be brought to life with some creative flair-and that’s exciting for both teacher and children.


The other reason for being outdoors at Courteenhall is in response to the pandemic and the rise in anxiety and childhood trauma. The last two years have been incredibly hard for many students and families. There is a noticeable rise in anxiety and mental health concerns in children and families and this can lead to some barriers in school engagement. With increasingly high demands placed upon the health services in Northants, we have looked to provide a nature-based experience for children, families and school based staff. With Alex leading the way, the TRUST programme was born.

The young people are encouraged to use their (TRUST) Trying, Resilience, Understanding and empathy, Self-regulation and Teamwork to achieve in a number of different activities-perhaps pushing themselves to do thing they never though they could do. 

By putting the elements of the TRUST programme at the centre of our curriculum, by becoming a trauma informed school, by using the great outdoors and the Courteenhall Estate we hope our children will experience exciting learning, have improved mental health and wellbeing, have improved relationships, have higher aspirations and become more independent.

A huge thanks to the Courteenhall Estate team for allowing us to use the grounds and to Alex Preston for her inspiration. We have had two wonderful and very thought-provoking training days at Courteenhall this year and we cannot wait to put it all into practice throughout the new term.

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