Romsey-based Hampshire Collegiate Prep School is hosting the UK’s first ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ (LOC) Conference aimed at the Independent sector on 22nd May 2012.

Attracting delegates from more than 36 schools across the UK, the conference will demonstrate how the prep school’s specialist teaching techniques, using outside space and dedicated outdoor classrooms, can provide a modern approach to learning.

Originally organised for other members of the United Church Schools Trust (UCST), which owns Hampshire Collegiate Prep School, awareness of the Conference has spread and will now incorporate delegates from independent and state schools outside UCST as far afield as Somerset and Sunderland.

Fiona Walker, Project Manager of the LOC programme at Hampshire Collegiate Prep, is looking forward to sharing experiences. She said: “We are so passionate about the increased achievement we see amongst the children here that we decided to be proactive and create this conference for others to learn from. We’re keen to get the message across that Learning Outside the Classroom can assist with all subjects; children often engage quicker through this route. It is exciting to see so many showing an interest.”

The school has invested more than £30,000 into the LOC scheme, which includes a covered amphitheatre, a dedicated outdoor classroom (called ‘LOC HQ’), and an explorers’ garden, all maximising the school’s extensive grounds, woodland and open spaces. Resources such as dedicated IT equipment, compasses, identity charts, curriculum trails and boxes continue to be introduced.

Fiona continued: “We take a very different approach and ensure every child benefits from the extensive grounds we’re so fortunate to have. They are our inspiration. Every subject uses the outside space and we are seeing outstanding results academically.”