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Lathallan School awarded A+ for learning outside the classroom

Lathallan School has become the only school in Scotland to hold the Gold Learning Outside the Classroom quality mark.

Children learning outdoors
Lathallan School offers lots of different leaning experiences outside of the classroom.

Lathallan School in Angus stands as a beacon of educational excellence. This month, it has become the first all-through school in Scotland to be awarded the Gold Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Mark. A testament to its consistent focus on providing students with an education that extends far beyond the confines of a traditional classroom setting.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has awarded the school, recognising its exceptional efforts in creating an environment where learning is not limited to textbooks and lectures. This achievement is particularly noteworthy, considering that Lathallan was crowned the UK Small Independent School of the Year in 2021, showcasing its consistent dedication to excellence across various aspects of education.

Lathallan School outdoor performing arts.
Lathallan School outdoor performing arts.

Learning outside the classroom is not just a programme, it’s in the school’s DNA

Founded in 1930, spanning almost 95 years of history, Lathallan continues to develop and progress with the concept of Learning Outside the Classroom core to its educational philosophy.

The school believes in providing a holistic learning experience equipping pupils with the skillset and mindset to get the most out of and prepare for the complexities of 21st century life. In a world that’s moving at an ever-increasing pace, the small school setting allows teaching staff to get to know each student individually and their needs, strengths and weaknesses are recognised.

By allowing students to encounter real-life experiences including field trips, local business visits, theatre trips and much more, learning at Lathallan sparks a child’s natural inquisitiveness and enthusiasm. Lathallan aims to nurture well-rounded individuals who are not only academically proficient but also equipped with practical skills and a deep understanding of the world around them.

teens on a residential
S6 pupils taking part in a leadership retreat.

Richard Toley, Headmaster at Lathallan School said:

“We’re so pleased to get this official recognition from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. This award is a nod to the collective efforts and passion that our school community put in to creating a truly inspirational educational environment for our young people at Lathallan.

“While going through the LOtC assessment we reflected on our LOtC provision and proudly shared over 200 LOtC experiences that our pupils had been exposed to in the last two terms alone.

“Learning outside the classroom has been a feature of the educational provision at Lathallan for several decades and the value is widely recognised by pupils, parents, teaching staff and various outside agencies including Education Scotland. It is not just about learning outside in the fresh air or outdoor education; it encompasses the valuable learning experiences that occur in any setting outside of the classroom across the whole curriculum.

“This Gold LOtC Mark signifies our commitment to providing our pupils from six weeks to 18 years with opportunities to explore, discover, and grow beyond the traditional classroom walls.”

Pupils sharing the chapter books they have written.

The great outdoors provides an unbeatable learning canvas

One of the standout features that earned Lathallan the Gold LOtC Mark is its wide range of outdoor learning opportunities. 62 acres of grounds from the woodland to the sea, in which children play sports every day, as well as enjoying fantastic childhood adventures and making memories that last a lifetime. From geography field trips exploring the rich landscapes of Angus and Aberdeenshire to science lessons that delve into the region’s unique ecosystems, Lathallan ensures that every subject comes to life outside the confines of the classroom. Students don’t just read about history; they visit historical sites, bringing the past to life and creating lasting memories.

Moreover, the school’s commitment to Learning Outside the Classroom is not limited to specific subjects. The entire curriculum is designed to seamlessly blend theoretical knowledge with practical application. Lathallan’s approach not only enhances academic understanding but shows that children are curious and excited as a result of hands-on learning – be that tending to the animals on the school farm, using playground equipment to study physical forces or performing in a school show.

Pupils on Lathallan School farm duty, taking the alpacas for a leg stretch.

Dr Anne Hunt, CEO, CLOtC said:

“Lathallan School has truly embraced LOtC across their school and are optimising opportunities to take learning into their school ground and beyond, actively choosing where learning can happen best on a daily basis, and in doing so offering engaging, memorable, and relevant learning experiences that help build invaluable skills for the future”.

Lathallan School’s achievement of the Gold LOtC Mark is reflective of the well-rounded education it provides. The school understands that the skills and values learned outside the classroom are equally essential for a student’s overall development. Whether it’s teamwork and resilience during a three day Duke of Edinburgh expedition or problem-solving skills acquired through a group project answering a brief provided by a local business, Lathallan ensures that each student finishes school with a toolkit of skills and a network of contacts.

By consistently pushing the boundaries of traditional education, Lathallan has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the best in the country. The Gold LOtC Mark is not just an accolade; it’s a symbol of Lathallan’s commitment to providing a transformative education that prepares students for the challenges of the modern world.

Learning at Lathallan School

To explore the achievements of Lathallan School in Learning Outside the Classroom, visit its official website for more information.