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Making a school with empty classrooms ‘outstanding’

TES visits the nursery where only gale-force winds would keep the children inside during lesson time

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Walk into Boldon Nursery School in the middle of the day and, for a moment, you might wonder where everyone has gone.

For most of the school day, the building is almost completely empty. That’s because the winner of overall school of the year at the TES Schools Awards 2016 conducts almost all of its teaching outside.

“We have the most expensive changing space ever,” jokes headteacher Sue Stokoe as the children put on waterproofs and wellies after their morning break.

Outside, the children freely explore the garden behind the school building in Boldon Colliery, a former mining town near ...

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