Chris Wharton-Lovett helps more than 260 pupils a week access the school’s eco, farming, horticultural, forest school, and construction provisions which he has worked hard to develop.
With an on-site farm of animals and planting areas, the children work with Chris to plant, grow and harvest crops and farm produce, which is used to enhance school lunches. They develop woodwork and construction skills by building outdoor furniture, which will benefit them when they move on in the world of work. They also learn skills for planting and growing, and develop empathy and care for animals.
Chris works tirelessly to make sure everything is to the highest standard and champions the children’s work through press coverage, instilling pride in them for their achievements with rewards and celebrations.
Chris said: “It’s brilliant to be nominated for doing something you do every day. We have had quite a lot of success over the last year and now make sure every child has access to outdoor education each week.
“I don’t think there are many schools locally or even in Yorkshire which are doing it on that kind of scale.”
Chris has helped the school win a number of awards, including the RHS level five School Gardening Award. Goldthorpe Primary is one of only two schools in South Yorkshire to have achieved this.
Last year, the school was raided and lots of tools and other outdoor resources were stolen. The damage to the outside areas cost thousands of pounds to repair. Shortly after, the school minibus was stolen.
Chris sought press coverage for both incidents in hopes of getting a lead for the police to get justice for the devastated children.
He also spent hours securing funding to replace the stolen resources.
Chris has been nominated by deputy headteacher Claire Cowlishaw, who said: “Chris is an inspiration to young people. While working at Goldthorpe Primary he has transformed outdoor education for young people and is admired and loved by all the children he works with.
“Children take ownership and pride in such tasks with some as young as four accessing the outdoor provision and a day doesn’t go by without them talking fondly of their work with him and looking forward to their next session working with him.”