• Winners of the Pocca Awards Announced

    The Pocca Awards programme was launched this year to recognise the excellent work of educational establishments around the country, no matter what size or status, who go above and beyond the national curriculum in being passionate advocates of learning in an outdoor space.

Congratulations to the five schools and nurseries from across the UK who have been announced today as the winners of the Pocca Awards 2018. Each of the winners demonstrated an incredible approach to outdoor learning and were chosen by the voting public in four key categories.

  • St Martins C of E Primary and Nursery, Exeter
    St Martins C of E Primary and Nursery, Exeter
    Core learning outside
  • Kidz@Work, Sheffield Business Park
    Kidz@Work, Sheffield Business Park
    Environmental learning outside
  • The Red Squirrel Children’s Nursery, Liff, Dundee
    The Red Squirrel Children’s Nursery, Liff, Dundee
    Creative learning outside
  • Ridgeway School, Deansway, Warwick
    Ridgeway School, Deansway, Warwick
    Active learning outside
  • Joseph Paxton Campus, Wirral
    Joseph Paxton Campus, Wirral
    Creative learning outside

Further winner details based on nomination forms supplied by the schools.

The Pocca Awards were new for 2017/18 and were launched and developed by ‘Pocca, the canopy people’; a provider of outdoor canopies to schools and nurseries since 1991. The Pocca team are champions of outdoor learning and are passionate about getting children outside, to enjoy the outdoor space they have available all year round.

The Pocca Awards were proudly brought to you by i2o Ltd, champions of outdoor learning.

The awards were a great opportunity to raise awareness of educational establishments, highlight their achievements and shout about how innovative and creative they have been with utilising their outside space.

The Pocca Awards is set to bring together educational establishments across the country; a community who can learn best practice from each other, recognise excellence in outdoor learning and provide inspiration for the future.

Inspiring children

We know that inspiring children and developing a love of the outdoors is at the heart of the education sector. The Pocca Awards recognise and reward those who are going above and beyond the national curriculum in order to take their pupils learning outside, whatever the weather. The awards were not restricted to educational establishments with canopy areas, as long as the school had an outdoor area utilised for learning they were able to enter.

Categories and guidance

The Pocca Awards categories looked to recognise the best usage of any sized outdoor space at any educational institution that encourage outdoor learning. No matter if you were a nursery, college or school, whereabouts in the UK you are based or what type of outdoor space/structure you have – if you were passionate about using your outdoor space to enhance learning, this was the awards programme for you.

We wanted to hear from those educational establishments that can clearly demonstrated how they were using their outside space to maximum effect. Entrants were judged on how innovative a facility had been in the production and use of outdoor space for learning. If you were proud of your outdoor learning approach and impact, this was your chance to share what you had achieved and win an award for your efforts.


Active Learning Outside

How your outdoor learning space encourages physical activities outside such as balancing, PE, Games, Sport and Play.


Creative Learning Outside

How creatively you use your outdoor learning area to encourage creative activities such as Art, Music, Drama, Crafts and Food Technology.


Core Learning Outside

How your outdoor learning areas enhance core educational activities such as English, Maths, IT, History and Reading.


Environmental Learning Outside

How your outdoor learning area is used to support environmental focuses such as nature activities, Science, Biology and Geography.

Terms and conditions

  • The awards are open to all forms of school or educational settings based in the UK – nurseries, infants, juniors, primary and secondary schools are all applicable.
  • Applications may be completed by teaching staff, governors, PTA representatives, parents, or other school partners.
  • Educational settings can enter more than one category if relevant, but separate nomination forms are required in each instance.
  • The person who is nominating the educational setting must have gained authorisation to submit an entry and share the nominee contact details.
  • If you are shortlisted or win your category, you are giving us permission to use all information and all supplementary evidence submitted with your nomination form to be used in Pocca promotions.
  • The decision of the judges on the shortlist is final.
  • The Pocca Awards judging reserve the right to exclude any educational setting we do not believe meets the eligibility criteria.
  • By giving your contact details on the nomination form, you agree to receive email and telephone communication from the Pocca Awards team. Your contact details will not be shared with third parties.
  • i2o Ltd has the right to cancel or change the format and timings of the Pocca Awards without notice to the nominees at any given time.
  • A winner from each category will receive a fabulous trophy and certificate, social media promotion from Pocca as well as possible PR coverage.
  • All nominations forms and supplementary evidence must be supplied to i2o Ltd by 5pm on Friday 9th March 2018. Nominations sent after this date unfortunately will not be included in the shortlisting process.

How to enter your educational setting for a Pocca Award?

  • Complete the nomination entry form and make sure you select one of the four relevant categories that you would like to be nominated in. You can nominate in more than one category but separate nomination forms will need to be submitted. You do not require a canopy to enter.
  • We recommend you also send other materials to support your nomination (such as photos and written testimonials) to help demonstrate why your educational setting is a worthy Pocca award winner. All supplementary evidence submitted with your nomination form may be used for marketing and social media purposes.
  • At least one photographic image is required per nomination form to show physical evidence of the outdoor learning area. Online photograph(s) to be submitted in either a JPEG, PNG or PDF file format and clearly labelled with the educational setting’s name that is on your nomination form. Please do not embed your photographic image(s) within the body of your nomination form.
  • Completed nomination forms with the subject line ‘Pocca Awards entry form’ can be submitted via post to Susan Moore, i2o Ltd, Riband House, Manor Farm, Low Road, Fenstanton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 9HU or emailed to info@poccaawards.co.uk

If you have any questions about the awards please call 01480 498297 or email info@poccaawards.co.uk

© Copyright i2o Ltd, Pocca™ is a brand name of Inside2OutsideDeveloped by Keystone Marketing
St Martins C of E Primary and Nursery, Exeter
Core learning outside

St Martins C of E Primary and Nursery in Exeter has demonstrated its versatility and creativity in using its space in a number of ways for the benefits of the student in core curriculum areas.

A science focus comes from students making their own compost from their waste food, and using it in the outdoor area for the benefit of the environment. The children plant acorns to grow trees for the school site from the compost too. A love of maths and greater understanding comes from writing brightly coloured numbers on painted stones and wood slices, and creating their own addition and subtraction activities from them. Shapes, sizes and lengths are explored form the materials around them. The English curriculum is supported with activities like treasure hunts and den building in the outdoor area; encouraging the children’s imagination and connection with books they are reading in class.Thoughts and emotions are regularly explored too with the children asked how the outdoor area makes them feel.

St Martins also show a love for their outdoor space more widely too; with forest school sessions, open fire cooking, as well as growing (and selling!) fruit, vegetables and flowers! – It is evident from this nomination that children have lots of fun while still learning!

Kidz@Work, Sheffield Business Park
Environmental learning outside

Kidz@Work, Sheffield Business Park is used for a variety of different activities, by a range of different aged children from birth up to 5 in term time and also from 5- 12 years old in half terms.

Children have the opportunity to explore a range of sensory activities through gardening in the herb garden, vegetable patch and vegetable pots and children are encouraged to cook with the nursery grown produce too. The impressive vegetable patch is looked after by the children, who every week in the ‘seedlings club’ weed the garden, water the plants and plant new vegetables at the correct time of the year. The small pond is ready for frog spawn and a recently created bug hotel is a firm favourite (and a source of immense pride for the preschool rooms).

The outdoor area is designed with the children ideas and decisions in mind and Kidz@Work run a small club called ‘Children champion’ where the children are given opportunities to select the resources they would like in the outdoor areas. It was evident from this nomination that the children really enjoy their outdoor time.Indent copy as below

The Red Squirrel Children’s Nursery, Liff, Dundee
Creative learning outside

The Red Squirrel Children’s Nursery in Dundee based was a strong advocate for the benefit of outdoor play and learning; and passionate in their belief that the natural environment offers a unique limitless supply of resources to promote creativity, investigation, imagination and problem solving.

A Forest School ‘camp’ area in a woodland area was set up and natural resources are at the heart of the setting and displaying these materials in an inviting way they say helped encourage and promote self-directed investigation, creativity and problem solving.

Children are openly encouraged to challenge themselves in physical activities as they feel safe to do so. Safety is a key learning at the camp too – with children risk assessing the Forest School camp and giving them responsibility of ‘fire marshals’. Nursery children are encouraged to construct and creatively utilise the natural environment and resources too, and art is also on the agenda.

The school say that through an abundance of creative play, children have developed confidence and resilience along with the skills needed to communicate their feelings – the number of testimonials in this nomination are evidence of the camp’s impact.

Ridgeway School, Deansway, Warwick
Active learning outside

Ridgeway School have had a total refurbishment of the outside spaces for its two classrooms that accommodate children with profound and multiple disabilities – and it’s described as being revolutionary for those children.

With site clearance, the addition of astro-turf, movable equipment and canopies to ensure access in all weathers, the children are now able to play and learn outside. The spaces were used for lots of different physical activities and enabled wider learning to take place too; with teachers now able to take learning resources outside and sit under the canopies for activities.

Ridgeway School says it is now able to meet its duties within the equality act, provide a safe, engaging and physically stimulating environment for all of its pupils, regardless of their needs – a project that has had a phenomenal impact across the whole school community.

Joseph Paxton Campus, Wirral
Creative learning outside

Joseph Paxton Campus in the Wirral caters for students with hidden disabilities such as poor mental health and students diagnosed with the autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder and other complex mental health issues. With many students finding it challenging to face the outside world, the school uses its outside space to help students build real life skills. The act of digging soil and planting is very therapeutic, the patience required to wait for things to grow is an important life skill. A student with an eating disorder can be encouraged to handle plants and learn how to cook healthy food by participating in the use of the school’s garden. Students with low self-esteem are given the resilience and grit to start to believe in themselves.

The school summer house is also a welcome sanctuary for students who need some ‘time out’ and the sensory aspects of the garden provide a calm and alternative sensory space for students that are on the autistic spectrum.

The school also has a programme of enterprise and work related learning events, as well as links with ECO schools and the DoE scheme. The school is clearly focused on offering a large number of outdoor based activities. Current projects include wicker weaving; teaching the students new creative skills whilst promoting social interaction and community awareness – many diverse projects that have had phenomenal impact across the whole school community.