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Wednesday 8 May 2019  - 7:46 GMT

Shelter will allow outdoor learning in all weathers

Youngsters from Blackfield Primary School will be able to enjoy outdoor learning in all weathers thanks to a little help from ExxonMobil Fawley. Over recent years, Blackfield Primary School has been creating and developing a “Forest School” in its grounds in Hampton Lane, Blackfield. Youngsters, mainly in the infants and Year 3, take part in a variety of collaborative activities, including creating dens, team building, whittling wood and building camp fires – all under the watchful eye of an expert tutor.

Now, to make sure the learning can continue all-year-round, the school has added a wooden shelter to the Forest School, thanks to a contribution from ExxonMobil Fawley. Principal Tariq Sasso said: “I always want to create opportunities for children to take part in outdoor play, as it’s such a vital part of their education which can be easily missed by schools.

“At Blackfield, we firmly believe in giving our children a rich educational experience. Forest Schools are increasing in popularity in the UK and internationally, with research suggesting that blending mainstream learning with a Forest School contributes to a child’s social, cognitive, emotional, and physical skill development. It gives them a chance to problem solve, be resilient and work together (a bit like Bear Grylls), but in a safe and structured way that aids their overall development. This new shelter means our pupils will be able to enjoy the Forest School come rain, shine or snow.” The money to buy the shelter, which was imported from Holland and built on site, came from a contribution of £3,500 from ExxonMobil Fawley. Community Affairs Adviser Angharad Vaughan said: “Blackfield is one of 10 Link Schools that the site supports annually with a contribution towards science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities. This new shelter will help the children to continue to enjoy their outdoor learning in all weathers and we hope they have many years of enjoyment using it.” Tariq added: “ExxonMobil Fawley has been a great support to the school for many years, not just financially, but also by helping to promote science, technology, engineering and maths through its STEM Ambassador programme. We could not have installed the shelter without the support of ExxonMobil Fawley. We are very grateful and look forward to watching our pupils reap the benefits in the years to come.”



Top row: Eddie Henbury - STEM Consultant, Angharad Vaughan – Community Affairs Adviser, Tariq Sasso - Blackfield Primary School Principal, William Burns – Forest School Leader are joined by students from Blackfield Primary School.

Notes for editors:

  • ExxonMobil at Fawley is the collective name given to Esso Petroleum Company Limited and ExxonMobil Chemical Limited which are part of Exxon Mobil Corporation.
  • The Fawley refinery is the largest in the UK. Approximately one in six cars in the UK operates on fuel produced at Fawley.
  • Over the past six years, ExxonMobil at Fawley has contributed in excess of £1m in community support.

For more information, contact Tariq Sasso, Headteacher Blackfield Primary School, on 023 8089 3132 or Angharad Vaughan, Community Affairs Advisor, ExxonMobil Fawley, on 023 8089 6575. Email