To celebrate the launch of our latest resource, Outdoor Learning in the School Setting, we are pleased to bring you a competition to win the installation of a Choill Bheag in your school.

The past year has taught us the importance of fresh air and the outdoors in all aspects of our lives and many schools around Ireland have taken classes outside or created outdoor classrooms to make outdoor learning as easy as possible. Our Outdoor Learning resource has all of the information you might need to consider taking your class outside to learn.

Experience of the outdoors and wilderness has the potential to confer a multitude of benefits on young people’s physical development, emotional and mental health and wellbeing and societal development. Mental health and wellbeing benefits from play in natural settings appear to be long-term, realised in the form of emotional stability in young adulthood. Travlou, P. (2006), Open Space Research Centre.

Competition to win a Choill Bheag

An Choill Bheag is a small, dense, biodiverse native woodland habitat on school grounds. Choill Bheags are outdoor living classrooms, with space created for seating for classes to spend time learning outside. As An Choill Bheag matures, nature trails can be developed and students can learn the necessary skills to maintain, monitor and study this essential and beautiful ecosystem in their school grounds. It is based around practical sustainable tree planting and long-term woodland and eco-system education, management and practical skills. It has a strong emphasis on creating the woodland and hedgerow habitat that are then studied and managed as part of a longer-term educational initiative. Learn more about An Choill Bheag and the LEAF Programme here.

Competition details

To win the installation of a Choill Bheag on your school grounds we are asking schools to send us designs for their ideal outdoor classroom. These designs can be as wacky, colourful, interactive, fun and engaging as you see fit! Maybe your ideal outdoor classroom comes with a hot chocolate and smores station (or iced drinks in the summertime!)? If you think about being pollinator friendly, can you design desks for bees and butterflies? Will trees provide shelter from the sun or rain? We are asking schools to submit one design per school so it will hopefully be a collaborative effort by the whole school to imagine their perfect space.

  • We cannot accept designs which are posted to us, as the Green-Schools Office is currently closed. Whatever type of design you create (paper, collage, 3D model, computer aided design etc) please send it to us using our online submission form
  • In place of posting physical entries you can upload as many photos or videos of your submission as you see fit
  • The deadline for entries to the competition is Friday, May 14, 2021.
  • The winning school will have a Choill Bheag installed in their school grounds. Upon winning Green-Schools staff will consult with your school on best placement and find solutions for any potential space issues. We will also have runners-up prizes.
  • Please download a copy of our Terms & Conditions for further information on the competition
  • Click here to download a poster to display in your school
Online submission form
Terms and Conditions of Entry

Get inspired!

We’ve selected a handful of images to inspire you as you design your ideal outdoor classroom (below). There’s so much to consider when planning an outdoor learning space and we can’t wait to see what your school designs!

Image credits:

  • – lifestylenews -outdoor-classroom-helps-co-tyrone-school-kids-get-the-dirt-on-nature
  • www.irishnews.comnews20170615newspupils-get-back-to-mother-nature-with-new-sensory-garden
  • -outdoor-classroom-mayo
  • httpsedition.cnn.com20200818healthoutdoor-classes-social-distancing-school-wellnessindex.html