A teacher has penned a letter to the education secretary asking them to help schools access outdoor learning programmes.

Sian Riddell, who teaches a class at Balderstone St Leonard's Church of England Primary School, has written a letter to Gavin Williamson praising a programme she has taken part in offered by Learning through Landscapes (LtL).

The village-based school of 120 pupils ran a biodiversity project - or the ‘one with the bugs and animals’, as the class called it.

It was hosted by LfL and Sian has said the school is lucky to boast a generously sized outside area.

The project, led by instructor Gina, saw the children planting bulbs and plants which have started growing and putting in a wormery and bird-boxes.

Sian's year 3 and 4 class, with some of the children from farming and rural backgrounds, took part in the 'My School, My Planet' programme last autumn.

She said: "Some children didn't have wellies to start with and were a bit hesitant outside, getting muddy, a little bit of rain and a little bit of cold they weren't so sure about that.

"By the end of the project they were absolutely loving it - a real confidence and they were happy and excited to be out there.

"It was fantastic to see. It really gave us all confidence and a boost in mental wellbeing."

The letter, which has been coordinated by Sian and headteacher Janet Banks, has also been signed by another 14 teachers and 11 headteachers who have also been involved in LtL’s My School, My Planet pilot.

It highlights that the teachers believe outdoor spaces should be used to support the wellbeing of the pupils.

It also discusses that children from disadvantaged backgrounds may have less access to outdoor spaces at home.

My School, My Planet has worked with 49 school across the country between September and November using a £275,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

On top of the outdoor time the project provided, the children have also learnt about herbs and plants which are used in cooking and which of these are easier to grow in a more urban environment.