Outdoors: Full marks to outdoorsy headmaster on national children's day

The letter from Markethill PS headmaster Jim Richardson
The letter from Markethill PS headmaster Jim Richardson

JIM Richardson is top of my outdoor Oscars list for this year after telling the children in his school to go out and get a life in the spring sunshine. No more written homework for the pupils of Markethill Primary school as the good weather arrives: parents received a letter home urging their children to go out and play, and get outdoors as a family.

"As we enter the third term and the lighter evenings approach, we wish to inform you that written homework will be stopping in Markethill Primary School," wrote Mr Richardson.

"Children will continue with the learning aspect of homework – spelling and tables and reading homework but written maths and literacy homework will not be set. Instead we encourage you to inspire your child(ren) to get outside and get active; to go for walks and cycles; to spend time reading or drawing or playing with friends; to spend quality time with family of to find and develop a new hobby.

"We hope that you, our parents and our children, enjoy this time together and will find it beneficial."

So bugs, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, bats, pond dipping, football, cycling, climbing and planting vegetables win hands down over boring homework. Gold star.

Children's day

TODAY is national children's day – 24 hours that highlights the importance of a healthy childhood, protecting the rights and freedoms of children to ensure that they can grow into happy, healthy adults.

Mid and East Antrim Council is putting on a fun event at Marine Gardens, Carrickfergus from 2 to 4pm. See for more details.