Learning is going outdoors at primary schools in north Bradford thanks to a £168,000 project.

Sixteen vegetable plots, one for each class, have been officially unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Howard Middleton, at Swain House Primary School, and the pilot scheme is now being extended to 12 other schools in the area.

Children will be responsible for planting, growing and harvesting vegetables, then cooking and eating their crops in schools.

At the end of the project all 13 schools will have outdoor classrooms, nature trails, vegetable plots and sensory gardens to boost the learning experience for hearing-impaired children.

Improvements at each school will be funded by the Bradford North Area Committee, donations from Bradford businesses through the Be Involved business engagement programme and money raised by schools.

Be Involved has recruited volunteers to carry out the work, funding and discounted materials from Yorkshire Water, Provident Financial, Arnold Laver, Thomas Crompton and MWH Global.

Bradford Community Environment Project is also supporting the scheme.

The grounds of Lower Fields Primary School, in Fenby Avenue, were the first to undergo a transformation and staff from the Yorkshire Building Society have just visited the school to create an outdoor amphitheatre where pupils will be able to put on drama productions.

An ambitious addition is planned for the project at Swain House Primary, where it is hoped to install a wind turbine and solar panels to teach children about renewable energy.

The technology will cost £40,000 with half the money donated by global engineering firm MWH Global and the rest expected to come via a grant from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

Dianne Rowbotham, head teacher at Swain House Primary School, said: “The support we have received is fantastic.

“We now have outdoor areas that can be used for teaching everything from science and the environment to healthy eating.

“With the help of local businesses we are making a real difference to learning opportunities at the school.”

Holybrook Primary School, in Greengates, is set to be the next to benefit from the programme.

Councillor David Ward, chairman of the Bradford North Area Committee, which voted to roll out the scheme, said: “There has been a very successful environmental project at Swain House Primary School and we want to extend this to 12 further primary schools.

“This is a very exciting project which will improve the environment of the school and create long-lasting partnerships between schools, businesses and the local community.”

Businesses interested in contributing to the Bradford north project can contact Be Involved on (01274) 770472 or e-mail info@beinvolved.co.uk

e-mail: ben.barnett@telegraphandargus.co.uk