Community comes together for education project
8 April 2014 – West Tytherley CofE Primary School has marked the end of term in celebratory style with the opening of the school’s new outdoor learning classroom last week.
The classroom was conceived as a way of ensuring that early years children were able to spend plenty of time outdoors to learn about and discover nature.
The result is a new outside space, which includes an active area of raised walkways, ponds and a weather station and bug boxes. There is a new outdoor performance area for storytelling and creative projects and a reflective garden space to act as a quiet area.
The inspiration for the garden idea and its themes came from the children, with the design concept developed by a professional garden designer and West Tytherley Mum, Julia Brigdale. It has been named “The Four Seasons’ by pupils to reflect how the area’s use and appearance will vary throughout the year.
The project has been a real community effort, with support from the Parent Teachers’ Association, the Sarah Rolle Education Trust and Hampshire County Council. A large team of volunteers from the school, the local community and parishioners from West Tytherley Church and the Romsey Deanery were involved in the area’s creation. As a way of recognising the many contributions, children, staff and local people were invited to take part in a Lent activity of designing and painting tiles which have been incorporated in the final design.
Mike Warren, Headteacher at West Tytherley said,
“We are absolutely delighted to be opening this new outdoor learning classroom. The project wouldn’t have been completed without the hard work of so many people in the local community – pupils, staff, parents and local volunteers – and we are enormously grateful for their help. We hope this project will provide a stimulating learning environment for our pupils for years to come.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information contact the Diocese of Winchester Communications team on 0207 618 9197/Dioceseofwinchester@luther.co.uk
A video about the project can be viewed here: http://www.west-tytherley.hants.sch.uk/future/school-projects/
Funding and next steps
Funding for the project was provided by the Parent Teachers’ Association, the Sarah Rolle Education Trust, Hampshire County Council, and the school’s own budget, as well as from individual parents and donors.
The school is now undertaking further fundraising and seeking grants for future phases of development, but for now it is fully operational and becoming a favourite area for West Tytherley’s pupils.