On Saturday, October 9, St Catherine’s Primary School in Highdown Drive, Wick, held a ‘working party day’ to get the project underway.
The aim was to begin clearing out the site that will be the future outdoor classroom, aimed to be completed and ready for use in 2022.
Kate Supriyadi, year two class teacher at St Catherine’s, said: “The day was greatly assisted by staff from Bells Gardening in Worthing, a member of Littlehampton and District Lions, the mayor of Littlehampton and a willing group of parents and staff.
“Refreshments were kindly donated by the community champion from Morrisons in Littlehampton which were welcomed by the volunteers.
“The school has also received a fabulous new wheel-barrow from the Littlehampton and District Lions, paving stones from local resident Coral Botting, pallets and fencing from Matt Woodward from MW Landscapes and pallets from Bees Knees and Kevin Jones from Flash Trash Recycling.”
The area that has been chosen to be the new outdoor classroom has two sections. The larger area is planned to be focused on outdoor learning and sustainability, with a seating area big enough for a whole class, and the learning in this area will be linking the growing of plants and food to the school curriculum from Reception to Year 6.
The smaller area is intended to be a calm, sensory, prayer area with seating. This area has great importance, with the school making sure children can get outside to de-stress reconnect with nature.
Kate said the school community was really excited for this new project. She added: “This new outdoor learning area will enable the children to reconnect with nature, and they can get outdoors.
“During the lockdowns, everybody was stuck indoors and some children didn’t have an outdoor space, so this area will really give them an opportunity to just be outdoors.”
Derek Croghan, head teacher, said: “With school life getting back to normal, it has been wonderful for the wider school community to come together once again for a really worthwhile project.
“We want to create an exciting space to take learning out of the classroom and make use of the wonderful grounds we have here at St Catherine’s.
“The area will be invaluable in developing our wider curriculum, giving pupils the opportunities to develop new skills and maybe even new passions and interests that will stay with them for years to come.”