GREEN-FINGERED children from Prior Park Preparatory School in Cricklade can now enjoy a new £14,000 outdoor classroom following four years of planning and fierce fundraising efforts.
The eco-classroom, based at the school on Calcutt Street, Cricklade, will aid outdoor learning for more than 200 Prior Park students.
Man-Yee Coleman, Head of Science, said the outdoor classroom would enable teachers to be more hands-on in their lessons and would be suitable across all subject areas.
She said: “It is a tremendous advantage for Prior Park Preparatory School to have this facility. Now the children are able to learn outdoors and grow more aware of their environment. It will really fire their imagination.
“We started this project four years ago because we wanted our children to have a wonderful green space which would provide something unique to their education.”
The classroom, which is home to a wild meadow, willow arch, wild flowers, dipping pond, footpath and a forest classroom, was officially opened this morning by David Tetlow, the Chairman of Cricklade Town Council, and Anita Barratt, Chairman of Cricklade Bloomers.
Children put down their pens and pencils and gathered at the Conservation Area to see the ribbon cut and the planting of a tree to mark its official opening.
Mrs Coleman added: “ This conservation area will provide a place of relaxation for our pupils, especially our boarders for whom this school is their home. Children can grow their own vegetables in the garden and really take ownership of it.”
The money for the outdoor classroom was raised following a combined effort from the Prior Park Parents’ Association, the Business Enterprise Group and various school fundraising events.
Headmaster Mark Pearce said he was thrilled that the outdoor classroom was ready to be unveiled. “We decided to create this facility because we recognised the importance and value of learning both in and out of the classroom,” he said. “I am especially excited about this new prospect of outdoor learning and look forward to developing it further.”
Cricklade Mayor David Tetlow said: “The development of the Prior Park Conservation Area is a considerable achievement and provides the children with a wonderful opportunity to learn in an outdoor classroom environment.
“I am therefore delighted to have been asked to assist, alongside Anita Barratt of Cricklade Bloomers, with the official opening of this outstanding educational resource.”
Prior Park Preparatory School, Wiltshire is a 3 – 13 IAPS Doarding and Day established Co-educational Catholic Preparatory School.
More pictures of this event can be found at the Prior Park Website Gallery at http://www.priorparkprep.com/gallery.asp?galleryID=86
Article reproduced from http://www.priorparkprep.com/prep-news.asp?id=621