Pupils at Castle Primary School, in Mow Cop, will be taking lessons in the great outdoors after Easter thanks to a grant from the Prime Foundation, which has helped pay for a new outside classroom for the school.
Funds donated by health and social care developer, Prime plc, have been used by the school to build an outdoor space that will provide students with more nature-based activities to build confidence, enhance wellbeing and enrich their learning experience. Designed in collaboration with pupils at the school, the outdoor classroom features a construction and woodworking area, giant Jenga, a place for musical percussion and multi-sensory surfaces including AstroTurf, bark and slate.
The idea for the outdoor classroom came from the school’s headteacher David Bell, who has previous experience in developing landscapes for children. David said: “Students, teachers and parents are all very enthusiastic about what we have been able to achieve with the outside classroom. It offers a new dimension in learning for the children, and is a facility the school will benefit from for many years to come as it grows and evolves with the needs of our pupils.
“The outside classroom project would not have been possible without funding from the Prime Foundation, and the dedication of school staff, students, their parents and members of the local community who all gave up time on their weekends to help clear the area and make way for the new learning zone.”
The Prime Foundation is a charity which supports community projects in neighbourhoods where Prime has developed new healthcare facilities. Prime is also the private sector partner in local LIFTCo, Prima 200, which has delivered the new primary care centre in nearby Biddulph.
Speaking of the initiative, Emma Sargent, Fund Manager for the Prime Foundation said: “As a leading provider of health and social care developments, we are committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities we work with. This is why we set up the Prime Foundation – it’s our way of supporting projects that are going that extra mile to help improve education, social welfare and healthy living.
“Last year a donation was made for communities in and around the newly built Biddulph Primary Care Centre and Castle Primary School is one of the recipients to benefit from those funds. The outside classroom is a worthy project and one that truly fits with our company ethos.”