Tonwell St. Mary’s "ponder" no more how to improve their outdoor area

We were very pleased to award a grant to Tonwell St Mary’s school to develop their outdoor learning area.  In her application (which arrived approximately 4 minutes after we opened the form for this year!), Sarah Bridgman (Headteacher) clearly explained the problem with their existing area:

“Currently, 90% of children are able to access Forest School for one hour per week. This is because there are some areas that are deemed unsafe, so we need at least two members of staff available to oversee each visit. We also have a small number of children with disabilities who are unable to access the Forest School for more than 10-15 minutes as there is no seating available for them. The disused pond is broken and dangerous - it half fills with water, is in the middle of the space and has hidden steep sides…  with no seating… broken fencing and limited resources.”

And then her proposed solution:

“The money we are applying for would enable us to install seating, fix the fence, redevelop the pond area, build raised beds and purchase equipment and resources to enable all children in the school to take part in the redevelopment and upkeep of the area.”

We at EdufundUK are very keen on outdoor learning for its health, motivational and effective learning benefits.  We were also very impressed by Sarah’s plans to involve the children themselves in the renovation and upkeep which will give them a sense of pride and ownership in the area.