Groundforce day 2016 came about from a meeting of volunteers and friends of the school realising there was a need to make changes to the outside learning environment of the school that were going to be too expensive for them to undertake alone. This led to an intiative by the Busy Bees After school and Holiday club, the Board of Governors and the Friends of the school to organise a day when everyone who was available, could come along to school and offer their time and skills to try and make a difference to the outside areas of the school and grounds. A date was set and letters sent out and the School were overwhelmed by the generosity of parents, carers, friends and families who said they would come along and offer their services!
The first stage began on Saturday, 14th May when Mr Andy Powell, with his son Ryan (who was a past pupil), came along to use some serious lifting gear to remove the old adventure playground at the top of the bank. This setup had offered very many hours of fun for generations of children, but had now been deemed dangerous due to the wood having become rotten over time since it was built in 1998. Mr Terry Conti was also on hand to assist as he was already clearing large areas of brambles from around the playing field.
On Sunday, 15th May the army of volunteers descended on the school to meet with some of the staff and the headteacher to set about making lasting changes and improvements to the outdoor space at the School. Here are some of the before pictures.
After they had finished the school grounds were transformed! The infant courtyard was improved no end and still more changes are in the pipeline. The work on the bank above the playing field saw the last of the brambles and black thorn removed and this opened up an area just made for an orienteering course! There was even a mini pond underneath it all and a beautiful clump of bluebells! More of the beech hedge lower branches were cut off to allow the children to play under there, a favourite spot for many, and with the new seats, which were once the adventure playground balance beams, children who want to sit and chat can! The willow classroom had a much needed ‘haircut’ as did the fedge – the height of the tops was causing the sides to become loose. Today, I saw a group of children sitting in the willow on the log seats playing a game and chatting at lunchtime in the sun. Others are to be found all along the banks and under the beech whilst those who want to tear around playing football on the field!
The next day when we had assembly all the children and staff went out to see all the hard work that had been put into making their outside learning environment a much more enjoyable experience. Everyone was amazed by what had been achieved in such a short space of time by an enthusiastic band of volunteers! The whole school said a big Thank you!
Here is the winning Swimming Gala team with the trophy the school has won for the 9th time.