Pupils at Cornwood School have been celebrating the instalment of a new outdoor learning area this month, thanks to kind pledges from supporters across the local area.
Having raised a spectacular £22,000 to reinvent the outside space, work began at Cornwood School over the summer holidays, with local businesses and “parent power” coming together to complete the project in time for winter.
The funds raised were a result of many events held in the local community in the lead up to the project such as band nights, sponsored swims and an auction of promises.
Cornwood School was also lucky enough to be supported by a number of community groups such as Cornwood Cricket Club, Cornwood and Lutton Parish Council, Devon County and South Hams District Councils and Plymouth Ladies Charity Society in raising the money to complete the project.
Local companies such as Bandvulc PLc, the
estates of Delamore, and Blachford and Fardel also got involved, and Tesco’s ‘Bags for Life Scheme’ awarded the school with an additional £4,000 from its Lee Mill and Ivybridge stores.
Despite the impressive total of funds raised, the project was no mean feat – old fencing was ripped up by volunteer parents while a local
contractor installed new fencing and gave the front of the school a facelift too.
Next, the existing stage area was re-roofed by a talented parent and professional playground contractors moved in to replace the old flooring with new rubber crumb and Astroturf flooring. Providing much needed outdoor storage space and an undercover learning area, the previously small porch area outside the school was also
extended during the building process. Having been completed and officially opened in late September, the new area couldn’t have come at a better time for the 25 class one pupils, with Friend of School Chair Helena Costiff telling of how “the new undercover area has been a huge bonus in the recent heavy rain”.
Before the weather took a turn for the worse however, pupils, teachers and supporters alike enjoyed a glorious ribbon cutting ceremony as former pupils were invited back to the school to be part of the unveiling.
Inviting the oldest available former pupils to do the honours, the day’s eldest visitor was 102 years old, accompanied by many other former pupils in their 90s as well as former teachers and a former headmaster from the 1970s.
The Friends of School Chair said: “It was wonderful hearing stories from the history of the school – tales of sneaking out of school for buns from the bakery across the road, to everyone bringing homemade pasties for lunch which would be warmed on the open fire in the main school building.”
Complete with the newly installed play ship dubbed “HMS Cornwood” which can also be converted to a house, shop, castle or whatever the children may fancy, it is hoped that the space will allow “children to build on their learning experiences and grow their imaginative play in all weathers”.