Ellesmere Port primary school opens new outdoor classroom

Reporter:

Dan Greenland

William Stockton Primary School has celebrated the opening of a new outdoor classroom, built by members of the Ellesmere Port Prince’s Trust community team.

Pupils and staff at the school are delighted with their new learning environment, which took a team of 10 young people four weeks to complete.

Adele Tarbarth, 19, who took part in the programme, said: “We built a compost bin and we also built a bug hotel out of pallets that were already there.

“We added sticks, rocks and leaves so the bugs would have somewhere to keep warm.”

As part of the project, the Prince’s Trust team also built an open grass area, a sensory garden and raised flower beds.

The programme, designed by the Prince’s Trust and run by the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, gives young men and women who are not in employment, education or training the chance to learn key skills.

Assistant team leader Dave Pegram said: “It’s called the TEAM program.

“We operate out of Ellesmere Port Fire Station and we run three programmes a year.

“The programme is aimed at 16 to 25-year-olds. The whole point of this is to give these young people the confidence to get back into the work environment.

“Together the team moved two tons of soil by hand, there was a lot of hard graft.”

Dave added: “They have left behind a long lasting legacy for these children to enjoy.”

Team member David Drury, 20, from Sutton Way, said: “We got permission to go to Asda and raise money by bag-packing. We raised £297.50 which helped us with this project extremely well.

“The most enjoyable part of the project was designing the bug hotel. The project gave me a sense of accomplishment. As a team it has brought us all together.”

Reception class pupil, Alicia Mitchell, cut the yellow ribbon to officially open the nature garden and the school children were free to explore and plant seeds.

Team member Leonie Marshall, 17, from Neston, said: “We have put the raised beds into the playground so the children can have flowers.”

Each pupil from the reception classes wrote a special thank you letter to the Prince’s Trust workers.

Headteacher Mark Allen said: “We are so grateful to the Prince’s Trust for coming to do this project that will benefit the children in their learning.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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