Pupils at Cholsey Primary School in Oxfordshire are now able to enjoy additional outdoor learning activities this autumn, thanks to the team at Grundon Sand & Gravel. The company provided £5,000, building materials and project management skills to help turn a muddy grass area into a smart and safe place where the children can play games and enjoy lessons out of the classroom.
Photo shows pupils at the school having fun on the new play and learning area, watched by Jamie Brooks (left), regional materials recovery facility manager for Grundon, whose children attend the school, together with headteacher Heather Haigh and Andy Bright, deputy aggregates manager, Grundon Sand & Gravel.
The piece of land, which was previously covered with reinforced mesh and grass, is used to provide access for emergency vehicles as well as outdoor teaching for some 90 five to seven-year-olds.
Headteacher, Heather Haigh, said: “Unfortunately, every autumn and winter it would become very muddy and completely unsuitable, so it really limited what we could do with the children. We like them to spend as much time outdoors as possible and this area was ideal because it is outside the classroom door.
“We couldn’t have afforded to do all the work ourselves and Grundon generously paid for half of it as well as undertaking the project management, making sure it was done properly and using all the right materials, which was really helpful.
“Thanks to them, now the children can enjoy writing and maths lessons outside, as well as playing games, and the parents who come to collect their children also benefit as they no longer have to walk through the mud to get to the classrooms.”
Andrew Short, Estates Director for Grundon, said the work was a good example of how the company was committed to helping local communities.
“When we were asked to look at the project, we visited the school late last spring and could see the area was becoming a mud bath, they had been unsuccessful in getting funding for the work, so we were happy to step in,” he said.
“The work was completed over the summer and now the children are back at school, it’s great to know they will be able to enjoying playing and learning outside for as long as possible and we were very happy to help.”
Nearly 300 pupils attend the village school overall and the remainder of the money for the project was provided through school funds.