What is the need for your project in the community? How will your project improve local life?
The outdoor classroom has been in existence for less than two years but in that short time it has been a great success with the pupils & teachers alike. As well as learning about wildlife and the environment the teachers have noticed an increase in the pupils attention span in other lessons. Having their lessons outdoors encourages all pupils to engage with nature and we expect this to stay with them into adulthood.
What support do you have from the local community for your project?
The support for this is immense, over the last two years we have not heard one negative comment about this project. Whenever there is work to be done the volunteers turn up in force. For example, a local contracting company provided a mini-digger and operator to dig out a ditch free of charge and a work party of eleven villagers from nine years old to seventy four years old help lay a new wood-chip path. Local, district and county councillors have also been very supportive.
Who will benefit from your project?
The main benefactors of this project will be the pupils of Scole Primary School. Year-by-year their numbers fluctuate but is usually around ninety. Also the Sea Scouts from a nearby village use this facility. There has also been interest from other Cub and Beaver groups which is something we want to encourage. Another organisation which has used the classroom is the Scole Womens Institute, which has to be said is from the other end of the age spectrum.
Tell us more about your project and how it will benefit your community if you are successful.
Our long term project is to improve our recently created outdoor classroom year-on-year. Last year we received help from Adnams and Warburtons to upgrade security fencing. This next step is to replace the seating which is either very old or improvised. Due to lack of funds this has had to suffice but is far from adequate. We would now like to upgrade with seating that is guaranteed for the next twenty years and hopefully last much longer. Unlike the existing seats, this will not need any maintenance from us, thus freeing up our time for other worthwhile projects. The proposed seating has already been approved by the school and will assist them with their teaching. As other groups will be using this facility, the benches we have specified all provide access for wheelchair users and are suitable for all ages. The area used for the classroom was neglected for several decades but now the wildlife is flourishing and year-on-year we intend to make this area even more special.
Please give a breakdown of the costs of your project.
Our project is to supply and install 4 octagonal picnic benches with wheelchair access. The cost of four palletised, un-assembled kits is £2688 including VAT and delivery. These will be pre-assembled and then installed on site by our volunteers. The excess of £188 will be covered by ourselves as will all additional site preparation costs such as cement, ballast and fixings to secure them to the ground.