A Southport school has received a grant from Community Link Foundation to develop an imaginative play space.
Farnborough Road Junior School in Birkdale has 475 pupils, while the infant school has 444 pupils so there are 919 children on site each day.
With a school of this size, while they meet the government’s standards for space, they do have an overcrowded playground. The staff, Friends of Farnborough Road and the governors of the school decided that they wanted to improve the playground to encourage the children to use their imagination and engage in healthy activity.
They applied to Community Link Foundation through their website and at the last grant giving meeting, members of the board approved a grant of £3,000 as a substantial contribution to the project and the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle that saw building work commence last week.
“Thanks to the Community Link Foundation we haven’t had to compromise on the design or learning opportunities for our pupils. They have saved the day by giving us the funding, which gave the green light for phase one. The children are so excited and can’t thank the charity enough,” commented Adrian Antell, Headteacher.
The plans for the playground have been driven by the pupil led School’s Council who have played a major part in working with contractors to design the space. Work has now started on the first phase of the project, which it is hoped will support active and creative play. Whilst it will enhance learning for all pupils, it will be particularly beneficial to children with special needs, and school action plus pupils, who attend the school. The Friends of Farnborough Road have also made a major contribution to the project.
Enda Rylands, chairman of Community Link Foundation, said: “We were happy to help with the funding towards this project as the school serves such a large amount of pupils, and it is incredibly important that they have outdoor space to enhance their learning and enable them to enjoy their breaks.”
They hope that the play area will have an impact on children’s attitude to healthier play activities, imaginative play and team work. It will be used by the externally run after school club and the holiday club, as well as the onsite children’s centre.