Winslow Church of England School is harnessing the spirit of the community to create a sensory garden in the heart of the school grounds for learning and reflection.
The project, which will eventually create a space to be used by the school and the wider community, was initiated after the self-contained area became neglected and disused.
The garden will provide children with a sensory trail, encouraging them to use all of the five senses.
“Using the outside environment is what the school wants to promote,” Headteacher Cazz Colmer said.
The school has benefited from a variety of grants, donations and charitable goodwill to enable the ambitious scheme to come to life.
Friends of Winslow School gave £7,000 and Winslow town council contributed £5,000. Mostly recently, developers Bloor Homes matched them with a £5,000 donation of their own.
Richards Sarraff, Managing Director at Bloor Homes, said:
“This really is a fantastic example of the whole community coming together to create a facility which will genuinely benefit pupils.”
The kind donations have not only been financial. Peter Richardson of Preston-Bisset nursery gave approximately £500 worth of plants.
Significantly, much of the initial work in terms of design and clearing the ground has been done for free as acts of kindness from people in the town.
Local gardener Jane Rennie in particular has been instrumental in the design of the new space, based on the rays of the sun, linking with the school vision ‘Let your light shine.’
Parent and professional artist, Becky Gouverneur, also worked closely with pupils to create stained glass artwork, FJ Morris completed the initial groundwork and Men in Sheds donated planters. In addition, Furze Down school pupils are helping to build a wooden archway.
The contemplative area will also be hugely beneficial to children with sensory processing issues and provide respite to children with autism spectrum disorder.
The headteacher said: “It will provide another space in the school for working in small groups, which will be calm and quiet, and will be particularly used by our specially trained staff who work with emotionally or socially vulnerable children.”
The project is due to be completed by March 2019