North East Connected

Outdoor partnership supports students young and older

Mud pies and fresh eggs are on the menu at a Doncaster primary school thanks to the hard work of a group of students with learning needs.

The team of young people from Harrison College set to work designing, building and completing a number of projects in the outdoor area at Saltersgate Infant School at Scawsby.

The students created ponds out of tractor tyres, a mud kitchen, a swing, a quiet sensory space and landscaping for the younger children to enjoy.

It has supported the infant school’s ethos of learning outdoors and enhances its attached Forest School.

For students at Harrison College, where education is focused on developing students’ life and work skills for internships and employment through partnerships with local businesses, it was part of a social action programme.

Lee Bell, headteacher at Saltersgate Infant School, said he hoped it would the start of a long-term relationship between his school and Harrison College, a specialist provider of education to young people aged 16-25 with autism and other learning needs.

“The Harrison College students have been great, they’ve done all sorts for us, we can’t thank them enough,” said Mr Bell.

“It wasn’t just a task for them, they really engaged with the project and wanted a good outcome for our school. They came with drawings and once the work was complete and they could see the children in the space it made it real for them.

“They engaged with our children so we have not only benefited from what they have created but the older students have also been role models for the younger ones.”

Mr Bell added: “We wanted somewhere for the children to go pond-dipping and even though the ponds are just made out of old tyres they are already alive with frogs.”

Principal of Harrison College, Gemma Peebles, said the project was an ideal opportunity for the students to learn and progress a project through to completion.

She said: “We are grateful to Saltersgate Infant School for the opportunity to develop their outdoor space. We had 16 students working on it and they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and being able to provide these fun, educational activities for the children.”

Local businesses that supported the project by donating materials included Jewson, WeKanHire, Travis Perkins, Walkers Garden Centre, Ellgia and Crown Decorating Centre.

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