Spires open new outdoor classroom

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SPIRES Integrated Primary School in Magherafelt recently held a fun night as part of the official opening of their new outdoor classroom.

The school received £10,000 from the Big Lottery Awards for All programme, which contributed greatly towards the cost of the project.

In addition to this, money was obtained from the tireless fund raising efforts of our Parents’ Community and also generous donations from local groups and businesses.

Mrs Joan Bell, Principal said “The school is situated on a beautiful site with a large grass area behind the building. We were very eager to utilise this space and to bring teaching and learning outdoors.”

John Murtagh, Environmental Projects Officer at Magherafelt District Council, involved the school in a project that had been established between the Council and Network Personnel.

As a result the school received assistance from a number of workmen, who dug out and prepared the area under the expertise and guidance of Mr Brian Mc Alynn. Planting was sourced from Laurel Garden Centre, who also provided advice and support.

Mrs Bell said that health and fitness form an integral part of the curriculum and the Outdoor Classroom will provide physical, creative and stimulating experiences for the children. She stated that the school is extremely grateful to the Big Lottery Awards for All programme as all pupils will benefit immensely from this award and she thanked Mrs Cathy Murray for completing and forwarding the application.

She would like to thank all those involved in the project and those who have made a donation, in particular; Laurel Garden Centre; The Magherafelt Trustees; Cunningham Covers; Black’s Quarry; The Committee; Ms Jayne Niblock; The pupils who designed the area; O’Rourke Playground Company; Magherafelt District Council and Network Personnel.

The Chair of the Board of Governors, Mr Jonathan Payne said “On behalf of the entire Board of Governors, I would congratulate everyone involved in this fantastic project that will enhance the learning experience of all of our pupils for many generations to come.”