Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

Wanstead Church School PTA is raising funds to create a reflection/sensory garden and outdoor classroom that will be fully accessible by pupils of all abilities and needs.

Our school has an increasing proportion of pupils with SEMH needs (Social, Emotional & Mental Health) and it is essential that we provide the necessary support for these children. This garden will help us to provide a more inclusive outside environment for these pupils. An outdoor classroom will provide an additional learning space for all our children. The school was recently awarded ‘Outstanding’ in an Ofsted report, which noted that “Playtime is a happy place where pupils play well together despite the limited space. “ We would love to increase this limited space by maximising every inch of playground available to us, and this garden would do that!

Redbridge is the 13th largest London borough, and some children join us who are new to the area and can be from challenged social backgrounds. We have already installed a friendship bench in our infants’ playground to ensure these children have a positive place to sit with a new friend, but would like to do more. An attractive area that engages all the children is needed to address increasingly poor social and communication skills which are known to be a barrier to learning.

Our primary objective is to provide our pupils with a safe, comfortable and visually-appealing quiet area in the playground where the children can take time out to order their thoughts, reflect on friendships and their learning, talk with a teacher or just be themselves.

Wheelchair accessibility is also a must, with a wide internal path fully navigable, and raised planters accessible to those in wheelchairs - this will be a garden that is future-proof for pupils of all abilities.

It will be created using raised timber planters and artificial grass in an currently inaccessible and unsightly corner of the playground. It will have seating all the way round, enabling it to be used as an outdoor classroom, and pupils will also be able to volunteer with the gardening. A range of plants will stimulate all the senses and we expect science and biology classes to take on a new meaning when taught amidst a natural setting. We believe that this will enhance learning, increasing pupils’ motivation and help their wellbeing.

In addition to the above, the garden will also serve as a memorial to Wanstead’s much loved and sadly departed lollipop man, Derek Jarvis, whose crossing ‘patch’ was directly outside where our garden will be sited. Derek adored gardening and loved to help our children.

Our PTA have been hard at work raising money for the garden and we are well on the way to raising the total needed, thanks in no small part to our school community but also local businesses who have taken an interest in this project. An award from Aviva would enable us to fully fund the project and commence work in 2019 before the end of the current school year. Please vote for us and help make this project a reality!

Wanstead Church School PTA

Moment of Pride

Our school may be small, but we are mighty! We are proud to be supporting our school by fundraising for such an important project - more than ever, the mental health of our children is of the utmost importance. This is one of our most ambitious project to date but possibly the most worthwhile.

Location: Wanstead Place, London, UK