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New classroom for school

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 13, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

  • The new outdoor garden lodge which is to be used as an outdoor classroom

  • Left, Hebe Swindail, aged 11, Harry Lycett, aged 10, Katharine Beverley, aged 11, and Joe Birkin, aged 10, outside the new garden lodge. Above, the lodge itself.

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OUTDOOR learning has become even more fun for a Staffordshire Moorlands school after £6,500 was raised for a new classroom.

Over the last few years members the Eco Club at St John's Primary School in Wetley Rocks has spent their time thinking of different ways trying help others.

They have knitted blankets for Romania; donated special drinking straws to purify water for children in Africa; raised funds to adopt acres of rainforest in Ecuador; supported a Chinese orphanage through the Cocoa charity; and dedicated fund-raising events to a specific chosen charity of the year. This year's is The Gingerbread Centre, a charity which supports families in crisis.

Last year the Eco Club started to think of a project they could take on which would enhance their own school environment and benefit every pupil.

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Deputy headteacher, Justin Clarke, said: "The children decided that it was time that, alongside all of their other fund-raising projects, they should consider a specific need of our school. They realised that we would all benefit from an outdoor learning environment.

"From that moment on we searched high and low for a suitable structure and were really excited when we found The Arctic Cabin company.

"They came out to the school, carried out a site survey and then gave us a very competitive quote.

"Then we went into full fund-raising mode and were thrilled to have been given very generous donations from our school PTA, the Eco Club and several other people.

"After raising £6,500 we were able to proceed and our beautiful outdoor classroom has been finally erected. The children are really thrilled with it and, once it has been fully sealed and varnished, can't wait to start using it.

"The Eco Club have christened it The Garden Lodge and we hope to arrange an official unveiling assembly as soon as possible. Outdoor learning has never been so much fun!"

Pupils have spoken of their delight with their new outdoor lodge. Katharine Beverley, aged 11, said: "This is a great opportunity and we're incredibly grateful to everybody who donated any amount of money to the construction of our Garden Lodge."

Hebe Swindail, aged 11, said: "The Garden Lodge is an amazing addition to our Millennium Garden as we love the outdoors and it will give us a place to have lessons there."

Joe Birkin, aged 10, said: "The Eco Club are very grateful to all those who have contributed because we know that all children in our school will benefit from The Garden Lodge."

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