15th Nov, 2019

£20,000 appeal launched to build better outdoor areas at Droitwich's Westlands First School

WESTLANDS First School has launched an appeal to raise £20,000 to resurface its nursery playground and provide much-needed equipment to help the children’s development.

And the drive is being backed by The Standard and the Droitwich Lions, which has already contributed £400 and has further support planned.

Deputy head Amanda Richards told The Standard: “Children should be able to go out there whenever they need to but at the moment that is not the case.”

Problems from the nearby pub when it was open led to drinkers using the school grounds as an extended beer garden.

“We would find broken glass and all sorts in the play area and we have also found needles and other drug papaphernalia there.”

Vandalism is also a problem so some of the funding would go towards higher fencing and security cameras.

“Children made some lovely bird feeders before the Easter holidays and then put them up in the reception playground.

“But when we came back they found they had been ripped down and smashed on the floor.

“To see the looks on their faces when they saw the damage to the things they had created was absolutely heart-breaking.”

Mrs Richards said the school was doing well and had substantial support from the parents who were rightly outraged over the bird feeders, graffiti and vandalism.

“The children thrive here but we could do so much more for them if we had the right environment.

“If pupils have a strong early years education, it provides an amazing springboard to Key Stages 1 and 2.

“It’s so important we get that right.”

During a recent inspection, Ofsted earmarked the areas as an issue which needed addressing as the current school curriculum demands ‘outdoor extensions to classrooms’, not just playgrounds.

They equip youngsters with crucial motor skills including moving and handling and balance. Children need to show they can climb, hop, skip and run and the areas play a big part in that. Literacy and maths can even be incorporated into activities.

Mrs Richards said: “It is a constant problem for us and it would mean so much if we could get it resolved.

“The school is a real hub here – it is at the centre of the estate and the beating heart of the community and to have new resurfaced play areas and equipment would make it even better.

“This has the potential to be a lovely school – the children on Westlands don’t have a lot and they deserve so much more, they really do.”

Mrs Richards appealed to anyone who could donate cash or any local tradespeople or suppliers who could give up their time or provide materials to make the work happen.

The school recently revamped its reception outdoor area and installed new equipment and part of the £20,000 would also help pay for more for that area as well.

Anyone who can help with the campaign should call the school office on 01905 772740.

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