Read how the children in Brereton Primary’s School Council converted a disused area of the school grounds into a quiet, reflective space.
Children in the School Council began by completing a map of the school highlighting areas they particularly liked or didn’t. They were most interested in a pond area which had not been used in over 10 years and wondered if more could be made of this area.
The children talked to their peers about how the space could be developed as they felt it was important to hear the views of the wider pupil voice. The children were most moved by others with additional social or emotional needs who said they struggled with the lack of a quiet space to access at breaks and lunchtimes. The school had grown considerably over the last few years and along with it the noise!
The School Council visited a local specialist school to get some ideas on how they might develop the pond area into an effective quiet space. They decided to convert the pond area into a sensory garden, collaborated with adults on the design, and sought support for the project by addressing a number of groups within the community. They spoke to councillors, wrote an open letter for the school newsletter and wrote to local businesses. The children’s motivation was particularly boosted when they secured a £300 donation from a local building firm!
The children faced a number of challenges along the way, including a two month wait for a mini digger! Newts were also found in the area which was exciting but required further research and effort to re-establish them in a new environment. The children worked as a team to make a new plan and were shocked at how long things can take in reality.
The children took an active role in the physical work required in redesigning the area as part of ‘The Big Help Out’.
‘The team, particularly the older children, developed skills such as leadership skills, sharing responsibility and learning how to work together.’ -Deputy Head Teacher
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