Mon, 20 Feb 2017
THATCHAM Park Primary School has unveiled an outdoor stage and amphitheatre which can accommodate at least 60 children.
The facility aims to promote interaction and learning and parents played their part in getting it funded.
Pupils can also show off their musical talents, as instruments have been provided to allow them to accompany events. A smaller area with a storyteller chair and seating for smaller group work has also been built in.
The project was half-funded by the school’s parent teacher association (PTA) with the rest coming from the Big Lottery Fund. The bulk of the money was raised at the school’s summer and Christmas fairs.
PTA member Jane Emerson said the school had wanted to rejuvenate the main playground and offer the children the opportunity to be creative and stimulate learning.
She said: “There was extensive consultation with the children and a number of ideas were put forward, of which this outdoor stage and learning area was one.
“This we hope will be the first of many mini projects the PTA will work towards for the benefit of the whole school.”
Mrs Emerson said that, with school budgets being squeezed, PTAs were becoming more important in fundraising.
Indeed, in recent years Thatcham Park parents had provided £5,000 of new books in the library, football kits, subsidised school trips, and £10,000-worth of laptops, among other things.
“We provide support to teachers and administrators, and work hard to create a caring and supportive atmosphere in the school,” Mrs Emerson said.
Headteacher Alison Webster said: “It has been a joy and privilege to work with Jane and the PTA to raise this phenomenal amount of money to support the provision of outdoor learning accessible by the whole age range of the school family.
“It is a part of a long-term project which we hope to add to over the years, to enrich and enhance the education for all.
“As a school we are so fortunate to have the support of an active and effective PTA whose dogged determination to raise money to enhance the learning and experiences of all, in addition to providing a range of social activities for our community, means that it is a win-win all round.
“We are forever in their debt and grateful for all they contribute to the life of our school family.”