A NEW outdoor classroom at a Ponteland school is all so quiet.
Darras Hall First School has transformed an unused piece of derelict ground into a special area where pupils can find an alternative to the hustle and bustle of playtime.
And the Quiet Area is already making its mark as it won the best children’s project category in the county council’s LOVE Northumberland awards earlier this month.
The idea came about after a survey was conducted among the children to find out what they thought about their outside space, including their likes and dislikes and what they would want to be able to do that they could not at the time.
Suggestions were made in school and online, and the Year 3 classes used these to come up with some inspiring ideas which were incorporated into a final design for the new area.
Two parents have worked with the school throughout the process – Anita Foster from School Grounds North East and Keith Errington of Just Stumps Ltd.
And funds raised by the PTA along with contributions from local businesses have helped to transform the children’s ideas into a space the whole school community can enjoy.
Darras Hall First School Headteacher Peter Tincombe said: “This project to transform a section of derelict land has been a wonderful example of children, staff, parents and the community working together to produce an inspiring outcome and a facility which will add greatly to our work with children.
“I am particularly grateful to Mrs Foster, Mr Errington and Mr Hiles for their tireless efforts to complete this project.”
It received a prize of £250 for its victory in the LOVE Northumberland awards, which were presented by the Duchess of Northumberland.
She said: “It is superb to see the projects that involve young people who have won awards here as they represent the next generation of volunteers and environmental champions for our area.”
The school has also thanked the other businesses and organisations that contributed to the project.
They are as follows: Ponteland branches of Barclays Bank, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, Ponteland Town Council, Ponteland United Football Club, Major Family Law, Newcastle Airport, MAXHIRE Ltd (Brunswick and Morpeth), Holystone Skip Hire and Lintzford Garden Centre, Rowlands Gill.