Woodland Development Project

Brookburn Primary School PTA Registered Charity No. 1115383 ~ led by volunteers Brookburn Primary School Brookburn Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 9EH Email: friendsofbrookburn@gmail.com Facebook: BrookburnPrimarySchoolPTA Twitter: @brookburnPTA

 

23 February 2015

Dear Brookburn Parents/Carers

RE: Woodlands Development Project

Last year we all successfully transformed the “Dolphin Den” a neglected overgrown area of waste land in the grounds of our school, into an adventure playground for pupils. This project was a fantastic success, it took 13 days over 13 weeks to build and create, with contributions from every pupil, teacher and more than 200 parents and volunteers from the local community and businesses, such as Barclays Bank, Horse & Jockey, Southern Cemetery, Etchells newsagents, Little Adventurers, Chorlton Runners all at a cost of £11,500 which was fundraised by Brookburn PTA. The den is now a central part of the school day and has become a firm favourite with all the children, who get the opportunity to use it at least twice a week. Thank you very much for all your help. The story can be seen in pictures online from start to finish:

http://sheridanconservation.wordpress.com/gallery/brookden/

Our next plan is to develop the woodland area at the back of the school to further enrich the children’s learning and playing. A ‘Grounds for Learning’ study of six schools who piloted using woodlands within their grounds for play, found that the key well-being benefits of playing in the woods included:

Developing social skills and encouraging pro-social behaviours

Giving children times and places for ‘peace and quiet’ – away from the business and noise of regular school life

Fostering greater creativity in play

Helping children to enjoy nature: developing their understanding of nature, developing an emotional connection with nature and getting involved in stewardship of nature.

In addition other research shows that this kind of challenging play in a wild setting helps children to return to school better able to concentrate and apply themselves to learning.

The current plans for the woodlands are:

1) Consultancy fees to research learnings from other schools that have piloted using woodlands within or adjacent to their school grounds as play spaces – £600 per 4 days, which will incl. visits.

2) Fence off the pond, build a gate and mend the dipping bridge at the pond to bring the area into regular use as safety is the absolute priority – cost £3,900 for labour and materials.

3) Improve the condition of the area, remove all rubbish and large rubble from the area, clear the trees of plastic trunk protectors and any dead branches – cost approximately £500 for skip hire only as we are relying on children, parents and local volunteers to do the work.

4) Develop the area, build a sheltered station for staff to host the ‘help point’ and ‘first aid station’ – cost approx. £1,000. Build a more formal outdoor classroom for 30 children with wooden seating and tarp cover – cost approx. £1,000. Build a sheltered woodlands play structure following our learnings from other schools – cost approx. £3,000.

The total of the above plan is £10,000, we have to date raised £5,000 through our school events at the school and are looking for the rest of the funding and volunteers. We are hoping that in the future we can open up this space to the cluster of schools in Chorlton who do not have any access to outside woodland facilities.

How can you help, there are various ways that you could assist us:

Fundraise for our charity – if any of your are competing in a 10k or 5k race or any other adventures, we have a fundraising page: http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/brookburnpta (Gift Aid is something that we are looking to set up, so if you can help with setting up let us know!)

It may be that your place of work may have already budgeted for community projects such as ours as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. May places of work encourage you and your colleagues to volunteer for a few days a year! Many companies are actively looking for community project to get involved with. Please ask your boss! It may also be that your place of work match funds you working for a charity, i.e. volunteer on a stall at our events and your work would match fund what your raise

Join us in our volunteer days to develop and improve the area, as per our previous year we are looking for volunteers to helps us for morning (9/10-12.30) or afternoon sessions (1-3.30pm), we can accommodate up to 6-8 volunteers per session. All sessions will be led by Andy Sheridan – volunteer lead and currently 6 days are: Wed 4, Tues 10, Thurs 19, Wed 25, Thurs 26 March and Wed 1 April 2015, there are still 3 other dates to be confirmed for the summer term. For you to sign up for the volunteer days, please copy this link into your internet browser: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f094aa9ae2ba6f49-woodlands

Social Media – details for this project will be put on Social Media – Facebook & Twitter, if you follow us or like our page, please share our tweets and status updates to spread the word.

What are the PTA and school doing to raise further £5k funds:

We are contacting local banks, estate agents, building merchants (to acquire materials) and businesses like Siemens, Kelloggs to get help with the fundraising and volunteers.

School will be applying for various grants to also help with raising funds.

If you have any ideas or can approach any businesses for help please do get in touch.

We can only make this project happen with your help, so we hope you can help us to raise an extra £5k and acquire volunteers for the given 6 days. Please tell your friends, family and neighbours!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at friendsofbrookburn@gmail.com and/or Firouz on her mobile 07974 680875.

Yours sincerely

Firouz Thompson and the core PTA Team Brookburn Primary School PTA Registered Charity

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