The Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA) of Elm Park Primary School, with the support of Winterbourne FC, our local RunTogether (England Athletics) group and The Greenfield Club are raising funds for a 400m all-weather running track and all-purpose outdoor classroom at Elm Park Primary School to benefit our school children and community groups.
The PTFA are spearheading this initiative to benefit our entire community. Our vision (and fundraising!) began last year with our incredibly successful Frome Valley 10k and DW Fitness First School Run events. We have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of sports and raise funds for our project. We all share a passion for providing our children with the best start in life and providing our community fitness and well-being opportunities. By considering it as a community initiative we have already broadened the possibilities for the children of the school and our community as a whole. We are very proud of what we are working to achieve, and hope that you will give us all of your support!
As a state-funded primary school in South Gloucestershire, we are extremely lucky to have a large outdoor area. But without an all-weather surface or space, the grass field is under-utilised for much of the year. Our mission is to be able to provide a wonderful facility that can be used all year round by the school children and our community groups.
Why should you fund us?
Our Key Stage 2 children have started the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative this year which has had an immediate impact on their passion for exercise, personal development and attention spans. We desperately want to build on this enthusiasm, extending the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative to the rest of the school. Unfortunately, the current grounds are unsuitable for heavy use during wet weather. With the installation of all-climate facilities, we can enable our children and the wider community to stay physically active year round.
"Elm Park School Gate Running Mums (RunTogether) are proud to be supporting this project for the benefit of both the school and wider community. As well as running on the local roads and trails we use the school field throughout the warmer months as an alternative to mix things up a bit (paired/team running, intervals, experimenting with our pace, sprinting) and sometimes play a few games! An all weather running track and outdoor covered area will enable our group to continue with the variety of sessions we undertake throughout the year especially during those wetter and often muddier months." - Cathie Walsh, Club Leader.
What initially started as pipedream for a school facility has transformed into a shared goal for several local community groups. The project will provide facilities for not only children at the school, but for children and adults in the wider community, which is why it has ignited a sense of community spirit and passion for social inclusion - capturing the essence of the Winterbourne community. With the inclusion of the wider community, our project has evolved to include an outdoor class room. Originally intended as somewhere for children to put their bags out of the elements, it has evolved into an area for team training, outdoor learning and environmental groups and clubs.
"The planned upgrade of the facilities at Elm Park School in Winterbourne will be of great benefit to children within the village as well as the children at the school and Winterbourne Youth football club. We operate 7 youth sides with over 100 players in total. Land that is appropriate for us to use with adequate facilities are few and far between in the village and the planned improvements will provide us with a safe environment to use. Sports facilities are extremely valuable and all of the children in the school, will gain by increasing their exercise and the health benefits will be felt for years to come." - Warren Teague. Winterbourne FC Coach.
The outdoor classroom will be installed with disabled access to accommodate those that previously have not been able to access the fields at school events or to use it for their own social clubs.
This facility will be situated next to the beautiful wooded area of the field. This small area is used during the drier months for outdoor learning for children in the primary school. The addition of the classroom to the project has bought about a greater community interest in the project as it will serve as an area for environmental groups and interests and not solely those with a focus on fitness. We are really pleased that this aspect of the project has led to a further dimension of social inclusion, ensuring the area promotes social and environmental well-being as we well as health and exercise.
The project will have indirect benefits for the community as well. The local after school and holiday club provider, The Greenfield Club, serves many local primary schools and makes use of the grassy field during good weather. Should our project be successful, they will also be able to offer outdoor play opportunities all-year-round. For many parents, quality childcare can be difficult to find, but knowing that their children will be able to take advantage of outdoor play year-round will be a wonderful enhancement.
"The Greenfield Club is a long established charity delivering quality childcare to over one hundred families from Winterbourne and the surrounding areas.
The Club has always enjoyed the benefit of using the school field, and the outside area has no doubt contributed towards our Outstanding Ofsted care. Children who attend the Club's Breakfast, After School and Holiday Club come from not only Elm Park Primary but many other local schools including as Hambrook, St Michael's and Silverhill.
The Club would benefit hugely from the proposed Sports track and outdoor classroom, as will each and every child who wishes to use the play space. The Club fully supports the grant which will improve the quality of each child's physical development, especially over the Winter months when the muddy field limits physical play, as well as their mental health and wellbeing." - Sian Evans, Manager of the Greenfield Club.
With exercise and social engagement falling by the way side in recent years, this project is a great way of instilling these qualities and skills in our children from a young age. We believe that by encouraging our children to exercise regularly at primary school they are more likely to continue into and beyond adolescence. The same applies to social engagement. Allowing the facilities to be used by wider community groups such as the football team, RunTogether (England Athletics) group and Greenfield Club, we believe that children and parents are more likely to join and engage in social groups. We are very proud of what we are working to achieve, and hope that you will give us all of your support!