We are the Friends of St John’s Church of England Primary School in Digswell, the School PTA. Our school has 230 children and 30 staff and is at the heart of a village community near Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.
In 2018, we launched the Our W.O.R.L.D project at the school, to focus on “Wellbeing Outdoors through Reflecting, Learning and Doing”.
Our children have embraced this theme and all it means – caring about the environment, learning about wildlife and getting outside. In January 2019, we were awarded £1000 from the Aviva Community Fund. We used this to transform an area of wasteland at the school into a wellness and sensory garden with flowers, vegetable beds and a chit-chat and reflection area. Nothing compares to the looks on the children’s faces when they harvested their first potatoes a few months ago!
Unfortunately, at the beginning of the school year, three main parts of the school’s playground equipment were declared unsafe. The slide, the climbing wall and a small play structure are all now wrapped in tape, ready for removal.
The friends of St John’s fundraise all year to support school causes, and to run events for the children. These community events and parental contributions make a significant difference but our playground fundraising effort will take some extra support. That’s why we’re asking for your help to get this major project off the ground, ready for September 2020.
With your support, we will create an Our WORLD playground that is:
- Eco-friendly – With recycled and/or recyclable plastic; non-toxic paints; sustainable wood and long-lasting metals that won’t corrode.
- Sensory-sensitive – With inclusive play equipment with musical, rhythmic and tactile elements, so a child who might not use monkey bars can enjoy playtime through musical instruments, or a child who might find a play structure overwhelming can find comfort in a tactile tunnel.
- Fun! – Your money will pay for playground markings and equipment like a new climbing frame and climbing wall, a multi-use games area and a low wooden obstacle course, to replace what we have lost.
“I would like the new playground at St John’s to be Eco-friendly because it’s really important to our future generations to save our beautiful planet.” – Eco-council chairperson (student).
“We want all the children to be able to play.” – Year 6 student.
Once this part of the Our W.O.R.L.D project is completed we will continue to share our space with the local community, by, for example, working with local organisations to hold community days with their members, including persons from vulnerable groups. This way, although we are a small school, our project would benefit not just the 230 children in our school, but would many more in our community.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you so much for your support!