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Volunteers pull together to boost outdoor area for Gresham Village School and Nursery

PUBLISHED: 15:49 12 May 2014

Volunteers helping to build a gazebo at Gresham Village School and Nursery. Left, head teacher Marc Goodliffe with pupils and volunteers.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Volunteers helping to build a gazebo at Gresham Village School and Nursery. Left, head teacher Marc Goodliffe with pupils and volunteers. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

The headteacher of a village school said he felt proud after children, parents and teachers pulled together to improve an outdoor area.

Gresham Village School and Nursery, near Cromer, held the DIY SOS-style Volunteer and Build It Day on its site at the weekend.

A gazebo was enhanced and turned into an outdoor classroom and lunchtime clubhouse; a chicken run, new garden shed were built; and monkey bars were put up.

The hard work was completed by about 25 people, including two volunteers from Tesco in Sheringham, on Saturday and cost £1,000.

All the jobs were suggestions from children at the school, who wrote to headteacher Marc Goodliffe about their ideas, earlier this year.

He said: “We have got projects at the school that we want to get on with and our parents have got skills and want to make the school a better place. The build it day also helps create a community because people get to know each other.

“We got a lot done and it was really exciting. The atmosphere was lovely. It was lovely working together trying to achieve something. It was a good way of getting something done.

“We have been wanting to work on that area for a long time and have achieved a lot with a limited budget.”

The gazebo was turned into a wooden outdoor classroom for lunchtime clubs, all led by the children.

Current clubs include boys dance, art and storytelling but the space will allow for more. Groups were previously held inside the school or outdoors, weather permitting.

Children also grow vegetables and flowers, some of which are sold or taken to the summer horticultural show at Gresham.

“The children were delighted with the work. They had to do a double take. I was very proud to be part of it,” Mr Goodliffe said.

He added the experience made the pupils feel “empowered” because they realised they could voice their opinions.

The 89-pupil school, which teaches three to 11-year-olds, held its first Volunteer and Build It Day in March this year when the early years outdoor area was improved.

Another similar day could be held in the autumn.

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