Former Heacham Primary School head returns aged 98, for opening of new play area

A former head teacher returned to school at the age of 98 this week to celebrate the opening of a new play area for pupils.

Frederick Williman served as head of Heacham Primary School from 1947 to 1974. He came back on Tuesday to see its new, greener early years facility.

Mr Williman still lives within sight of the school and was invited by current head Louise Jackson to take part in the celebrations with the pupils.

The new area was desinged by Ms Jackson and site manager Norman Gillings and includes a story-telling castle, weaving frame, grass and wooded area. There is also a sand pit and raised planting beds along with an outdoor classroom, colour-changing fountain and a musical area.

'We feel we have created a sustainable, natural, safe play space that is very special for local children in their early years. We had extensive but under-used grounds and now we have a creative and special space for young children to be excited, to play and to learn - all at the same time,' said Ms Jackson.

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Not all the hardstanding area overseen by Mr Williman half a century ago has been lost - some of it remains for bikes and scooters.

The school, which has 135 pupils on the roll, was 'very fortunate' to receive county council funding for the new facility, said Ms Jackson.

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'The play area is one further step that sees family and community involvement in the school strengthen. It already offers family lunches and class activities, as well as workshops for parents to help understand their children's learning programmes,' she said.

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