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Pupils and parents push Norwich primary field project on at big dig

PUBLISHED: 08:02 01 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:03 01 March 2017

Kleo Nuule, ten, left, and Riley Marrison, 11, add turf to their grass garden 'sofa' as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kleo Nuule, ten, left, and Riley Marrison, 11, add turf to their grass garden 'sofa' as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Spades were in hand and welly boots on foot as teachers, parents and pupils pushed on with a school improvement project.

Courtney Booty, ten, and Noa Wilkinson, ten, water some willow they have planted as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCourtney Booty, ten, and Noa Wilkinson, ten, water some willow they have planted as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Last year, Wensum Junior School was awarded £12,000 through Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which sees the supermarket donate the five pence plastic bag charge to community initiatives.

Working with Goldcrest Outdoor Education, the school submitted a bid to revamp its field, by building a pond, horticulture area, community orchard, forest school and chicken coop.

Though some of the work on the pond was started during half term, on Tuesday, over morning and afternoon sessions, parents, pupils and teachers took part in a Big Dig to push the project along.

Peter Hubery, deputy headteacher at the school, said he was “staggered” at the amount the school received.

Eleven-year-olds, Gracie Mayes, Jayden Woolven, centre, and Tom Piercy, help to dig out the pond as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEleven-year-olds, Gracie Mayes, Jayden Woolven, centre, and Tom Piercy, help to dig out the pond as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It is a huge sum of money and it’s great for us,” he said.

“The whole area will be such a good teaching resource for us, and the kids have really enjoyed working outside on it.

“Today’s Big Dig has been a chance to get everybody to play even just a small part - obviously not everyone can take part in the bigger work, but they can all be involved.”

He said the pond - which will include a dipping platform - will be tiered, allowing different types of wildlife and plants to spring into life at the various levels.

Eleven-year-olds, Gracie Mayes, Jayden Woolven, centre, and Tom Piercy, help to dig out the pond as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEleven-year-olds, Gracie Mayes, Jayden Woolven, centre, and Tom Piercy, help to dig out the pond as part of the Wensum Junior School's Big Dig to develop their school field. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Though the pond and trees will come first, further down the line a poly tunnel and area for chickens will be added.

The field, which will also include a story-telling circle and fire pit, will act as an outdoor classroom for pupils.

The funds have to be spent by November, though Mr Hubery said the school hopes to have most of the work done by the summer holidays.

He said the project would, eventually, benefit other schools in the area and the wider community.

To keep up to date with what’s going on with the project, please visit www.wensumjunior.co.uk
• Do you have an education story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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