Rocks Park Primary School in Uckfield is finding new ways to make use of its beautiful wooded grounds to teach children about the environment, and Uckfield business SLM Toyota is helping them on the way.
The company has secured a grant of £1,750 from the Toyota Fund for a Better Tomorrow and the money was presented to the school yesterday for investment in restoring and improving the existing pond area which is currently out of bounds.
During the summer holidays Will Hunt, whose son Freddie is in Year 1 at the school will be leading the project with help from other parents and advice from people he knows in landscaping.
The area around the pond will be cleared and decking overlooking it will be removed.
There are actually two separate ponds and a bridge will be made between them with railings both sides so the children can’t fall through.
From the bridge they will be able to lean over to do pond dipping with nets.
Around the ponds there will be a pebble barrier so the children can’t get too close.
Will said: “We want to make it a usable area for children but at the same time ensure it is safe.”
This is the second stage in a project to do more outside learning at Rocks Park. An outside classroom has already been built and the plan is to turn a piece of land between the pond and classroom into a garden – with areas included for mud play and digging.
The three areas will be linked by paths.
Rocks Park deputy headteacher Charlotte Rowland said reception class children would go into the area every day.
“What is wonderful about nature is that it changes throughout the year and there is always something different to look at.
“We need to embrace the world we live in. We need to educate children about the environment so they grow into responsible adults.”
Charlotte said grants like the one from SLM Toyota were imperative to enable projects like this to go ahead. Funding wouldn’t otherwise be available.
The cheque was presented by SLM Toyota Uckfield general manager Paul Hardwell, and marketing manager Mel Ball.
Paul said he only joined the company last week and he was pleased to see it so active in the community and able to help with such worthwhile projects.
Mel said it would be possible for SLM Toyota Uckfield to apply for another grant from the Toyota Fund next year with the possibility of making up to £2,000 available for another local project.
Earlier this year SLM Toyota Uckfield presented £1,800 from the fund to the Children’s Respite Trust. Read more here: SLM Toyota Uckfield presents £1,800 to Children’s Respite Trust.