SCHOOLCHILDREN have been enjoying using their new outdoor learning classroom and garden after it was redeveloped by a building company.

Site staff and contractors from Bellway’s Hatfield Grove and Priory Grange developments in Hatfield Peverel spent the summer holidays redeveloping the overgrown memorial, reflection garden and forest school areas at St Andrew’s Junior School in the village.

Following work, it was ready for the start of the new term in September.

Fencing between the two areas was removed to allow children to move between them, while weeds and dilapidated structures were cleared to make way for new activity areas, seating and planting.

The new memorial and reflection garden includes a pupil-designed mosaic and bench areas for reading and reflection, while the forest school area includes a fire pit, water area, stage seating, a mud kitchen with a sink, bug hotel, rope climbing and swings, and raised planting beds.

Braintree and Witham Times:

St Andrew’s headteacher Becky Black said: “We are very appreciative of this amazing project which has been led by Bellway and their associates.

“The outdoor classroom had fallen into disrepair and so the rejuvenation of this area, now named the Nature Base, has had an enormous impact on the learning of all of our children.

“Each half term, different year groups spend their afternoons learning outdoors with our deputy headteacher, Mrs Dutaut.

“Every session links to the national curriculum, providing experiential learning in a practical outdoor environment which improves their mental health and their self-esteem.

“So, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Bellway’s team who spent a very hot summer working on this project to make such a wonderful difference for our children.”