Ringstead pupils ready for ball game fixtures thanks to new all-weather pitch
The pupils have a new games pitch, climbing wall and trim trail apparatus
Pupils at a north Northants village school are so proud of their new artificial turf games area that they have challenged other primary schools to friendly fixtures in football and netball.
Games were previously only possible in the summer when the grassed area wasn't too muddy but now the multipurpose area has boosted the sports available to students.
As well as the new ball games pitch Ringstead Church of England Primary School have had a climbing wall and trim trail installed to improve their physical activity during the school day.
Previously, pupils only had the playground and hall to exercise in but thanks to the school's backers, the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust, the equipment has expanded opportunities for PE lessons.
Headteacher Helen Roberts said: "We are really aware of the physical and mental wellbeing of our children and this can offer them a release for their energy by playing on this equipment.
"When they use their gross motor skills - improved balance and coordination - it improves their fine motor skills so their writing improves and in turn it improves their academic attainment."
Key Stage 2 Sports Crew members have been policing the area with users having to be on a rota due to its popularity with the 98 pupils.
According to Government guidance, school children should have 60 minutes of physical activity a day
In 2019, the school was awarded a gold School Games Mark, given to schools who offer sport and activities, to children of all abilities, to compete against fellow pupils and against other schools.
Pupils are eager to pit their skills in football, basketball and netball against other schools in the area.
Ms Roberts said: "We would like to have some friendlies against other schools but it is also for the community - if someone wanted a birthday party or a youth group wanted to use the facility that would be great - so please get in touch.
"In the past at school games events we were always the ones who got the best team spirit awards but now we have the space and the equipment to compete."
She added: "I'd like to thank the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust chief executive officer Duncan Mills and director of business and finance Lee Hughes for providing the funds, and Maxim Systems for installing the equipment."