Wellingborough school's refurbished garden a joy for pupils’ senses

A Wellingborough primary school garden has been transformed by the hard work of a group of teenagers.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 5:39 pm
Mr Simon Anderson and Mrs Sara Croot with some of the Year 5 pupils.

Redwell Primary School had been planning the restoration of a patch of overgrown land but had neither the personnel nor the money to start the project.

The plans for the outdoor sensory garden had been drawn up by inclusion support worker Sara Croot kept the garden blueprint in hope it could be used.

Designed within the garden were different zones to stimulate all the senses of sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing.

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Mr Simon Anderson and Mrs Sara Croot with some of the Year 5 pupils.

Luckily for the school, deputy headteacher and inclusion manager Simon Anderson’s father came to the rescue providing the volunteers, equipment and the fundraising skills.

Mr Anderson’s dad Nigel, who works for the National Citizen Service (NCS), suggested the school should apply for help from the scheme.

The National Citizen Service is a voluntary personal and social development programme for 15 to 17-year-olds which undertakes hands-on projects.

During the school holidays the NCS group of 19 teenagers took Mrs Croot’s plans and not only cleared the land but restored the flower beds, painted the shed and provided all the decoration.

The 'Touch' section of the garden

Mr Anderson said: “Mrs Croot had the plan and when my dad asked if we had any projects it was the perfect opportunity.

“She had a vision to include the diverse needs within the school.

“The young adults did the fundraising provided the wood, gravel, plants and flower beds.

“They painted the shed and even gave us the giant bean bags for seats.”

Nathan, 10, tests the wind chimes

Redwell Primary already has an indoor sensory room which Mrs Croot uses for her work with children with special educational needs and for pastoral care.

Mrs Croot said: “We focus on mental health and well-being so we will be able to use the new area as a time-out space and as a lunchtime Nurture Group.

“The pupils will carry out the maintenance of the garden but it will be open for all.”

Students will have access to the sensory garden under supervision to explore, draw, read or play games.

The school sits in large grounds

Some Year 5 pupils have been able to explore the garden.

Ten-year-olds Harry and Tayla said: “It’s much better than it used to be. We’re looking forward to doing all the activities.”

Mrs Croot added: “When I came and saw the garden was finished, well I’m not easily moved but I couldn’t believe it.

“They went above and beyond. It’s just fantastic and I’m so pleased.

“What was nice was the pleasure the young people from NCS got from knowing it was for children.

“I would like to thank the NCS team. They worked really hard and it wouldn’t have happened without their help.”

For more information about the NCS go to https://www.ncsyes.co.uk/.