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Outdoor addition at primary school

Ashington Town Council civic head Victor Bridges officially opens the polytunnel, watched by pupils and staff at the school and Coun Lynne Grimshaw.
Ashington Town Council civic head Victor Bridges officially opens the polytunnel, watched by pupils and staff at the school and Coun Lynne Grimshaw.

Bothal Primary School recently obtained a polytunnel to support its work with green-fingered schoolchildren.

It was purchased with support from Ashington Town Council and Bothal ward councillor Lynne Grimshaw.

The polytunnel provides an outdoor classroom for the school, in which the children are now thriving. Within the tunnel, there are raised beds – made from timber sleepers – where pupils are learning to grow flowers, as well as healthy and nutritious food.

It has its own timed and environment-friendly irrigation system, which means that the crop is always watered no matter the time of day.

Coun Grimshaw said: “We are delighted to support this excellent project, which will support out-of-school learning as well as assist in a number of subject areas within the curriculum.”

As part of the project, the school has revamped its existing wildlife pond, next to the tunnel, and created decking so the children can learn safely about local wildlife.

A sensory garden, with full wheelchair access, has also been created so that every pupil can enjoy and learn from the space.

Paul Mordue, who has led the project at the school, said: “The whole idea of the space is to get the children learning outside of the classroom.

“We are setting up a programme where food will be taken directly to the school kitchen and used in our daily menu, so the children can see where it comes from and how it contributes to a healthy and nutritious diet.”