Pupils unveil their Secret Garden at Saltford Primary School

Published on: 30 Mar 2017

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It’s called the Secret Garden, but last month the wraps came off a newly created outdoor space at Saltford C of E Primary School.

Pupils and staff welcomed Rev Daile Wilshire, governors and PTA members to see Councillor Emma Dixon, who provided funding for the scheme from her B&NES ward councillor’s initiative money, cut the ribbon on March 17.

Designed around ideas from the children, the plan for the garden was drawn up by teacher Neil Baker. Work began in the summer holidays with staff, parents, volunteers and children overseen by teacher Ruth Hayden’s husband Nick.

The garden now features an outdoor stage, sculptures, an arts and crafts area, wildlife corner and even a “music alley” with chimes.

Councillor Dixon, also a parent at the school, said she was “honoured” to be asked to open the garden and that all the work had created a “really special place”.

Her donation enabled the school to purchase a carved bench and animal sculptures, which were created by sculptor Andy O’Neill using a lime tree felled during building work at the site. The PTA’s contribution covered a number of features, including wood for the stage and pergola and materials for children to make items for the garden during Arts Week.

Headteacher Dawn Elliott said: “We were very grateful when the local authority agreed to allow the school to create a garden on land adjacent to the school.

“I hope that children for many years to come will enjoy watching the garden grow and mature.”

Mrs Hayden, the school’s arts and music leader, added: “This project is forming part of our Artsmark Gold award.

“Everyone has worked very hard on this project and we are looking forward to using the garden for outside learning, performing on the stage and to hold some of our assemblies.”

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