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Woodland oasis created for pupils in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 10 July 2019

The outdoor area was opened at the summer fair. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

The outdoor area was opened at the summer fair. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

Archant

To combat an increasingly "concrete world", members of the community came together to create a woodland oasis for primary school pupils to enjoy.

Headteacher Rayno Cloete, students with Mrs Campling. Picture: Andrew J Ruff PhotosHeadteacher Rayno Cloete, students with Mrs Campling. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

Staff parents and children joined forces to cultivate a green space at St Aidan's Catholic Primary Academy, Benton Road, Ilford.

The 'wonderful cake' was baked for the event. Picture: Andrew J Ruff PhotosThe 'wonderful cake' was baked for the event. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

The students were consulted on what they wanted in their space and then everyone got to work to make it happen.

Pupils can pray, think and even have lessons in the space. Picture: Andrew J Ruff PhotosPupils can pray, think and even have lessons in the space. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

Deputy head Victoria Campling said the woodland was a big community project and money was raised through a number of events throughout the year.

Pupils explored the new space. Picture: Andrew J Ruff PhotosPupils explored the new space. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

Tesco was also a big help and did all the digging out for the space as well as contributing to raffle prizes.

The woodland offered shady coverage on a sunny day. Picture: Andrew J Ruff PhotosThe woodland offered shady coverage on a sunny day. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

"The woodland area was created to give our children a bit of green space - it is a very concrete world," she said.

The space will be decked out with beanbag using the money raised at the school fair. Picture: Andrew J Ruff PhotosThe space will be decked out with beanbag using the money raised at the school fair. Picture: Andrew J Ruff Photos

"We have a plant area where they are growing things and the children are responsible for looking after it.

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"It is also a calm reflection space and prayer space and it can be used for outdoor lessons - there have already been English lessons out there. "

The school opened the outdoor area at its summer fair and extra money made at the fete will be spent on decking it out.

"It has taken most of the year to put together," she added.

"We are still planning on laying some shingles and bringing in some giant beanbags - the last one was the wish of some of the pupils.

"The school is doing well and improving and the space will be great for pupils to enjoy.

"The community really came together to make it happen and I want to say a big thank you to all the businesses that made it possible."

Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, High Street, Barkingside, also helped the effort by donating spa voucher for fete prizes and Mrs Kajanthan baked a yummy cake to celebrate.

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