Outdoor science project at Grantham school receives £10,000 boost

A plan of the outdoor science classroom project at Amberate College in Grantham.
A plan of the outdoor science classroom project at Amberate College in Grantham.
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A Grantham special school has received £10,000 which means it can start on its project to build an outdoor science classroom.

Ambergate Sports College will build the classroom on an unused grassed section within the school grounds, converting the area into an outdoor learning space and natural science area for the pupils.

The money has come from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative, in association with the charity Groundwork, which saw grants raised from the 5p carrier bag levy being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

The Ambergate Outdoor Science Classroom Project will involve the installation of recycled rubber grass matting for disabled access, allowing students to meander around the cherry trees, and the creation of a none-slip decked outdoor classroom space with integrated seating and storage.

The learning space will be elevated above the ground with disabled access ramps. The decking will also feature rope balustrades with bamboo wind chimes to allow students to interact with the learning space.

A large canopy to shelter the seating will also be erected to make the facility all weather and a large standing chalkboard will be put up, with additional hand-held chalkboards which can be stored under the seating.

The project will have raised beds to add touch, smell and taste to the area, creating a sensory zone for pupils. A bird hide and feeder crafted from local timber will encourage pupil interaction with 
nature.

James Ellis, Principal at Ambergate Sports College, said: “We would like to thank Tesco and Groundworks for the fantastic opportunity to obtain this funding. It will allow us to install this superb outdoor learning facility for our pupils. This will enhance their learning, particularly in Science.”

Caroline Silke, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We have been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and the feedback has been brilliant.

“We can’t wait to see the money being put to use bringing these projects to life.

“Nominations for the next round of the initiative will open in April and we look forward to helping a further round of groups and projects bag their share of the bag charge fund.”

Voting ran in-store with customers choosing which organisation they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out. Tesco estimated that around eight million votes were cast in stores across the UK.

Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “This is money which will go directly back into the communities up and down the country creating places to meet people, be active, play or simply relax. This initiative is really putting something back into the local environment, transforming greenspaces and helping the community at a grass-roots level.”

Nominations and applications for the next round of Bags of Help funding will open on April 18. As well as applying direct, suggestions for projects can also be nominated by people living locally.