Wasteland into Wonderland

The transformation was made possible thanks to parent and fundraiser Chloe Brown who raised more than £21,000

24/01/2019

Wickhambreaux School turns Wasteland into Wonderland

Wickhambreaux Church of England Primary School’s Wasteland to Wonderland project has been blessed by The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover.

The transformation was made possible thanks to parent and fundraiser Chloe Brown who raised more than £21,000.

Her daughter, who sometimes felt overwhelmed in a busy playground, was the inspiration for the project which began in April 2018. It was completed by Christmas.

Chloe said: “There was nothing here before, it was just a waste site. There is the large playground out the front but no quiet space to play. It’s brought all the children together and the adults as well.

“We cleared it together and many of us helped to create different parts of it such as the gazebo and the bird feeders. It gives us a real sense of community and even at half-term we often pop in and do a bit of gardening.”

As well as being a play area, the school’s wonderland gives pupils the chance to learn about wildlife and science and the opportunity to have lessons outside.

Bishop Trevor joined the children, staff and friends of the school in the snow and led the blessing. He said: “We’re here to say thank you for such a lot of hard work from such a lot of people which gives us such a lot of space to enjoy.”

He asked pupils what their favourite things about the new wonderland were. Answers included the new tunnel, the dungeon, bandstand, view of the river, snow and Digby the rabbit.

Building work has also recently been completed at the school giving a staff room, conservatory and additional rooms and storage space.

Wickhambreaux Church of England Primary School Headteacher, Ann Campling, said: “The wonderland has given the children about a third more space with woodland, a view of the river and we have also created a prayer space with the new willow den.

“The whole garden gives the children a place to explore and socialise and now we have Digby the rabbit too who helps those who are a little shy to have a bit more confidence by caring for him.

“Chloe had the vision for the project and galvanised everyone and really pulled it up by its bootstraps, and we absolutely love what she and the team of volunteers have done.”

Picture caption: The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, Headteacher Ann Campling and fundraiser Chloe Brown