Youngsters at Haggonfields Primary School are enjoying new facilities thanks to a decision by the local authority to let a previously disused building become their new Early Years Centre.
Staff say they are grateful for the opportunity to repurpose the centre, which is alongside the primary school, into a fantastic learning environment for its younger children.
Elaine Grierson is Co Head of School and Early Years Lead at Haggonfields Primary School, located in Rhodesia, and said the new space has benefitted the whole school. “It was fantastic when we heard that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) building was accessible for our use. We were eager to transform the building into a facility to meet the needs of the pupils at Haggonfields. Following a lot of hands-on work over the school holidays we are delighted that pupils are now able to access a free flow indoor outdoor learning environment dedicated to their needs.”
The new centre offers classroom space, outdoor play and a woodland area, and enhances opportunities for staff to tailor support for every child, says Elaine. “The outdoors offers so much potential, and staff have enhanced the curriculum to engage interest and exploration, in generously spaced surroundings. There are still areas that can be developed, -but already pupils are showing their ownership and are keen to take responsibility for the care of the environment.”
The new centre has also freed up space in the school for older year groups, who have also seen a transformation in their own classrooms. Chris Moodie is CEO of The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Multi-Academy Trust and said, “The new early years centre at Haggonfields has provided us with a wonderful opportunity. We know that the first years of a child’s education are critically important, and we can now provide a very high quality environment in which they can learn, grow and develop the skills they need to succeed as they progress. I’d like to thank the local authority for recognising the opportunity that this building presented for the school, and for making sure that the community, and its youngest members benefit.”
Jane Godley is Head of School and says that pupils are thriving in their new space. “Walking into the building you see that pupils are all learning purposefully and enjoying new opportunities, including their interactive physical area which promotes problem solving and creative thinking. They love the larger and more developed water area too!
“We are thrilled at the expansion of our EYFS, but we do see this as only the beginning of our journey. There is now more opportunity to expand the involvement of the community in school and get to know those who are new to the school before starting. We are so proud of the centre and would welcome families to take a look at the transformation for themselves and see children learning and thriving in their new and richly resourced environment.”