THE grand opening of a new sensory garden and outdoor learning area has taken place with children, staff and parents at Bradleys Both Community Primary School.

Work started on the new outdoor woodland area last week so it could be cleared and made use of for outdoor learning sessions throughout the year. It had become overgrown and clearing it and making use of the space had been the school community’s focus for the last year.

When the work got going the scale of the work unfolded and in total, 50 garden bags of wet leaves, two skips and two trailers full of garden waste were removed over a series of Garden Force weekends involving a huge effort by everyone.

Headteacher Barry Rogers said the new space's creation had been a whole school effort and everyone was thrilled with the result. He said: "In redeveloping the area the children shared new ideas for its use and the area has been improved as both a learning space as well as an additional space to spend break and lunchtimes. Planting areas have been created as well as reflection areas to sit and read or chat. One important area that the children wanted to create was a special wellbeing sensory garden where everyone could spend time in and use their senses to explore the outside world.

"The School Council held a donation day where everyone came dressed up and donated something special to contribute to the area. There were scarecrows, gnomes, flowers and many other garden themed outfits in school. The children’s donations ranged from sensory plants and bulbs to windmills, garden ornaments and windchimes. "

In addition, the children were fortunate enough to receive donations for the project from both Tesco and Morrisons community funds.

The whole project was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony carried out by members of the School Council. Children, parents and staff enjoyed visiting the area and looking at all the hard work that had been achieved.

Mr Rogers added: "A huge thanks must go to the Friends of Bradleys School parent association who have given up time at weekends and evenings to work on the area, in addition to fundraising for materials, planters and plants. The project has been a fantastic example of the whole school’s teamwork coming together. The children were so excited to explore the area and start to use it during the school day."