Sponsors of our “Dunston Goes Green” Project
Marriott, Metro Centre
IT Assist North East
T. Manners & Sons LTD
Friends of Dunston Hill
Since the school was opened in 2008 we have committed a huge amount of resources to create a fantastic environmental area to ensure that our pupils have access to green space in a safe and relaxing environment. The area has vegetable and flower beds, a small orchard, pond, fire pit and cosy corners for pupils to investigate and work in. Pupils plant beetroot, courgettes, herbs, lettuce, peas and radishes, which are sold to enable us to buy further resources for our environmental area. We believe that growing and nurturing our own produce is a great way to encourage our pupils to think about food and where it comes from.
We also have a well-established Forest School, in which pupils access a range of activities such as den building, growing, cooking in the fire pit etc. Forest School is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem and be successful through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. Children engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year, and in almost all weathers. They work with tools, learn boundaries of behaviour (both physical and social), play, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world. The Forest School concept originates from Denmark, and is aimed at pre-school children, where it was found that those who had attended then arrived at school with strong social and communication skills, having the ability to work in groups effectively, generally with high self-esteem and a confidence in their own abilities. These foundations helped out children raise their academic achievements.
In 2016 National Lottery (£10,000) and Community Foundation (£2,500) funding (successful bids) enabled us to build an outdoor classroom to further enhance the learning experience for our pupils in all weathers. Our aspirations to further develop our facility into a hub for our community was tainted due to budget constraints.
To address this Miss Briggs, our School Business Manager created the ‘Dunston Goes Green’ Project which had a fundraising target of £3,000 to purchase furniture, gardening equipment and a storage shed.
How we reached our target
Thirty-three local business were contacted to ask for their financial support. We would like to thank the ten companies that pledged funds which helped us to achieve our £3,000 target: Dunston Tyre Centre, Focal Point Photography, IT Assist, The Marriott Hotel, Revolution, T Manners, United Carlton, Valley Farm, Beehive OSC and RR Donnelly.
Our provision has provided our wider community with:
- a greater understanding of nature, recycling and the environment
- better chances in life by enhancing social skills, confidence and sense of community
- brought families closer together through increased Family Forest School activities: gardening club, Dads and Lads, litter picking, Tiny Tribes holiday club, Family Learning Workshops.
Also a special thank you to our Extended School Co-ordinator/ Forest School Leader Mrs Cox who has ensured that the delivery of our project has been a great success.