Home Children and Young People Outdoor learning space at Kirkby CofE Primary School
Pupils from Kirkby CofE in their new outdoor space

Outdoor learning space at Kirkby CofE Primary School

by Jonathan Kearney

GMI Construction together with St Modwen has announced that it has made a donation to Kirkby C of E Primary School to facilitate the development of The Woodlands Project. The site is directly adjacent to the new retail development which is nearing completion in Kirkby town centre.

The Woodlands Project is being undertaken to restore a fantastic resource, which will enable not only the children attending Kirkby C of E School, but also children attending other primary schools in Kirkby, to have access to a safe outdoor environment.

Talking about the initiative Mair Hindmarsh Head Teacher at Kirkby C of E Primary School said: “The last year has been particularly difficult for everyone, but nationally, children and young people are experiencing a variety of issues which are impacting upon their mental health. We are providing a range of support within the school around mental health and wellbeing and The Woodlands Project is a further support project, providing children with a unique opportunity to engage with nature and improve their self-esteem.

By establishing solid, safe pathways, we will ensure that children with a physical disability will not be at any disadvantage and will be able to fully access the whole area.

The Nursery and Reception children love to be out digging and planting. They enjoy teddy bear picnics, easter egg hunts and trying to find mini beasts. The older children love to engage in den building, birdbox making, plant and wildlife identification, these are just some of the activities that the children will be able to undertake as soon as we have restored and undertaken the necessary repairs.”

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This is a fantastic initiative, enabling primary school children from across Kirkby to get involved and explore the great outdoors and all it has to offer. The outdoor space provides a wealth of learning opportunities for children of all ages and I look forward to seeing the woodland space completed and being used.”

GMI Divisional Managing Director Marc Banks also said: “GMI is committed to investing in the people and communities in which It operates as a way of giving something back socially and helping to support the health and wellbeing of young people everywhere. The Woodlands project is a fantastic initiative with the ability combine learning and engage with nature in a safe secure environment. We are delighted to be able to support this initiative”.

Also commenting Gareth Owen, Construction Manager St Modwen said: “St Modwen are delighted to support GMI to ensure that our developments not only provide great placemaking and improved amenities to the local area, but a commitment that our developments must provide tangible, positive support for the local community who have played an important role in making the development possible and a success.”

The new retail park development in Kirkby town centre features the construction of 94,000 sq ft of retail space including a new Morrison’s superstore, Home Bargains, drive-thru KFC restaurant, Taco Bell drive-thru restaurant, a petrol filling station, new retail / food outlets and car parking.