Students turn into engineers and conservationists at Doncaster primary school

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College students and staff have joined forces with a primary school to create an inspirational outdoor learning environment for young pupils.

The community project, at Grange Lane Infant School, Rossington, is the third for students multi award-winning Harrison College who transformed the outdoor space with a shelter, signage, bug hotels and seating.

Harrison College, in Doncaster, prioritises preparation for employment within its study programme and the annual Community Action Project brings together many of the skills they have learned including leadership, teamwork and problem solving.

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During the week, a team of 25 students descended upon the infant school to overhaul and expanse of unused field to engage and inspire key stage one children, supported by the staff team from Harrison College along with Volunteer It Yourself and TCV.

College and primary school students help build forest schoolCollege and primary school students help build forest school
College and primary school students help build forest school

The young people were tasked with a range of small projects that they had to plan and manage to ensure the vision for a mud kitchen, tool bench, pond, seating area and signs was delivered upon.

Students learned how to use tools safely and recycled materials such as used pallets. They used their functional maths skills to measure and design the products, maximising the materials donated by Doncaster’s business community.

During the week, excited school pupils helped to paint trellis and work with some of the students from Harrison College.

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Louise Chappell, Headteacher at Grange Lane Infant School, said: “Our work with Harrison College has absolutely transformed our forest school provision. This has allowed us to extend its use from just an after-school club used by a few children to an intrinsic part of our school provision used by the whole school community.

The finished resultThe finished result
The finished result

“During the week, the conduct, enthusiasm and interaction of everyone was exemplary and our pupils loved working with them, which was evident in the celebratory ribbon cutting event. Thank you from everyone at Grange Lane and we look forward to working with the college in the future.”

Mike Peebles, chief commercial officer at Harrison College, said: “The annual Community Action Project is an important part of preparing our students for the world of work as they are working for a client and delivering on a clear project brief. None of the work would be possible without the fantastic support we received from local businesses, their response has been overwhelming positive and all the team at Harrison College thank them.”

Ardagh Group sponsored the project, which will continue to run in the new academic year and will contribute to the students achieving their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

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James Grant, plant director at Ardagh Group, visited the project during the week and said: “It is absolutely fantastic to see that our sponsorship and engagement with Harrison College has been so worthwhile and is promoting outdoor learning and supporting the school ethos.”

Materials and resources were donated by Jewson, Barratt Homes, Simplus PVC Recycling, Polypipe Building Products, Eurovia, Refurnish, David Wilson Homes and Johnstones Trade Paint.

At Harrison College the curriculum is employer led and is based around real life business projects, such as that completed at Grange Lane Infant School.

The college is keen to hear from businesses with challenges and projects for the students to solve.

Anyone who is interested in being part of the next group of projects should contact Mike Peebles, [email protected]

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