Pupils get room with a view for learning

There were a couple of hiccups along the way but pupils at Wicklewood Primary School, near Wymondham, finally got to open their new outdoor classroom.

The wooden, gazebo-like structure with bench seating all round will be used in a variety of ways, from teaching to outdoor theatre and even as a quiet place for children to sit at playtime.

It was designed and built by one of the parents Bruce Read who runs a garden design business with his wife Georgina.

He said it was quite a challenge because it was the first they had built on such a large scale.

'We had a picture in our heads how we thought it could look and we are really pleased with the result,' he said. 'It is completely bespoke so we could design it as we went along such as asking how the staff wanted the seating or the roof to look like. I think I would quite like one myself now at home.'

The funds for the classroom were raised by the school's Friends committee over 18 months of events including a very successful summer ball. Further funds were donated by Waitrose through their community scheme in store where shoppers are given a token to put towards three different local projects every month.

Headteacher Sheila Greenacre said when she arrived at the school in April the fund-raising efforts were already in full swing.

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'The Friends raised an astonishing amount of money to provide this building for the school and we are really lucky to have a team like that when you see the results.

'It was a long road to plan the building with a few ups and downs along the way. We had to spend quite a long time with the fire department to make sure it was passed for safety and then when we got all the wood here in the summer holidays someone came in and stole it.

'But Mr Read and his team worked like troopers to get it done and it is finally ready for use.'

The classroom was officially opened by Friends chairman Marion Sully and pupils on the school council released balloons to cheers from the whole school.