Wednesday, 18 October 2017

'Learning zone' opens

'Learning zone' opens

A NEW £12,000 “learning zone” with a library and a cooking area has been opened at Kidmore End Primary School.

It was paid for with money raised by Kidmore End School Association and designed and built by the school’s handyman John Shaw.

Tom Fickling, editor of Oxford children’s comic The Phoenix, officially opened the building last week.

He cut a ribbon with the help of association chairwoman Sonia Matthews, whose children, Thomas, Oliver and Emily all attend the school.

During his visit Mr Fickling ran an assembly for the children in years three to six with one of the comic’s designers, Zack Simmonds-Hurn.

They were shown how to draw cartoons and encouraged to come up with ideas for heroes and villains.

Mrs Matthews said: “The session with the cartoonist was great. All the children had a piece of paper and were having a go. They loved it.

“My children came home and were drawing like I had never seen before so it made a big impression on them. A lot of the parents had not looked at comics before and thought it was very inspiring.”

The learning zone was built during the summer holiday and the start of the autumn term.

It was a classroom for year six children but was vacated when a new £200,000 building was finished at the start of the year. Now there is a library with new bookshelves, tables, chairs and reading areas that were designed by Incube, a company that specializes in bright library spaces and used the school colours of red, green and blue in the design.

The cooking area has an American diner theme and includes red and white seating, an American skyline poster and a jukebox.

The school now has a cookery club, which is part-funded by Tesco’s “Let’s Get Cooking” scheme.

It takes place in school time and every child attends over the year. The sessions are in addition to any cooking lessons that are part of the curriculum.

Headteacher Linda Hull said: “We are delighted with our new learning zone, which is already inspiring our children to read and love books.

“They asked us for cooking facilities and we were very pleased to work with the school association to make sure they had the opportunities they wanted to learn this key life-skill.

“We owe huge thanks to the school association team who raised essential funds last year and also to Mr Shaw who has created such a unique space for us.”

Mrs Matthews, who lives in Kidmore End, said: “The children absolutely love it.

“It is spacious enough for people to move around and all the furniture has been specially chosen by the head and teachers — it’s exciting without being overbearing.

“I think it’s a very big addition to the school and all the children and parents are impressed by it.”

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