Saturday, 18 September 2021

New school play area to educate

AN OUTDOOR play area is now in use at a school in Sonning Common.

AN OUTDOOR play area is now in use at a school in Sonning Common.

A “mud kitchen” has been built in the grounds of Bishopswood Special School, off Grove Road.

The school’s site manager Andy Parry built it in his spare time meaning there was no cost to the school for materials or installation.

The area surrounding the kitchen was decorated with artwork done by professional illustrator and volunteer Phil Burrows, of Boston Road, Henley.

Mr Parry, who has worked at the school since 2002, said: “It’s made from finished construction grade timbers — that’s so it does not present splinters. It also has rounded edges.

“I built it on site and that took about a day and there was another day-and-a-half to realign the fence so all in all it took about three days.”

Mr Burrows, who has volunteered at the school for a year, said: “The design just came out of my head so there is no particular theme but I chose colourful and dramatic to help stimulate the kids.

“The ‘kitchen’ gives them a chance to use their motor control and  co-ordination skills. It’s fun but it has an educational base to it.”

The school’s headteacher Janet Kellett asked Mr Parry to build something robust. It is about 2m long and contains three bowls which can be filled with water.

Mrs Kellett said: “We’ve dug out a bit of land so we could put wood chipping down around it so it means we can drop things.”

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