Tuesday, 20 August 2019

School unveils new £30,000 minibus following fund-raising campaign

School unveils new £30,000 minibus following fund-raising campaign

GORING Primary School has unveiled a new minibus following a £30,000 fund-raising campaign by the parent-teacher association.

The 17-seater Peugeot arrived earlier this month and replaces a similar 12-year-old vehicle which was approaching the end of its working life.

It was breaking down more often and garages were finding it harder to find replacement parts as they had long been discontinued.

However, the school couldn’t afford a replacement from its own funds so would have had to stop organising trips without the PTA’s support.

The association began raising money about two years ago through events including the school’s annual summer fete, the Goring 10km run, discos, quiz nights and sales. Many parents’ employers contributed to the appeal. It hit its target following this year’s 10km in March, which attracted 1,200 runners despite the 2018 race being cancelled due to snow.

The bus will be used to take pupils to the Withymead nature reserve off Wallingford Road, where they enjoy weekly forest school sessions.

It will also take them on educational trips and to sporting and academic competitions around the country and is available for use by other schools in the Goring area.

Headteacher Angela Wheatcroft said: “We have a great relationship with the PTA and are very thankful for the incredible work they’ve put into raising the money.

“A lot of our activities wouldn’t happen without having a minibus – the other week we went to a sports event in Bristol, for example. It’s all about providing exciting, stimulating and educational activities on top of the basic curriculum. The children have known it was coming for some time but they’re really excited now it’s here and they keep asking when they’re going to have a ride in it.”

Penny Taylor, who chairs the PTA, said: “Hitting our target means that the school can take the children out on a range of trips and other things they wouldn't necessarily be doing so it means they can still enjoy activities outside of regular lessons.”

In recent years the association has helped to upgrade the school's laptops, install interactive whiteboards in classrooms and provide enough copies of study texts for each pupil to have their own.

The association will take a break over the summer holiday and its next fund-raising event will be the annual craft fair at Goring village hall on a date in November to be confirmed. It is now raising money for improvements to the school’s outdoor areas which are yet to be decided but could include new playground surfaces and markings.

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