School bids for grant funding to thrive in nature

14th April 2022| In the news

St Paul’s School, in Leamington, is in the running to receive a £10,000 grant that will allow it to improve its outdoor spaces so that children can practice the Thrive Approach in nature. This article was originally posted on Warwickshire World on April 8 and is available to view here.

A Leamington primary school has been shortlisted to receive a £10,000 grant which could lead to its pond and nature area being revamped and revitalised.

St Paul’s School, in Upper Holly Walk, now needs people’s votes for the project to receive the money from Severn Trent’s Community Fund grant.

Rachel Bowcutt, co-chair of the school’s PTA, said: “Sadly while St Paul’s does have a pond in the grounds, most current pupils do not even know it exists. “It has a ripped lining it is overgrown and unloved and therefore no longer used. Next to the pond is a large open area which was previously used as an outdoor classroom and sensory area. This too has become overgrown and dangerous in places. With the help of this grant, we would like to make our pond and surrounding area thrive again.”

The application talked about the potential environmental benefits of the new pond and nature area including attracting wildlife, increasing biodiversity and storing carbon. Huge emphasis was also put on the educational and sensory opportunities it will provide to both pupils and staff.

St Paul’s currently has 330 pupils between the age of four and 11. Caroline Newell, interim headteacher at the school, said: “We practice the Thrive Approach in school as a way of supporting children's development and mental health and a fundamental part of this approach is the belief that spending time surrounded in nature can help our children’s emotional wellbeing. The sensory nature garden and pond will be a beautiful, calm space for both pupils and staff to think and reflect.”

Voting opened on April 1 and will be live for three weeks until midnight on Sunday April 24.

Foundry Wood in Princes Drive has also been shortlisted for a Bronze award to receive £5,000 from Severn Trent.

Everyone living in Leamington and Warwick is eligible to vote for the two projects.

The story also featured in the Leamington Observer. Read the article here.

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