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Thursday, 19 December 2013

School after Eco Pod

The economic climate over the past few years has seen reduced investment in schools. Fortunately, our local school continue to plough on to improve the facilities for our local children, and the Parents Friends Association (PFA) are not deterred by the hard work this takes in fundraising.

click image to enlarge
The Milford on Sea C.E Primary School Academy Trust is currently in planning with New Forest District Council for a new outdoor classroom (to be known as the Eco Pod), which will see a classroom emerge through the conversion of a recycled shipping container.
The estimated cost is around £16,000 without the add-on ideas, to date they have raised have approximately £8,000 - so still a bit to go!  The Parents Friends Association have raised money by holding summer/winter fairs for the school & village community, school children's disco & movie night, adult quiz night, pamper night & cookery demonstration evening and have more events planned.

The front of the classroom will have bi-fold doors, giving it an open-feel and the sides will consist of recycled habitat panels for nesting birds and other habitat. Inside, there will be desks for the children to work from and the outside will be decked and professionally landscaped to complement the existing school grounds, including the school garden and nature reserve.

However, now due to budget restraints, they are not going to do the grass roof. Instead their idea is to use re-claimed car tyres and grow plants out of them.
The habitat panels for the side panel they hope to make at school with the help of the older children. Ever creative and ambitious the project team aim to have lots of add on ideas such as a: Weather station measuring rainfall for the children to record data and create statistics, Solar panels to power the Pod, Water butts to collect rainfall to use within the school garden, Insect nesting glass fronted boxes, Bird feeding station/bath, Bat boxes, Glass tanks for frog sporn/pond life from the existing pond, to be used under microscopes so the children can watch and take pictures of development, Hedgehog hibernation boxes, Ants in glass box and Flat stones outside to see what nests under them.
Phew, that is quite a list!
This is an exciting, innovative and interactive opportunity for the children to experience hands-on learning, while giving teachers the opportunity to engage pupils in a fun learning environment across many aspects of the curriculum.
It will be completed in stages with phase one, including the groundworks, the installation of the container and the habitat side panels to be completed as soon as planning is granted. The school has been fundraising for these elements for the last two academic years.
However, the bi-fold doors, decking and landscaping will be implemented in phase two once potential funding or further school fundraising has been achieved.
The school team have found it a slow process getting the idea together and through planning but hopefully the end is in sight, as they are expecting a planning decision before the year end, and they can then can then crack on!
If you would like to make a donation towards the remaining £8000 required, however small or large, please e-mail me at:, or should you prefer, e-mail: Linda Scott, chair of the Parents Friends Association (PFA) at:, she can also tell you more about this exciting project.

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