New school science garden unveiled
07:42 11 April 2014
Children at St Peter’s Primary School can now enjoy learning in the great outdoors after the opening of their new science garden.
The Alcoa Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) project combines the garden, on the previous site of the school’s environmental area, with a dedicated classroom to be used in the event of poor weather.
The project includes the fitting of solar panels on the school’s existing building, which pupils can monitor as part of their learning about renewable technology.
The project has come about thanks to Exeter-based US technology and engineering company Alcoa Howmet and the Alcoa Foundation, which donated $93,000.
As well as being used by St Peter’s children, it will also be open to use by other local schools.
It was opened by Cindy Penney, from Alcoa, in the presence of other dignitaries, including Budleigh mayor Steve Hall, and chairman of Devon County Council Bernard Hughes.
Speaking at the opening, St Peter’s headteacher Malcolm Elliot said: “The science garden has provided us with a wonderful resource of possibilities for science, environmental studies, forest school-type activities, storytelling, and a place for reflection and wonder.
“It also acknowledges our place on the rich Jurassic coastline.
“It has replaced our environmental area, which was very difficult for children to access independently. Within this project, the nurturing of the environment is central to our thinking and provides continued work on stewardship and sustainability.”
Mr Elliott added that along with Alcoa, he would like to thank school science coordinator Carrie-Anne Hume, parent and Alcoa scientist Catherine Smith, Nigel Garside of Lynwood Landscapes, and artist and craftsman Gary Orange.