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'Depressing' playground at Horninglow Primary School set to get a £25,000 makeover

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A Burton primary school is set to transform its "depressing" playground thanks to a £25,000 cash injection. Horninglow Primary School, in Horninglow Road, will be enhancing its play area with adventure equipment plus learning facilities to help tackle obesity and support pupils with their education.

The school successfully applied to the Big Lottery Fund and received a grant of £9,995 as well as £15,000 from the de Ferrers Trust to make the changes to the school yard.

The idea to spruce up the area came from Emma Johnson, a member of the school's parent teachers association - the Friends of Horninglow.

Mrs Johnson said: "During the last school sports day I took a look around the playground. There was nothing around to make them thrive. Just a couple of trees which have since been taken down. I thought something needed to be done."

Horninglow Primary School pupils are upset at the state of their playground at the moment. Pictured from left: Eshaal Khatana, Ana Lis and Nikita Ivanovs

Mrs Johnson approached the head teacher, Becky Breedon, to come up with a plan to transform the playground into an area that pupils could be proud of and that was worthy of showing off to parents and visitors.

She said: "Children thrive when they are outdoors. Having something they can look after and make their own as well as keep entertained has shown to help with learning as well as improve mental health and well-being. What we have planned will make a difference."

The playground at the school will be transformed with play equipment and a new garden thanks to £25,000 worth of funding

The playground will feature a cable climber and trim trail which will help with physical development and communication skills as well as a garden area where pupils can keep a watchful eye over the bird café. An empty hut will be turned into an outdoor library and picnic benches will be scattered around for pupils to sit down on for outdoor classes when the weather is warm.

Mrs Johnson said: "This will teach the children to nurture and look after things. I am really excited about it."

She is not the only one. Mrs Breedon said that she could not wait for the "concrete jungle" to start taking shape over the next few weeks, with it due to be completed after the Easter holidays.

A hut in the centre of the playground will become an outdoor library to encourage children 
to read

She said: "There is not a great deal in the area for children to go and play. There is deprivation in the area. This new playground will help to tackle obesity and address the need for healthy eating. It will also benefit the pupils we have with special needs.

"They enjoy gardening and love the sound of what we are going to be doing. Everyone is getting involved and we are going to start an after school gardening club as well."

However, the head teacher has said that she needs the help from the local community and parents to get the garden off the ground.

Mrs Breedon said: "We are hosting a gardening day for those who can spare an hour or two to help us dig, weed, sand, paint and prepare the garden. I would urge anyone who can to attend and show their support."

The community gardening day will take place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, April 29