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Living tribute to the Commonwealth

 11 March 2015  |  

Everyone is celebrating the start of work on the new garden at Symington Primary School.

Everyone is celebrating the start of work on the new garden at Symington Primary School.

Work has started on an accessible outdoor learning garden at Symington Primary School, designed as a tribute to the Commonwealth, which will enable young people to learn in the fresh air in surroundings that have been designed by them. 

Last year, inspired by the Commonwealth Games, the pupils at Symington Primary School decided they wanted to create an easily accessible outdoor garden that everyone could enjoy.

The garden will be created using a variety of different plants native to Britain and the countries of the Commonwealth to create a rich tapestry of colour and architecture. A focus on plants which stimulate our senses will help the children to commemorate the Legacy of the Commonwealth and continue to learn in the outdoors. 

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "The garden will be a lasting legacy to the Commonwealth and a valuable resource for the education and well-being of young people as well as the wider community. 

"The young people explored various countries of the Commonwealth, both past and present as well as the Games themselves and were challenged to think about their individual role in society as well as the sensitive issue of equality and diversity. Everything they learned is reflected in their plans for the outdoor learning space." 

The project required funding and the school were awarded a lottery grant for the community art project.  

The lottery funding pays for three artists who have worked with every class so that the whole school contributed to the garden design. Artists Anne Ferguson helped the young people to create bunting, Leona Stewart mosaic tiles and David Powell will help them add willow features such as tunnels, domes and a school mural when the garden is completed.  

The Council is funding and building a path which will enable disabled access to the garden, outdoor classroom and community library. This will also provide safer more accessible access from the local housing behind the school avoiding access through a busy car park. 

The building work for the outdoor learning space is being funded by entirely by local donations and is being led by a parent Janice Steel.  

Councillor Toner concluded: "I'm really looking forward to seeing the garden completed later this year and to seeing the young people and the wider community enjoy the outdoor learning facilities. I'm particularly keen to see their artwork, including some that will be living, once it is placed in the garden." 


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