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The new garden is blooming at Symington Primary School

 26 June 2015  |  

The new outdoor learning space in the garden was officially opened by Councillor Margaret Toner as Councillor John Allan and guests joined in the fun.

The new outdoor learning space in the garden was officially opened by Councillor Margaret Toner as Councillor John Allan and guests joined in the fun.

Pupils at South Ayrshire Council's Symington Primary School are benefiting from a new outdoor learning garden which has been officially opened. The garden was designed as a tribute to the Commonwealth, after the young people had enjoyed the Commonwealth Games. 

The new garden was created using a variety of different plants native to Britain and the countries of the Commonwealth, which has resulted in a garden with interesting plants with unusual and different shaped leaves and stems and a range of colourful flowers. 

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: "The garden was designed by the pupils and that makes it very special and they have ensured that it is accessible to everyone in the school.

"Planning was the key to the successful garden, with the young people learning about plants from Commonwealth countries and selecting them for their interesting foliage and colour.

"Projects like this one bring the whole school together and the outside learning space that they have created is a credit to them."

The project required funding and the school were awarded a Big Lottery Fund grant for the community art project. The funding paid 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 helped them add willow features such as tunnels, domes and a school mural.

The Council also provided funding for a path so that people with disabilities can easily access the garden, providing safer access without having to pass through a busy car park. 

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

The pupils are very excited about their new garden:

  • "I like the willow turtle best because you can play in it with your younger brothers and sisters and have fun."
  • "The outdoor classroom is best because it is made of wood and I like things made of natural materials."
  • "I love how the willow art looks"
  • "It is fantastic the entire school helped to make it."
  • "We love the tyre dragon."
  • "Brilliant. All the children helped to make it, we love seeing all our flags flying in the breeze."
  • "Lots and lots to do out here, our stuff is here it belongs to us."
  • "Fun for everyone."
  • "We can shelter in the outdoor classroom and still come out to learn even when it is raining."

Councillor Toner concluded: "I was delighted to be at the official opening of the garden and to see the joy on the faces of the children and the wider community as they explored the fantastic outdoor space. I was particularly impressed with the living artwork in the garden."

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