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Mansfield school benefits from Woodhead woodland shelter

The primary school in Mansfield is making good use of their new outside space, including hosting outdoor lessons

Posted by Charley Rogers | October 17, 2017 | Outdoors

Robert Woodhead Ltd has achieved a fantastic score on its latest assessment by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) for its efforts at High Oakham Primary School in Mansfield. 

Woodhead scored 42 out of 50 while carrying out necessary heating replacement works at High Oakham Primary School in Mansfield.

During the project, which was delivered through the empa framework, the site team spent time building a woodland shelter in the school grounds, bringing a disused area of woodland back into use. Woodhead teamed up with the school, its local sub-contractors and the Woodland Trust to construct a timber sheltered learning area, surrounded by an environmental garden. 

The shelter includes seating for the pupils and educational posters on the inside walls about different aspects of nature and the environment. Already a popular site for squirrels, birds and insects, the area has been transformed into a learning environment featuring insect hotels, and bird and squirrel feeding areas.

The empa framework is managed by Scape Group, a public sector organisation dedicated to creating ongoing efficiency and social value via the built environment. 

Colin Kear, Site Manager for Woodhead, said: "We were thrilled to be awarded a score of 42 in our recent CCS assessment. They've been a fantastic school to work with, and the work has gone very well.

"The shelter is a really good example of the type of community project we aim to deliver while we're onsite. We're already seeing teachers and pupils making regular use of the new learning environment; it's great to see we've left a bit of a legacy."

This area is going to enable us to improve our outdoor learning, helping us to raise standards in many of our curriculum areas. - Peter Mansfield, Headteacher, High Oakham Primary School

The shelter has been created using leftover and donated wood from the High Oakham scheme and other Woodhead construction sites. 

The wooded area was previously being used very little by the school but is now being used in a way which will encourage and inspire the children to learn, and is a welcomed addition to the school's outside area.

Peter Mansfield, Headteacher at High Oakham Primary School, said: "The Woodhead team has exceeded all expectations while being onsite (and our expectations are very high). This has meant we have been able to continue with our day-to-day jobs and the school has been able to continue as normal without any major disturbances.

"We are absolutely thrilled with the new learning area, which has been created in our secret garden. I now have teachers fighting for the chance to do their lessons out there. This area is going to enable us to improve our outdoor learning, helping us to raise standards in many of our curriculum areas." 

Victoria Brambini, Managing Director of Scape Procure, comments: "We are delighted with the positive results that have been generated through this collaboration between Robert Woodhead and High Oakham Primary School. It is vital that young children have a space that inspires them and makes them feel ready to learn, and this new woodland shelter, created with the help of the Woodland Trust, is already achieving this." 

The CCS report also praised the Woodhead team for their consistent approach to safety and the overall appearance and cleanliness of the site. 

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