Bringing the seaside into the playground

Luis Rowe (6) and Poppy Jordan (6), pupils at St Swithun's Roman Catholic Primary School, Southsea, in a part of their playground where they wish to create a beach
Luis Rowe (6) and Poppy Jordan (6), pupils at St Swithun's Roman Catholic Primary School, Southsea, in a part of their playground where they wish to create a beach

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Pupils are appealing for a rowing boat and other seaside accessories to help build a beach in the corner of their playground.

Youngsters at St Swithun’s Primary in Southsea hope people in the community with rowing boats, anchors, oars and buoys to spare will help make their dream of a small area for imaginative play come true.

The beach, which the school plans to decorate with pebbles and a solar-powered water fountain producing the sound of running water, forms part of a major spruce-up of the playground including mini allotments, an orchard with five fruit trees, an outdoors classroom and a domed shelter made from a willow tree.

Lucy Smith, six, says: ‘I love going to the seaside where I swim and throw pebbles. I can’t wait to have it in school because it means I can go to the sea in breaktime.

‘If we get a boat I can even pretend I’m rowing in the sea and go on trips with my friends. It will also help me come up with ideas when we study topics like the sea in lessons.’

Luis Rowe, six, says: ‘The beach and the sea are two of my favourite things. My uncle has a boat but I haven’t been on it yet, but if we get a rowing boat I’ll have one of my own.

‘I’d like to play pirates on the boat and play out scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean.’

Poppy Jordan, six, adds: ‘I’m really excited. I’d like to throw pebbles into the sea and pretend I’m on the beach, especially when the weather is nice.

‘I hope we get a rowing boat so I can pretend to sail in it and explore the sea.’

Year One teacher Sue Cregan says the beach will help inspire her pupils to write and talk more imaginatively.

She says: ‘Young children talk and write about what they know, so this is all about getting them outside and using those experiences to feed back into the classroom.’

Anyone who can donate a rowing boat, anchors or buoys, plus expertise or manpower, before July 15, should email correspondence@st-swithuns.portsmouth.sch.uk or call the school on (023) 9282 9339.