PLAYTIME has just become a whole lot more fun for children at one primary school.
Pupils at Wicor Primary in Portchester are making the most of a new £8,000 play trail in their playground.
The adventure trail features a bridge, stepping stones, climbing ropes and a wooden climbing frame.
The play area is the result of three years’ fundraising by the school’s PTA, which raised £7,000 to pay for the new equipment.
Hampshire County Council also contributed £1,000 from its county council grant.
Debra Higginbotham, chair of governors, said: ‘It is a huge achievement from the PTA to raise this amount of money. The school and the governors are more than grateful.’
The PTA raised the funds through annual fairs, a gift service that allowed the children to buy presents at Christmas and a music festival called Wicorfest.
The new area opened after half-term and has been met with delight by the children.
Year 2 pupil Charlie Burgess, seven, said: ‘The tunnel is my favourite, I like climbing through it.’
Year 4 pupil, Roshini Babu, eight, said: ‘The string at the start is the best bit because you have to balance on it.’
The children have supervised sessions on each item and each playtime sees an orderly queue forming.
Year 6 pupil Tom Marshall, 11, said: ‘I think it’s really good.
‘Everyone takes turns and shares – there are no fights.’
The children said the old playground was ‘a bit boring’ and ‘just flat’ and the investment has seen the children encouraged to spend their break times outside.
Cllr Roger Price handed over the £1,000 county council cheque to the school.
He said: ‘I think it’s extremely good. I remember when I was at school doing these sorts of exercises inside on gym equipment.
‘The play trail allows the youngsters to do exercise outside and enjoy themselves in the fresh air.’
Claire Mapp, who carries out pastoral care at the school, said: ‘The play trail is about developing the children’s physical skills and their problem solving skills.
‘They have to navigate themselves around it so they are working their brains as well as exercising.’
The school is continuing to develop its play area and it is creating a story-telling area and a science trail.