Raising £10,000 is just child’s play for keen Portsmouth infant school

PLAY TIME Pupils enjoy the fun. Back row are Caitlin Webb, five, Lochlan Leaves, six, Alex Mengham, six, and in the bottom row from left are Isabelle Jones-Price, six, Summa McKenzie, six, and Edward Anderson, six. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123341-3025)
PLAY TIME Pupils enjoy the fun. Back row are Caitlin Webb, five, Lochlan Leaves, six, Alex Mengham, six, and in the bottom row from left are Isabelle Jones-Price, six, Summa McKenzie, six, and Edward Anderson, six. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123341-3025)
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PARENTS, pupils and governors worked together to raise an amazing £10,000 for a new school adventure playground.

And the 280 youngsters who go to Solent Infant School in Evelegh Road, Farlington, love the results.

The children were heavily involved in the project to design the playground, meeting with potential contractors and looking at designs.

They were even asked to vote in a ballot to allow pupils to vote for the design they liked the most.

Lucy Wilby, headteacher at the school, said: ‘It looks wonderful. It’s very colourful and very environmentally friendly. I’m very pleased with it.

‘The children are so excited

‘They use it not just during lesson time but at playtime and at lunchtimes.

‘The most important thing is that we wouldn’t have been able to afford this if it wasn’t for our volunteers and local companies.’

Some of the money was donated by Northwood Portsmouth estate agents in Drayton, which made a contribution to the school fund every time the firm sold a property.

The Friends of Solent Infant School, whose members include parents of children at the school, made a huge contribution towards it through months of fundraising.

All the children currently at the school and 90 pupils who are now in Year 3 at the junior school and helped raise the money for it were invited to the official opening.

The new playground has a nautical theme and has a range of equipment for the children to play on including a rope bridge and monkey bars.

Mrs Wilby said it was vital the children had such a big role in setting up their new playground.

‘It’s incredibly important,’ she said.

‘When the contractors were short-listed I actually chose a different design to the children.

‘It just goes to show that their say is the most important.’

Mrs Wilby added that the new playground will be a good way to get the children out in the fresh air.

‘We have been trying to promote our outdoor learning for a few years now,’ she said.

‘It’s important to get them outside as much as possible not only to get them fit and healthy but also so they appreciate the environment they are in.’