Preston school’s wait for new playground is over

Playtime is set to become more fun for pupils at Hoole St Michael's CE School after parents raised funds to turn a muddy field into a proper playground

Playtime is set to become more fun for pupils at Hoole St Michael's CE School after parents raised funds to turn a muddy field into a proper playground

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Parents of pupils at a small village school have rallied round to pay for a new playground.

The newly re-formed parent, teachers and friends’ association at the 116-strong Hoole St Michael’s CE Primary School near Preston have been digging deep to provide an asphalted area at the back of the school so pupils can play out in winter.

We do have beautiful fields at the back but unfortunately they are not drained, so in the winter, or even the wet spring and summer, the children cannot play there because it is just too wet.

Mrs Duckworth

Although the school, in Liverpool Old Road, has a playground at the front, headteacher Jo Duckworth said it isn’t suitable for ball games or sports lessons that could see balls ending up on the busy main road.

She added “We do have beautiful fields at the back but unfortunately they are not drained, so in the winter, or even the wet spring and summer, the children cannot play there because it is just too wet.

As a result they have to stay indoors in the hall or are restricted to what sports we can go outside.”

Mrs Duckworth added that the school is part of the South Ribble Change for Life programme, which is aimed at raising activity among young children by getting them to play a range of sports.

She said the school had a thriving sports club, which meets every lunchtime, but because of the lack of hard surface and the wet fields the number of children taking part had to be limited.

Mrs Duckworth said: “The Friends of St Michael has always raised funds for extra curricular things like musical instruments etc but decided to have a big push to see if we could get a proper playground at the back.

“Support has been terrific and we have raised £8,000, which is an incredible achievement for such a small school.”

One parent, Sally Ann Kay, is doing the Great North Run to top up the fund and a summer fete is being held on June 13.

Mrs Duckworth added: “There is the possibility of some other funding and providing the planning goes through we are hoping the work will be carried out during the summer holidays.

“The new surface will mean that it can be marked out for things like netball, and tennis and the children will be able to run around and play safely without worrying that they will get wet and muddy or that their play equipment might end up in t he road.

“It is going to make such a difference.”