Children left ‘devastated’ after school’s outdoor space targeted by vandals

The reception outdoor learning area at Whitefield Primary School has been targeted by vandals
The reception outdoor learning area at Whitefield Primary School has been targeted by vandals
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Children have been left devastated after an outdoor space at their school was targeted by vandals.

An outside learning area at Whitefield Primary School in Penwortham was trashed at some point over the weekend, with equipment broken and plants ripped up and thrown against the windows.

The reception outdoor learning area at Whitefield Primary School has been targeted by vandals

The reception outdoor learning area at Whitefield Primary School has been targeted by vandals

But leaders at the school say while they are disappointed about what happened, the kindness of parents and the community had been “heartwarming” and “uplifting”.

Pictures of the damage were posted on the school’s Facebook page, and headteacher Sarah Foster said she had been inundated with sympathy and offers to help from parents.

She said: “We pride ourselves on being the centre of the community and it shows that through the messages on Facebook.

“It’s just really heartwarming that people are out there offering to help us sort it out.”
Mrs Foster said there had been no vandalism in the seven years she had been at the school, but said the damage was “devastating”.

The reception outdoor learning area at Whitefield Primary School has been targeted by vandals.
The fairy door, which has been smashed

The reception outdoor learning area at Whitefield Primary School has been targeted by vandals. The fairy door, which has been smashed

She said: “The reception children have continuous outdoor learning provision.

“It’s a really big area, we had £10,000 from the Lottery to extend it two years ago - it’s beautiful and natural and a lot of families have been to help us.

“It very much is our community space and whoever has been in has uprooted the plants and thrown them against the windows, smashed the scarecrow, they’ve broken quite a lot.

“We have a fairy garden that’s a tree with a little door on where the faries live, and they’ve just smashed it.

“There’s a fairy door and little steps and pebbles and a little ladder going up the tree, and the children think it’s magical and something different happens every night with it.

“The staff have put so much work into it and they were just devastated about it.”
Nothing was stolen from the garden, but it was “absolutely trashed”, and wellies belonging to the children had been thrown around.

The police have been contacted, and Mrs Foster said it was hoped those responsible could be found and would help clean up the mess.

She said: “We are hoping people might hear within the community anybody talking about it, saying they might have done it, and we want to contact the local high schools.

“We want to find the people who have done it and hope they can come and help make it better.

“We want them to see what they did and see the impact on learning, and if we knew who it was we would like them to come and see what the space is used for and the impact it’s had on the children not being able to use it.”