Social value project is ‘transformational’.

An outdoor education area has been transformed as part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s social value scheme with its highways contractor, Balfour Beatty Living Places.

Social value project is ‘transformational’.

Woodlands Primary School and Nursery in Madeley, worked with partners to breathe new life into the sensory garden and outdoor education areas of the school grounds, for use by pupils throughout the school.

The scheme, which cost in the region of £35k, was funded through the council’s contract with Balfour Beatty to ensure project they are involved with positively impact the communities around them by helping to create employment opportunities or through environmental regeneration.  

More than half of the work’s cost was arranged without charge as part of Balfour Beatty Living Places commitment to giving back to the community through the councils highways contract.

The additional funding supplied by the school, ensured new pathways were created, overgrown areas cleared, seating and quiet spaces were improved, and the existing pond was also unclogged and regenerated.  

Cabinet Member, Councillor Lee Carter said: “It’s well documented that outdoor learning adds a new dimension to education and learning. Supporting teaching and learning in this way works better for some pupils. 

“Being part of a project like this and seeing the long-term benefits shows how important social value is and ensures that every penny spent in this contract, delivers value for money well into the future and has a positive impact beyond the highways work. Thank you to all the partners involved in this very special project.”

Headteacher Yvonne Crilly said: The children, parents, staff and governors are thrilled with the transformation to our existing forest school area and sensory garden and delighted to have been chosen as part of this exciting project. 

“We all recognise that outdoor learning improves mental health and well-being, in addition to supporting pupil’s physical health. We understand that working outside supports the acquisition of knowledge and skills, whilst promoting an inclusive and engaging approach. 

“This area of our school is not used as an ‘add on’ and having the area on site, ensures we are able to enhance the children’s experiences by providing learning opportunities, in a variety of exciting ways. 

“The social value of this space is also vital and the improvements, as a result of the project, will enable us to further develop our work with parents and the wider community, through projects such as: Messy Church, Early Learners and parent teacher association activities, supporting local businesses. On behalf of the school community, I would like to sincerely thank all involved in the project.

Gareth Pegg, Balfour Beatty Living Places said, “We recently completed improvements at Woodlands Primary School, this will benefit the health and wellbeing of pupils for years to come. Through our partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council, we are dedicated to supporting local community projects that have a lasting effect, long after the project is completed. This scheme perfectly aligns to this ambition and Balfour Beatty are delighted to be able to support.”