As part of Covid safety requirements, pupils are divided into bubbles for lessons and at playtime. For the school, with an expansive playground, keeping the bubbles apart outdoors posed a challenge. The solution was costly, with equipment to partition the playground into safe sections totalling thousands of pounds, which would have obliterated the school’s PE budget.
Spotting similar barriers to those they needed, already on site at Sherford, the school put out a plea to the housebuilders for help. Vistry Partnerships – part of the Vistry Group which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes – offered a helping hand, donating brand-new barriers to the school.
Acting quickly, 24 large water filled barriers were ordered and delivered within days by site contractors, Groundfix. They arrived in the nick of time as pupils returned to Sherford Vale. Now in place in the playground, children can safely get on with the serious business of playtime!
Making use of the new equipment beyond Covid requirements, the school already has plans to put it to good use, creating areas outside in the future, such as a ball games zone, quiet and reading zone, creative and board games zone, and multiskills zone. Or at a point they are no longer needed, the housebuilders will put the barriers into use onsite at Sherford as the town continues to grow.
Simon Smith from Sherford Vale School, said, “All the staff and pupils would like to say an enormous thank you for the playground barriers that have been donated. The new barriers are now in place, meaning enhanced provision. Our pupils can now actively play in a different zone each day, and our hardworking MTAs and young leaders now set up different activities in each area. When we initially looked at trying to purchase barriers, the cost came in well into the thousands. Without the support we’ve received, this would not have been possible.”
Bill Danks, Senior Build Manager from Vistry Partnerships, said, “It was our pleasure to help the school when they needed it; we are all part of this community and come together to solve challenges. The school has provided Sherford families with much-needed support over the last year and we are glad to be able to support them in return. They had hoped to borrow some existing equipment at Sherford, but we went a step further and got them new barriers to keep the children safe and give the school peace of mind.”