A long-awaited new playground at Maple Primary School in St Albans has been officially opened by Daisy Cooper, the constituency MP.
The children and teachers of Maple Primary School in Hall Place Gardens, St Albans, celebrated the grand opening of their new playground equipment after a massive fundraising effort organised by the parent-teachers association (PTA).
It took more than two years to plan and raise funds for the playground project, with progress hindered due to the pandemic.
The entire school watched the event in their class bubbles as Daisy Cooper cut the ribbon, helped by the oldest and youngest pupils of the school.
The apparatus includes a trim trail for the ‘junior area’ – formerly an unused muddy area – and a log climber for the ‘infant area’, which replaced 20-year-old equipment.
The fund-raising drive included a ‘Reindeer dash for cash’ before Christmas in which the children wore reindeer antlers and ran as many laps of a running track as they could to gain sponsorship from their friends and family, raising as much as £4,000 in the process.
The grand opening on April 16 was the end of a special week for the school. Mrs Shanti Johnson completed her first week as interim head teacher, following the departure of Mr Timothy Bowen at the end of the last term after a 20-year tenure as head.
Mrs Johnson said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Daisy Cooper to our school to celebrate the new playground equipment and the beginning of a new era.”
Also in attendance were Abigail Mellor on behalf of Maple School PTA and Mr Matt Withers, assistant head.
Daisy Cooper commented: “I was so pleased to be invited to open this fantastic new playground – I hope it gives the children at Maple Primary School many happy hours to play, explore and exercise, now and for years to come.
“A big well done to the PTA for their heroic fundraising efforts – and an even bigger well done to the children who helped, some of whom ran as many as 100 laps during the ‘Reindeer dash for cash’. Considering the school has only 250 pupils, raising £4,000 in sponsorship for one event alone is impressive indeed.”
Picture credit Maple Primary School