Idyllic location and willing community help Holbeton Primary School bloom

By Toby Leigh in Education

HOLBETON Primary School and its grounds look set to be a riot of colour thanks to the hard work of the new garden club, parents, and staff.

This year, the appointment of new headteacher Jackie Rundle has prompted a hive of activity from parents and Holbeton residents, many of whose children began successful careers at the little school.

An army of volunteers brightened up the classrooms with cheerful colours and new artwork displays, a village ’Ground Force’ tackled the gardens, and a wish list of rain gauge and thermometer, bird feeders and benches was soon provided. A parent-led gardening club planted seven hundred bulbs to provide a dazzling display in the spring term, and the winter vegetable planting programme is being drawn up.

Jackie Rundle said: ’We can no longer ignore the numerous studies that show young children learn better in an outdoor environment. Children, especially boys, invariably achieve better results when performing identical tasks in an outdoor setting.

’Mathematical tasks in particular are quite easy to present in an interesting way in an outdoor environment.’

Holbeton Primary believes it does not need to be large to give children a wide range of opportunities.

As well as a school garden with an outdoor classroom, a Year 6 garden, and a vegetable patch, it has an Early Years garden with playground equipment, and a water and mud play area outside the classroom. Holbeton also has its own hard court/winter football area and swimming pool, and children can walk to the village hall for indoor games, the school playing field, the community orchard and their ’forest school’ in the local woods.

Mothecombe beach, where preschool children enjoy a weekly ’beach school’ and older children do team building challenges and fieldwork, is a five minute drive away.

The school is fortunate to be located in the heart of the beatiful Flete Estate, with access to its woods, drives and beaches. And through a close involvement with the estate, as well as loyalty from parents of current and former pupils, the village and wider community, Holbeton Primary is able to punch well above its weight.

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