New playground markings make learning child's play at Swindon school

By Barrie Hudson - 19 September 2023

  • The ribbon-cutting to reopen the playground was performed by Alan Stewart (in red)

    The ribbon-cutting to reopen the playground was performed by Alan Stewart (in red)

Pupils of St Catherine's Catholic Primary School attended a special ribbon-cutting to mark the completion of new markings in their playground.

They include colourful representations of school values, a hopscotch grid with times tables and a Phonics Pond to help with literacy.
The opening ceremony was performed by Alan Stewart, a grandparent of three pupils whose children also attended the school.
Mr Stewart, himself a retired teacher with decades of service including many years at St Joseph's in Swindon, helped to make the new playground possible.
Head teacher Sarah Burke said: "The grandparent who is opening the playground, Alan Stewart, asked me if I had seen the markings up at Meadowcroft Park. He said they were really beautiful and that his grandchildren had been really enjoying them.
"My deputy and I went up to have a look and were equally impressed. When we looked online, we couldn't actually find the company, so Alan put us in touch with Oliver Saunders, who at the time was at Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, and Oliver put us in touch with the company they had used.
"Everything is education-based and about boosting activity, helping to get people running about and playing."
Some of the funding for the new playground was provided by the Friends of St Catherine's.
Mr Stewart said: "I was talking to Oliver Saunders, praising him for all his work at Meadowcroft, as in improvements to the playground, the skatepark and the path - which I think should be called Oliver's Way.
"We wanted things particularly to do with numeracy but there's also literature here and lots of geography and the ethos of the school."

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