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Noisy playtime in recess? Parents' bid for kid's 'space to think'

Staff and pupils of St Patricks Catholic Primary School on the patch of land earmarked for a new quiet play area.
Staff and pupils of St Patricks Catholic Primary School on the patch of land earmarked for a new quiet play area.

Unwanted Boisterous play times might soon be in recess in a Birstall playground.

Parents of children at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School are raising money towards a brand new facility for children who might prefer a quieter play time.

St Patrick's Catholic Primary School on Nova Lane, Birstall.

St Patrick's Catholic Primary School on Nova Lane, Birstall.

A corner of the playground would be fitted with a stunning ‘Outdoor Story Land’ for children to enjoy away from noise and flying footballs.

Sarah Keenan, who acts as chair of the Nova Lane school’s Parents and Friends Association, the organisation behind the fundraising push, said:

“For the past few years our dream has been to create a space in the playground for those children who may not want to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of running around in the playground.

“Currently, children who may not want to play football or tig might find themselves stood around the perimeter of the playground.

“There’s little space for children who wish to sit quietly and perhaps read a book or chat with their friends.”

The project has been priced up at around £5,500 and fundraising efforts are approaching the halfway stage, having received grants of £1000 from the Kirklees One Community Fund, the same amount from the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme and £500 from the Aviva Community Fund.

These grants sit alongside their own fundraising events, which have included pyjama parties, film nights and raffles.

What’s particularly pleasing, Sarah says, is the fact that children have been part of the consultation process every step of the way, with many having drawn up their idea of the perfect playground.

“We have asked a wide section of pupils what they would like to see in the playground,” Sarah said, “The children have come up with some lovely suggestions and designs of an area themed on reading and books.”

“Their wish list includes a tree house, hammock, toadstool seats, graffiti writing wall, easels, beaded sensory dens to name a few.”

Current plans are for the play area to include an Alice in Wonderland theme.

What’s more, the school’s existing links to other schools in the area will offer children outside of St Patrick’s the chance to enjoy the brand new adventure playground.