Highwood and Romsey Primary School celebrate the official opening of ‘amazing’ new outdoor classroom to enrich science learning
You can view a timelapse film of the building of Romsey Primary School’s new outdoor classroom here:
Highwood, the renowned Romsey-based property developer, has joined children and staff of Romsey Primary School and Nursery to celebrate the official opening of a special outdoor classroom it has donated that will enrich the way the children learn about science and other subjects while connecting closely with nature.
Spruce Class, the new teaching facility, forms part of the Cosmos project, an initiative funded by the European Commission to establish the viability and sustainability of ‘open schooling’ and collaboration in science education. Southampton University will now work with Romsey Primary School to collect data to evaluate the long-term success of science education within the new environment.
Highwood jumped at the opportunity to donate the new classroom to the school and, to get the project off the ground, a determined team of Highwood volunteers spent three days transforming a beautiful outside area into a teaching space for the children. With generous support from local businesses, including Carlton Civil Engineering, Ace Liftaway, Elliotts and Travis Perkins, the project was an impressive community effort that will provide invaluable educational rewards for the children for generations to come.
A sanctuary for the children to explore the connection between nature and education
‘Highwood is a proud Romsey business and being able to support our local community is very important to us,’ revealed Mark Baskerville, CEO of Highwood. ‘Many of our employees are also local and we know the difference acts of kindness can make to their families – especially when it involves children whose schooling has been affected by the Covid pandemic.
‘Highwood builds homes, care homes and retirement villages for communities across our region and our mission is always to enhance the lives of those within them. It’s been an absolute pleasure to do that on such a local scale for the children and teachers at Romsey Primary School.’
Headteacher, Jason Anderson, reinforced the need for children to be given the space to learn after a period of such disruption.
‘The pandemic and lockdowns have had a huge impact on our children,’ he commented. ‘We’re now providing a range of spaces for children to learn in where they feel safe, happy and can readjust. The new outdoor teaching space is an amazing opportunity for them to have their own special sanctuary and benefit from the special connection between nature and education.
‘It’s also important for us to shape future generations’ attitudes to service and charity and to show the impact those values can make. Highwood has demonstrated that explicitly through its very generous donation – the message that gives is invaluable.’
Romsey’s Abbey Ward Town Councillor, Nik Daas, was invited to cut the ribbon and declared the superb new teaching facility open.
‘It’s a wonderful space that will deliver huge benefits for the school,’ said Cllr. Daas. ‘It will bring the children closer to nature and support them with their learning after these difficult years. Spruce Class will enable them to get out of the classroom and learn in a new, inspiring way and I’m sure they’ll make full use of it. Thanks to Highwood and Romsey Primary School, this fantastic project will be a huge asset to the children of Romsey.’
The generosity of local businesses also saw Hillier Garden Centre gift the children a fantastic selection of seeds and gardening equipment and they wasted no time in potting an array of flowers and vegetables as soon as the new classroom was declared open.