Hitchin JMI school opens new outdoor classroom with £1,000 grant

PUBLISHED: 16:41 24 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:46 12 November 2019

L-R: Lauren (7), Alice (5), Brigitte Rushmer (CALA Homes), Albie (7), Rosie (7), Tracy Thomas (Headteacher) and James (5). Picture: Tim George

L-R: Lauren (7), Alice (5), Brigitte Rushmer (CALA Homes), Albie (7), Rosie (7), Tracy Thomas (Headteacher) and James (5). Picture: Tim George

© Tim George/ UNP 0845 600 7737

Hitchin's Samuel Lucas JMI School has opened a new outdoor learning space for pupils to enjoy after it received a £1,000 donation from a housing developer's bursary scheme.

James, Lauren, Albie and Rosie try out their new outdoor classroom. Picture: Tim GeorgeJames, Lauren, Albie and Rosie try out their new outdoor classroom. Picture: Tim George

Originally opened in 1974, the school for children aged four to 11 has recently increased capacity from one class per year to two classes per year - doubling the number of pupils from 210 to 420.

CALA Homes, which is building Century Grove in Hitchin, launched the CALA Community Bursary in Herts earlier this year and invited organisations, charities and groups in the area to apply for a share of £12,000 to help fund projects that make a difference in the community.

Samuel Lucas JMI School was chosen as a recipient of the bursary, with money used to complete the funding for their new outdoor learning space, 'The Learning Shed'.

Headteacher Tracy Thomas said: "Samuel Lucas JMI is a community dedicated to excellence where we work together to provide opportunities for successful learning and personal development in an environment where anything is possible.

Alice, Lauren, Albie, and Rosie alongside headteacher Tracy Thomas and CALA homes' Brigitte Rushmer. Picture: Tim GeorgeAlice, Lauren, Albie, and Rosie alongside headteacher Tracy Thomas and CALA homes' Brigitte Rushmer. Picture: Tim George

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"In order for this to be achievable, we always strive to make the school facilities and resources as advanced as we possibly can.

"With this generous amount of funding from CALA, we have been able to complete our new outdoor learning space, 'The Learning Shed'. Following the increase of pupils in our school, it was important for us to have this extra space to provide additional learning opportunities. A big thank you goes to CALA for making this possible."

Duncan Jackson, managing director at CALA Homes, said: "We are delighted to be supporting Samuel Lucas JMI School with the funding to complete their outdoor learning space, and look forward to seeing how the funding helps to make a difference to the learning and education for the children."

Alice, Lauren, Albie, and Rosie alongisde heateacher Tracy Thomas and CALA homes' Bruggutte Rushmer. Picture: Tim GeorgeAlice, Lauren, Albie, and Rosie alongisde heateacher Tracy Thomas and CALA homes' Bruggutte Rushmer. Picture: Tim George

This year, the CALA Group Community Bursary scheme has awarded a total of £109,000 to 117 good causes across the UK. A further 200 causes have previously benefitted from the scheme, with over £200,000 awarded to various initiatives since 2017.

For further information on Samuel Lucas JMI School, visit samlucas.herts.sch.uk.

For further information on CALA Homes at its Century Grove and Comice Meadows development, visit www.cala.co.uk.

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