Skills for life

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The outdoor spaces at Ponthir Church in Wales School are drastically lacking, meaning that the children at the school are unable to benefit from outdoor learning all year round.

We are looking for funding to completely overhaul these areas, including the provision of outdoor shelters, meaning they can be used for learning and development all year round and in all weathers. Using modern technologies eg wireless webcams and digital weather stations, we want to inspire today's young people to a long-term belief in the wonder of the natural world, which will shape their dreams and actions however their life turns out - building the next generation of nature conservationists.

Studies show that children are better at identifying Pokémon characters than real animals and plants. After reading this study, author Robert Macfarlane's wish was to reconnect young readers with the natural world, resulting in the book The Lost Words.

The philosophy of this wonderful book, which we plan to incorporate into our regeneration, is to reintroduce the ancient language of the natural world to children through poetry and spells. Our new outdoor shelters will have poems from the book etched into the wood with pictures, spyholes and digital technology to encourage our children to engage and interact with the natural world around them.

Our aim is to have an alphabet trail around the outdoor areas of the school, based on the book and the animals. The children will be encouraged to follow the trail - identifying the animals and plants located nearby. They will be encouraged to develop their listening skills as they stop to listen for bird song.

At two points on the trail we will locate shelters for the children to stop, observe and read the poems about the wildlife they spotted on the trail. In these areas the children will be encouraged to write their own responses to the poems - their very own writer’s shed.

The Friends of Ponthir School

The Friends of Ponthir School are a very small group of dedicated parents who tirelessly give their own free time to fundraise for the benefit of the children and the school.
Ponthir CiW School is a very small primary school in South Wales, with 114 pupils, however the community spirit is huge.

Location: Ponthir