Mud kitchen created ‘from nothing’

Preparing donated pieces of wood
Preparing donated pieces of wood
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An unused and neglected courtyard area is being turned into an exciting mud kitchen.

Student teachers created the outside area for the children at St James CE Primary School in Coldwaltham.

Getting to grips with power tools to make the kitchen

Getting to grips with power tools to make the kitchen

The work they have completed so far has been done without any financial support or resources but they now hope to gather donations to finish everything off.

Jessie Larkin explained that it is only a small school and the mid kitchen had been made ‘from nothing at all’.

She said: “We are five final year student teachers from the University of Chichester and as part of our degree, we are undertaking a creative venture to ‘make change happen’ in schools.

“Our aim is to transform an unused and overgrown outdoor area at St James CE Primary School into an educational exploration zone.

The area had been neglected, so was rather overgrown

The area had been neglected, so was rather overgrown

“The project will include the creation of a mud kitchen and mud café for the pupils in reception and year one to play and engage with. We would also like to include sensory features, artwork and a bird box for a friendly robin who visits us every week, to make the area as stimulating and valuable as possible for the children.

“Our challenge is that the project has no finance or resources. As such, we are developing the area with the generous help of the community and have managed to source a lot of what we need from contacts, and simply asking.”

People have donated old pots and pans they no longer want, half-empty pots of wood paint, tester pots of masonry paint and even some spare turf offcuts. The team has also acquired a sink from a scrapyard and vouchers from garden centres.

Jessie, of The Crescent, Horsham, added: “We are building most of the kitchen itself from old pallets and have fashioned a table and chairs from a cable drum and some tree stumps.

Making a safe access route for the children

Making a safe access route for the children

“None of us have done anything like this before and were not accustomed to digging and power tools but we are learning. Hopefully, when we are finished, the children will have an outside area they love and we will truly have made change happen, from nothing but determination and hard work.

“We hope to be mostly finished by Christmas, before going on our final year teaching placements. We will then return in May to plant, finalise and officially open the area.”

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