Over the past five years there have been radical changes to the school in terms of facilities and school environment. What we aim to provide is the best possible learning environment for our children. We believe they deserve the best and providing a high quality learning environment can only raise children's expectations of themselves and make a clear statement to the wider community about our ambition for our school.
In 2013 we refurbished most of the school by creating more light in classrooms, putting in new ceilings, lighting, redecoration and flooring throughout the majority of the school. We have replaced much of the furniture and brought the learning environment into the 21st century. ICT connectivity is constantly being upgraded and hardware is regularly improved.
2G Sports Pitch
In March 2016 we opened our new sports pitch that uses some of the latest sports pitch technology. The pitch consists of a cushioned underlay and a short pile synthetic grass surface which is designed to provide excellent multi sport use. We are able to play soccer, basketball, netball, hockey, tennis among many others and sport at the school has taken on a new lease of life since it has been commissioned. In time we would like to install a system of flood lighting so the we can hire out facilities and also use the pitch in the long winter months. We aim for the facilities to be used by all the local Primary Schools and help develop sport through the town again.
Early Years Outside Learning Environment
We need our children to have a very strong start to their schooling at Pennoweth and therefore in September 2016 we opened our new EYFS Outdoor Learning Environment consisting of an area of artificial grass, an interesting vehicle track, sand pit, water rill and cobble dry river bed. There is plenty of space for all areas of learning and strongly encourages children to be independent.
From the main area, children can go through a small wooden gate, ring an old brass bell and spend time in our 'Orchard'. We spent a long time choosing the right fixed furniture for this area and we toured reclamation yards all over Cornwall. Once we saw a reclaimed fishing boat at Shiver Me Timbers near Penzance, we knew that this would fit perfectly. In its original life the boat worked as a fishing boat, based in St Ives Harbour until a storm damaged it and its life as a working boat came to an end. It was cut in two, stood on its end and then repaired to become a 'cocktail bar' at a music festival. It is now comfortably positioned in our Orchard for children to enjoy reading, listening to stories and taking part in role play.
In 2015 we opened our new Jungle to provide an additional play area for our children. We have included a story telling area, some low climbing logs and a bamboo wood. There are plenty of opportunities for children to study the wildlife amongst the rotten logs and surrounding trees. It is a very popular area.
In the summer of 2016 we had a busy summer holiday when we had the computer suite converted into a classroom. Numbers in the school have steadily increased over the past few years and we are now near capacity. We proudly opened the new classroom however on the fourth day of the children being in their new environment, there was a torrential downpour (that only lasted an hour) and the rainwater drains located under the school simply couldn't cope with the deluge and 4 classrooms, 2 offices and a 'breakout' area were all flooded. It may seem strange to tell people about this incident as a 'development' we are proud of but it is a great illustration of how the school manages building development and maintenance. We have a dedicated member of staff to manage compliance, safety and building projects and therefore action is swift, quality assurance rigorous and contractor accountability strong.
In this case, children were only out of their classroom for a matter of days whilst insurance claims submitted, contractors secured, the area dried out, flooring prepared and new carpets laid. Much of the work was completed during the evenings and weekends and everything was back to normal within 9 working days.