BINSTED Primary School has launched a £113,000 Big Build Project appeal to finance the construction of a new classroom.
The village school provides a primary education for four to 11 year olds for the residents of Binsted, Kingsley, Oakhanger, and the surrounding villages.
Rising numbers and the introduction of a new National Curriculum has seen the year groups re-organised into Year R, R1/2, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6. But the school has only three dedicated classrooms which has meant leaving two year groups, one class, without a classroom.
The children in years three and four (7-8 year olds) are now permanently taught in the school hall.
To meet the current demands of the national curriculum and to continue providing quality education and adequate sports facilities, the school desperately needs to build an additional classroom during the summer holidays.
Headteacher Sharron Morton said: “While both the children and the teachers are adapting to the use of the school hall it is by no means a suitable or effective way of teaching children on an ongoing basis.”
And it presents other problems as the hall has been used in the past as an indoor sports facility. Now PE is taken either outside, weather permitting, or in the village hall, which is carpeted, limiting the activities the children can undertake.
In addition, the use of the village hall for PE has to be paid for from school funds.
Classes are interrupted as the children need to break early to set up for other hall activities such as lunch and assemblies.
And school assemblies have been scaled back so as not to disrupt class teaching time.
Big Build Project committee member Caroline Thomas is keen to stress the importance of the project: “The additional classroom will provide a stable environment for the children to be taught and achieve the educational success each child deserves. It will enable the school hall to be brought back into service as a ‘school hall’ accommodating assemblies, performances, PE, gym, music lessons etcetera.”
Friends of Binsted School are now on an aggressive path to raise funds by tapping into council purses – and also by organising fun fundraising events which will bring awareness of the issue and raise much-needed funds.
The fundraising programme will launch on April 16 with a dinner at Blacknest Golf Club and continue on June 11 with a family ‘Fest in the Field’ at Country Market at Kingsley.
There will be an opportunity also to sponsor nine ‘dads’, including a Binsted teacher, who will be cycling 150 miles in 24 hours from Binsted to Le Mans in France from June 15-16.
To buy festival tickets, visit festinthefield.co.uk.
To support the charity cycle ride, visit lemontycyclists.co.uk.
Dinner tickets are available from the school.