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Thetford school Norwich Road Academy playground project due to be complete by end of summer holidays



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A school trust is making a ‘significant’ investment in a playground for young children.

Norwich Road Academy, in Thetford, has announced plans to develop its front playground, which is used by the youngest children in the academy, Reception to Year 2.

The project includes a central climbing feature, trim trail, outdoor classroom area – with an all-weather cover – and role play area, and the contractors will also build in ‘communication tubes’ so the children can speak to each other from different parts of the playground.

Principal Julia Miles said: “Since being appointed principal in 2019, this project was something that I have been very passionate about for the children attending Norwich Road Academy.

Norwich Road Academy are pleased to announce the confirmation of their plans to develop their front playground. (56432932)
Norwich Road Academy are pleased to announce the confirmation of their plans to develop their front playground. (56432932)

“The experience of the pandemic has also highlighted how important quality outside play experiences are for children. Not only do they facilitate positive social interactions but they also contribute to good health and emotional wellbeing.”

She said the current playground was outdated and in need of repair.

The academy is now part of Eastern Multi Academy Trust.

David Cousins, chief finance officer and head of estates, said: “We are pleased to be able to invest a significant amount of funds to develop a safe playground space for our children which will enrich their outdoor play and learning, particularly given the times we live in and the investment in wellbeing that we owe all our pupils.”

The front playground project that is being completed by Playdale at Norwich Road Academy in Thetford (56488265)
The front playground project that is being completed by Playdale at Norwich Road Academy in Thetford (56488265)

Mrs Miles said the children were extremely excited and had seen the plans develop over recent months.

They were keen to have a central climbing feature, which has been incorporated for them.

As the whole area is being resurfaced, there will also be new playground markings to support the curriculum offer.

There will be a central climbing feature, a trim trail, outdoor classroom feature with an all-weather cover and a role play area, plus new playground markings (56488269)
There will be a central climbing feature, a trim trail, outdoor classroom feature with an all-weather cover and a role play area, plus new playground markings (56488269)

“Our younger children will also have their own daily mile track (we already have one on our junior playground).

“We all keep our daily step count up here. We count how far we get each week and track our journey around the globe,” said Mrs Miles.

The school was ‘thrilled’ that the project would be completed by the end of the summer holidays.