After more than three years of planning, public consultation and construction, the students of Jarrahdale Primary School can now enjoy the long-awaited nature play space.
Jarrahdale Primary School project play coordinator Alicia Caruso said the school’s P&C recognised the need to upgrade the facilities in 2017, with the school’s kindergarten and pre primary students only having had access to a small, rundown cement area.
Both parents and students were called upon for input, providing suggestions and designs regarding how the space should look and what it should feature.
Now, three years on, the space is a hub for sensory play, made from locally-sourced, natural materials.
The play space, which extends across more than 50-square-metres, features a sand pit, water feature, a circular bike path, an outdoor classroom and nature-based musical instruments.
Mrs Caruso said the development wouldn’t have been possible without the generous financial support of mining company Alcoa and Bendigo Bank.
“The funding that we received meant everything to us,” she said.
“The project simply wouldn’t have come together without it.
“We were just so appreciative.
“Being such a small school, our P&C really prioritise those essential educational activities when it comes to spending the funding we do have.
“Not only do the students use the play space, but the local playgroup uses it, too.
“It is extremely valuable for young children and families.
“Those first few years are really the optimal time to make an impact.
“You should see the children out there – they just love it.”
As a small school in the state’s fastest growing local government area, Mrs Caruso said it was vital that the school created a durable space that would continue to serve the students for years to come.
Mrs Caruso also extended thanks to the school’s principal Julie Denholm, members of the P&C and all those that had contributed to the project.