Rugby Union star opens specially adapted playground donated by local children’s charity at Bedworth Heath Nursery School

Children from Bedworth Heath Nursery School have been celebrating the arrival of a brand new specially adapted playground donated by local charity, Wooden Spoon, with an event featuring special guests and activities for all the family.

Parents and children of the school and members of the local community joined staff for a morning of games, speakers and craft activities on 16 July to mark the official opening of the new play area and to celebrate their recent Ofsted outstanding rating.

Joining the festivities, and helping to mark the occasion, was the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Councillor June Tandy and Rugby Union star, George Chuter, who has 24 caps for England and 292 games under his belt for Leicester Tigers.

The playground has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from children’s charity, Wooden Spoon, which uses the power of rugby to transform the lives of children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage. Since its inception in 1983, the charity has funded more than 700 projects to the tune of over £26 million.

The cause is very close to the school’s heart, they strive to be an inclusive setting which endeavours to make their nursery environment accessible to all children, including children with prosthetic legs, sensory needs, physical disabilities and profound multiple learning disabilities. They hope that the installation of the new playground and this event will help to share positive role models within the community and to raise awareness of British Values.

One such role model is British Legion representative Yanto Evans, who also made a special appearance at the event to share with families his experiences and to raise awareness of his disability.

A special plaque has been dedicated to one of Wooden Spoon’s keenest supporters, Pete Hodgson, who contributed over many years to fundraising for the charity by donating auction items and taking part in events, including annual golf days and the Wolf Run with his son, Dean.

In March this year, Bedworth Heath Nursery School retained their Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating, for the third time in a row, with the school being rated as ‘Outstanding’ for the past seven years. Ofsted commended the nursery school staff for their dedication to giving every child, regardless of need, the opportunity to benefit from exceptional care and education.

Councillor Jeff Morgan, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, said: “I’m delighted that children at Bedworth Heath Nursery School will benefit from the new specially adapted playground thanks to the generosity of Wooden Spoon, and I’m sure they’ll all have a wonderful time playing and learning as a result.

“Ofsted commended the school earlier this year for ensuring that the children are happy, safe and well-looked after and for helping them to build independence and an understanding of the world around them. I think this is another example of the school doing just that.”

Nicci Burton, Acting Executive Headteacher at the school said:

“We are delighted to have been sponsored by the Wooden Spoon charity to enable the new playground project to go ahead. Working together with the charity to create a playground that offers a range of physical equipment that challenges the needs of all of our children is extremely important to us. It is definitely challenging the educators too!

“In May 2019 I ran my first ever marathon to raise additional funds and to raise the awareness of the importance of physical activity, and we were overwhelmed by the support that was given to us by our families and our local community. Across the two federated schools, Bedworth Heath Nursery and Atherstone Nursery School, we raised over £1,800.

“As a maintained nursery school, community is the heart of everything we do and our community-based ethos supports the children greatly in learning about the importance of fundamental British Values.”