Sgoil an Iochdair agus a'Choimhearsnachd

PAST PROJECTS Kate Dawson's lucky cork

Playground and environmental improvements at Iochdar School

Lead organisation: Sgoil an Iochdair agus a'Choimhearsnachd

Total project cost: 224,000

Status: September 2006 - Completed June 2007

The playing fields at Iochdar School have long been a bog, on which snipe nest, and wild flowers bloom. They have not, however, been an amenity that could be used by pupils at the school, let alone anyone else.

Iochdar School playing field BeforeCroileagan play area under construction

in 2006, work started on the upgrading of the playing fields at Iochdar school. By early 2007, most of the work had been completed, and the major features of the project were in use. The Croileagan play area has proved to be a sheltered and stimulating place to play, and is well used both by the croileagan, and by toddlers visiting at other times. The ball court is a fantastic resource, allowing pupils to play football and basket ball without the risk of breaking windows or knocking over smaller pupils.

The designated playing fields were to have been upgraded many years before, but mostly for financial reasons, this had never happened. As a result, pupils at the school did most of their PE inside, and the school was unable to host sporting events. The junior football clubs and the youth clubs were also restricted as to what they could offer.

Sgoil an Iochdair agus a'Choimhearsnachd's original plans included raising and draining the main field, and creating a multisports area, including a short running track and a ball court. This rather over-ambitious project was too costly, and didn't meet the needs of enough people, and we could not get funds for it.

Never ones to be daunted, however, we went back to the drawing board. Our solution has been to create a ball-court suitable for football and basketball, so that the fast ball games do not impinge on the activities of other children. In addition, we have installing two play areas, with equipment providing entertainment for children of all ages from one to sixteen. The area for older children includes seating in a shelter. In addition, the very wet areas have been planted up with native trees, providing both a windbreak, and a new environment for wildlife. We hope to add an adventure and activity trail through the trees once they have established, probably in five years time.

In June 2007, we were able to open the new facility for all the children in the area. We celebrated this with an open day at the school, which was filmed and recorded for De a Nis and Aileag accompanied Pudsey to the school for the day. Children in Need have been a huge support for this project, and without their encouragement and early commitment of funds, we would not have managed to get so far.

You can also check our funding profile and grant expenditure here on an Excel spreadsheet.