Oakland Primary opens new outdoor space in bid to instil a love of reading

Written by on 21st February 2024

Pupils at Aberaman’s Oakland Primary School will enjoy lessons in a new outdoor space, ‘Den Darllen’, in a bid to enhance a love of literacy and reading amongst the 200 young learners.

The school has developed the outdoor area, which will be used specifically for all children aged 7-11, in a bid to spark and develop their love for literacy. Parent workshops are also planned for Den Darllen as the school continues its work with families, outside agencies, and the wider community.

The space has been developed after Oaklands Primary School was successful in its application to local energy company Pennant Walters. The company provided £3,000 from a fund linked to its 9 turbine 22 MW Mynydd Bwllfa windfarm near Aberdare in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which became operational in summer 2015.

Headteacher Caroline Briley said:

“We are an inclusive school, with a diverse pupil population and are committed to improving access to resources across the school – both in the building and outdoors.

“We have wanted to develop an outdoor space for some time in a bid to increase pupils love of reading and so we were thrilled to receive the money that allowed us to press ahead with our plans.”

A reading shed has been installed, giving access to a small outdoor library, whilst the space will soon be enhanced with further seating areas and planters for children to care for.

Caroline continued:

“This money has literally transformed this area and we are thrilled to see it so well used. Pupils love that they can come here, away from the busy classroom, where they can pick up a book, relax and support their emotional wellbeing.“A huge thanks to Pennant Walters for this donation. At a time when funding in the education system is so stretched, this couldn’t have come as a more poignant time.”Year 6 pupil, Seren Cobley, chair of the School council, loves the new space and said:

“We loved being able to choose the reading material we wanted for our Den Darllen. It’s brilliant to be able to read outside at play and lunchtimes and I hope that as the days get sunnier, we can all do it more.”

Pennant Walters operations manager, Harry Llewellyn, said:

“We are proud to support the school’s ambition of bolstering their outdoor space for the benefit of all pupils and the local community. We hope that many more hundreds of children will be able to enjoy Den Darllen as the years go by.

“Our wind energy project community funds exist to make a difference to the local communities in which we work, and it’s clear to see the positive impact this outdoor space will have.”

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