Burbage Primary School's new classroom and Memory Orchard opened by MP
MP Claire Perry officially opened Burbage Primary School’s new classroom and Memory Orchard on Friday (May 25). As she cut the purple ribbon and declared the new classroom open she said: “This is an exciting day. It’s wonderful to see the benefits of all the fundraising. It’s always so lovely to come back to this school.”
Former Burbage School Principal, Nicola Coupe said, “Today we realise the vision, which has taken some time. I want to celebrate all the fundraising over the last three years…it really has been a whole community project.”
Reception and Year 1 children are already enjoying the new classroom facilities. “They will have,” said Nicola Coupe, “a wonderful start to their learning.”
Some of the creative ways the community have raised funds included: ice-lolly sales, dress down days and sky-diving (which raised a whopping £8,500). More traditional fundraising through school fetes together with Government grants and generous donations allowed the classroom to be built in record time.
The Memory Orchard was also officially opened by Claire Perry. It has been planted with six trees including apple, pear, greengage and plum. The Memory Orchard is in memory of Mikey Britten, a Burbage pupil, who lost his fight with cancer last year. It is hoped that as the trees grow the children will have a quiet place to sit and contemplate.
“It will be,” said Nicola Coupe, “a beautiful place to play or to sit quietly and create wonderful memories for the future.”
Former Burbage pupils and Mikey’s classmates, now in Year 7 at St. John’s, attended the opening ceremony.
A memory bench, kindly donated by Rosebourne of Andover, has been placed among the trees. The orchard's first tree was planted in November last year by visiting TV presenter Steve Backshall.