Pupils and staff at Cotton End Primary School are celebrating after gaining £28,000 to develop new outdoor sports facilities at its site.
The funding is part of Sport England’s £18m National Lottery funded Primary School Facilities Fund which is helping more schools to provide outdoor multi-activity play areas across the country.
The investment is designed to support those schools which are in greatest need of facility improvements and will benefit pupils at the school and the local community.
At Cotton End, the new investment will go towards a state of the art activity space, which will give children the opportunity to play sports such as football, tennis and basketball. The funding will also be used to build a bouldering wall and other floor surfaces.
Karen Headland, headteacher, said: This is fantastic news for us. As a small village school with just over 100 pupils, the investment will enable us to greatly enhance our PE facilities giving our children the opportunity to experience a wider range of sports at school. We encourage active lifestyles and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact of this investment on health, fitness, well-being and sports participation of our young people and those in the community.”
Nick Bitel, Sport England Chair, said: “Having the right space to play sport and be physically active as a child is vitally important. We are delighted to be investing this funding in Cotton End Primary School to improve the spaces that will give children the space to start enjoying PE and sport.”
Sebastian Coe, CH KBE, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, added: “A positive first experience of PE and sport at primary school is crucial to encouraging young people to be active throughout their lives, but for those schools with little or no outside space this can be extremely challenging to deliver.
“This funding will provide better outdoor multi-activity play areas at Cotton End Primary School that can be used both within the curriculum and outside school hours by local communities. I am convinced this will boost the opportunities for young people to be physical active.”
>> Lower and middle schools across North East Bedfordshire are currently receiving a fresh £512,260 funding boost to transform PE lessons for tens of thousands of pupils, which has been welcomed by North East Beds MP Alistair Burt.
Head teachers have already used the PE and Sports Premium – a fund worth more than £150million a year to spend on school sports provision - to recruit hundreds of extra specialist PE teachers, buy new equipment and offer a wider selection of sports and free after school clubs. As a result, figures show that on average primary schools pupils are spending more time in
PE lessons. Last year pupils spent an average of 122 minutes every week doing PE – up 13 minutes on the previous year.
Mr Burt said “I am delighted that the Government has been able to provide such a significant amount of funding for local schools to improve their PE and sports provisions.
“With over half a million pound being paid directly to our schools purely for sport, we have received the fourth highest award in the country. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the funds are put to use when I visit schools over the coming year.”