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We would like to say a big “Thank You” to local transport company, NG Transport, and St Francis of Assisi church for enabling them to transform some of their outdoor areas into spaces where pupils can sit out in the open air and relax with their friends.

St Francis of Assisi donated a number of high quality wooden benches to the school and Bill McCaffrey of NG Transport offered Phil Tighe and Alan Derbyshire’s help to transport and erect the benches at the school.

NG Transport, a company who provide national and international transport and haulage, provided the vehicle and the labour necessary for the task. They were keen to help and develop their links with the local community. St Francis of Assisi converted from a church to a community centre a few years ago and wanted to make sure that the old church benches were put to good use.

Pupils at Saint Paul’s are encouraged to take advantage of the school’s green outdoor areas; they have been going outside at lunchtime, weather permitting, to enjoy the fresh air and play together. Now they are able to take time out to sit and chat or read on the benches.

Mrs Angie Holland, Year 7 Assistant Progress Leader, said: “We have noticed that the children spending time outside appear more active, absorbed, motivated and purposeful, and have developed a more positive attitude. The children are less inhibited outside, and are more willing to join in with activities, talk and come out of their shells. Outdoor exercise also improves children's emotional health, allowing for relaxation and calmness and a heightened sense of well-being.”
“Our society has become increasingly complex, but there remains a need for every child to enjoy the simple pleasure that comes from spending time outside,” explained Miss Tina Wilkinson Deputy Headteacher at Saint Paul’s. “Regular opportunities for sustained periods of play in a rich and stimulating outdoor environment offer a wide range of physical and emotional benefits. The pupils are able to expand their imaginations, develop skills for seeing things through another person’s point of view--cooperating, helping, sharing, and solving problems; the countless benefits of outdoor play have a real positive impact on children's lives. We would like to thank NG Transport and St Francis of Assisi for supporting us in our quest to encourage our pupils to enjoy the outdoors.”

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