Hartlepool academy’s £500,000 plan for field of dreams

Assistant head of Catcote Academy Sian Lamplough on a school field the academy wants to transform into a new outdoor learning area.  Picture: TOM BANKS
Assistant head of Catcote Academy Sian Lamplough on a school field the academy wants to transform into a new outdoor learning area. Picture: TOM BANKS

A Hartlepool school has launched a £500,000 fundraising campaign to transform an empty field into an exciting outdoor learning zone.

Catcote Academy has won planning permission to build the outdoor fitness and learning zone the size of a football pitch.

Catcote Academy's plans for a �500,000 outdoor fitness and learning zone.

Catcote Academy's plans for a �500,000 outdoor fitness and learning zone.

It is set to include specially designed outside gym equipment, an accessible adventure play area, and tracks suitable for wheelchair users.

Teachers say it will massively benefit the students but the academy now needs to raise around £500,000 to make their dream a reality.

Assistant head Sian Lamplough told the Mail: “It is a huge development for the academy.

“At the moment it is just a field. The students can’t use it as it is just a bumpy football pitch.

It is a huge development for the academy

Sian Lamplough, assistant head

“The intention is to increase our opportunities to learn outdoors for all our children with disabilities and students with autism.

“It will give them that freedom and be able to wander but within a safe environment.

“There are various places where children with disabilities can use but nothing all in one place.

“Outdoor learning is very beneficial to all children.

Assistant head of Catcote Academy Sian Lamplough on a school field the academy wants to transform into a new outdoor learning area.  Picture: TOM BANKS

Assistant head of Catcote Academy Sian Lamplough on a school field the academy wants to transform into a new outdoor learning area. Picture: TOM BANKS

“We don’t have the money to build it so that is our next step.”
The plans have been designed in association with national body Sport England and Hartlepool Borough Council.

They also include:

• A rougher track to extend around the whole field for more able runners or longer walks;

• Camping and den building area;

• Trees and plants to support connection with nature and Forest School activities;

• Pond and welly wash;

• Social sitting areas and fire pit, barbecues;

• Briefing and teaching/meeting area;

• Sensory music area.

The area would also be available to be used by other community groups.

The academy would love to hear from any businesses who could help them reach their target.

Ms Lamplough added: “We are trying to raise money through parents and friends but that’s not going to reach anywhere near the amount this is going to cost.”

The academy is looking for professionals fundraisers to help them reach their goal.

Any companies interested in supporting the project can contact the academy on 01429 264036.