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Trees planted to celebrate milestone in development of £4 million school

Posted on Monday 20th February 2023
St Leonard's Tree Planting

L-R - Headteacher Charlotte Cooke, Kevin Dodds (standing), Jonathan Price (kneeling), Heather Bailey Staffordshire County Council, Beth Blewitt Entrust with children from St Leonard’s Primary school

Trees have been planted to celebrate the £4 million refurbishment of a Stafford primary school.

The 80 tree saplings have been gifted to the school by the Woodland Trust and have been planted in a special ceremony at the new school site. 

Teachers and pupils, plus representatives from Staffordshire County Council, constructors GF Tomlinson and Entrust all got stuck in to help with the planting, which is the latest milestone in the school’s refurbishment.

Pupils and staff from St Leonard’s will be moving from their current Victorian building to a new, larger site at the Kingston Centre.

The move will allow the school to accommodate more pupils and ensure it is well-placed to cope with an increased demand for school places.

The Kingston Centre is currently undergoing a £4 million remodel and refurbishment with the new, bigger building boasting modern facilities, extensive outdoor playing provision and the option to add further buildings later.

The refurbished school will be ready by September 2023. Refurbishments are being completed by GF Tomlinson with design by Entrust.

Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education Jonathan Price said:

“This £4 million school is testament to our commitment to providing pupils with the best possible education and learning environment. Planting these trees, which have been kindly donated by the Woodland Trust, represents another milestone in the school’s development, and demonstrates our dedication to sustainability and creating a bright future for our young people.”

Charlotte Cooke, Headteacher at St Leonard’s, said:

“As our new school site continues to develop, it is wonderful to be afforded the opportunity to begin to make this school site ours. As an already ECO conscious school, by planting these trees, which have been kindly donated to us by the Woodland Trust, we are sowing the seeds for future outdoor experiences whilst developing a learning environment that our children can explore and progress in.

“By working together, with our ECO committee, parents, staff and governors to plant these trees, we are already taking ownership over our new school site and bringing our school community together for the first of many occasions where we will celebrate our school and our children."

Kevin Dodds, Construction Director at G F Tomlinson, said:

“We’re really pleased to have joined Staffordshire County Council, Entrust Education, the school and its pupils, in planting trees which were gifted by the Woodland Trust and represents the next development milestone for the school.  

“We’re committed to improving sustainability and green spaces in our communities and not only will the trees enhance the area, but they will also encourage children to connect with nature and the environment.”

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