Something truly wonderful happened during lockdown for the pupils at Paternoster School in Cirencester; work to a fantastic new inclusive playground was completed in time for the new school year.

The project was driven by the Friends of Paternoster School, a dynamic group of parents who worked tirelessly to raise the funding from local businesses, Cotswold District Council, and national and local charitable organisations.

The playground is a carefully thought out and imaginative design that will bring huge benefits to pupils at Paternoster School as well as children with disabilities in the local community and across the SAND Academies Trust.

Pupils from Paternoster School were involved in the design of the playground from the start and many of their ideas have been incorporated into the final project.

There is something for everyone in the new playground design, including wheelchair users, who will now have access to a wheelchair swing, amongst other pieces of specialist equipment.

A teacher of Maple Class at Paternoster School said: “I cannot over-emphasise the importance of the playground to my class.

"The interaction between the children has improved beyond anything I expected as they have fun exploring the new equipment together - running up and down the mound, playing together on the roundabout and negotiating who's turn it is next on the swings (no arguments so far!).

"Also, to have wheelchair accessible play equipment is amazing and the pupil who uses a wheelchair in our class feels fully included. It is an absolute joy to see the children at playtime now.”

Leader of Cotswold District Council Joe Harris, added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see the efforts of Friends of Paternoster School come to fruition with this incredible new facility at Paternoster School in Cirencester.

"The hard work from local parents and the school to fundraise for this project has been inspiring and I’m overjoyed that the district council could help by providing a grant toward the project from our community projects fund.”