School's story garden named best in UK
AN innovative storytelling garden at Helston's Nansloe Academy has been praised as the only one of its kind in the country.
The garden, which was only created last year, fills the void between the classrooms at the centre of the school.
Covered with a canopy, it features a hobbit-style house, mushroom seating, a castle-themed stage, fountain, lights, sound system, sculptures and a fake grass carpet.
"To the best of our knowledge, its the only one like it in any school in the UK," said librarian and teacher Heather Foster.
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Mrs Foster, school principal Charles Field and chairman of the governors Richard Thomas travelled to London to receive a special commendation from the School Library Association earlier this month.
Not able to qualify as 'best library', as the garden does not have any shelves of books, the association has given the school a commendation and will create a new innovation award for next year.
Mrs Foster said that before the garden, the area was just concreted and used for storage.
The garden was created after Mr Field asked her to come up with ideas on how to use the space, which is also outside the school's main library.
"We asked the children, parents, staff and governors what they wanted to see in a garden and then brought it all together," she said.
"I wanted to combine elements of different stories and create a space where the children could immerse themselves in the stories.
"There's a stage and costumes. I wanted to have a space where the children could also perform and act out their stories as well.
"It's had a big impact on learning and it's the children's favourite part of the school."
Chairman of the governors, Mr Thomas added: "I am delighted that the vision and hard work of our librarian has resulted in the creation of a magical space loved by the whole school community. We are incredibly grateful for the contributions and support given by our PTA (parent teacher association), parents, grandparents and local businesses who have helped make this wonderful project possible."