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ServiceWorks Takes to the Playground

A group of young trainees are showing they are a class act by building specialised learning equipment for school playgrounds. Those involved are with the ServiceWorks  programme, run by KibbleWorks which provides training and employment for young people between the ages of 16 and 24. The ServiceWorks initiative is quickly gaining a reputation for high-quality timber playground products that are being installed all over the west of Scotland.

One of the most recent projects the Paisley-based employment training initiative has completed was in conjunction with Mindstretchers – specialists who provide children with multi-sensory educational environments.

The ServiceWorks team headed by Bryan Shaw, built and installed educational play equipment in the playground of St Ninian’s Primary, in Knightswood, Glasgow. The youngsters at St Ninian’s now have a sensory garden with timber plant boxes, a sheltered corner coral that can be used as an outdoor classroom and two willow tunnels made from an arched roof of willow tree saplings.

The KibbleWorks  trainees also made a ‘mag post’ for the kids, which is a tall block of wood hollowed out with a magnifying glass inserted at the top and a small tray carved into the wood halfway down. Plants and insects can then be placed in the tray and the kids can see the objects magnified by looking down through the glass at the top of the block of wood. Children from the school’s Eco Committee and Pupil Council played a major role in deciding what equipment should be installed in their playground.

The school’s Deputy Head Teacher, Brian Bourke said: “The children are very excited that they can take their learning outside and have an interactive experience. Having a separately designated outdoor area with a variety of different learning zones means the children will have the maximum opportunity to explore and learn in contexts other than traditional classroom teaching and learning environments.”

Kibble’s Chief Executive, Graham Bell said: “This is an excellent example of a win-win situation. On the one hand, we have young people on Kibble’s employment training programme to gain vital experience about the world of work and then schoolchildren benefitting with the creation of an outdoor learning experience in their playground.”

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