Highgate Hill House School pupils help to create living willow structure

Living Willow Structure

Pupils at Highgate Hill House School near Holsworthy, an independent co-educational school for children aged 5 to 16 years with special educational needs, recently helped to create a living willow structure in the school grounds, which will be used as a quiet reading space and outdoor learning classroom.

Together with current pupil Jack Payn’s Father and Uncle, plus Practical Skills Teacher Ollie Norton, the structure was built around a bench which the pupils had previously created in lessons in the school’s Design Technology workshop.

The chosen area in the garden was cleared, weed suppressant sheeting was laid and the whole area covered in bark chips before the structure was erected. The willow rods then self-root in the ground and continue to grow, which will add to the shape year on year, with new growth being woven back into the structure.

Head-teacher at Highgate Hill House School, Vicky Skelton, said: “Hands-on opportunities like this where our pupils get to work on real-life projects are so valuable. It gives them a real sense of achievement to be involved in the development of our outdoor spaces, and helps to build their confidence. As a school, we pride ourselves on the unique and enjoyable learning experience that we offer our pupils, and this beautiful willow structure will certainly add to that”.

Founder and School Director, Sir Peter Birkett, added: “We’d like to thank Jack’s Dad and Uncle for helping out with this project, and sharing their skills with the pupils. The willow structure will be a valuable space for the children and staff to enjoy the peace and quiet in our beautiful school grounds, for many years to come”.

For more information about Highgate Hill House School, please visit www.hhhschool.co.uk, email headteacher@hhhschool.co.uk or call 01288 341998.