New school playing field for Milking Bank Primary
Children at Milking Bank Primary are jumping with joy at the creation of a new playing field for the school.
The school currently does not have its own playing field or grassed area for sports or outdoor play. Children are able to use the adjacent recreation ground for special events such as sports day, but practicalities such as lack of access and ability to provide a permanent secure space for children to play means it can only be used occasionally.
The school and governing body have worked closely with Dudley council and Sport England to put in a proposal which would see a small section of the ground - sufficient for an under 13/under 14 size football pitch which meets Sport England’s guidelines of 88m x 56m - allocated to the school. The rest of the recreation ground will still be fully accessible to the public and ensures sufficient space for a football pitch for community use, should one be required.
Children at the school took part in the planning application process, writing letters to the local authority to explain the importance of having their own sports field to keep active. Some of the Year 6 children even presented their case at a public meeting in November. Key to the decision has been the importance of not only maintaining a sports pitch on the larger, public space but also to allow community use of the new school playing field outside of school hours.
The new sports pitch will be separated from the main recreation ground by a 3m high fence which will also allow for sensitive planting of trees. The children will be able to access the new pitch freely, both for PE lessons, outdoor play at break and lunch times and after school activities.
Planning permission was approved on April 21, it’s hoped the work will take place over the coming months so that when all the children are back in the autumn term they will be able run safely and freely on their own school field.
Children at the school have been wholeheartedly enthusiastic about the plans. Abbie in Year 4 said: “It will be our field and it will feel safer. I will run and run and run...” while Sophie from Year 2 said “On a sunny day I would like to lie down on the green grass and lie down and look up at the shapes of the clouds.”
Karen Brass, Head Teacher, Milking Bank Primary School said:
This has been a real group effort with the school, children, parents, governors, local councillors, the local authority and Sport England coming together to create something which will benefit the children and wider community.
It's great to think that so many children will benefit from this for years to come. We will be able to do the Daily Mile at last and improve the physical, emotional, social health and well-being of our children. Our motto is 'To go further than we thought: to run faster than I hoped; to reach higher than I dreamed' well we actually can now we have a field to run on!
The local community will also have secure, well managed safe access to the sports facility. It's a win, win for us all!
Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said:
The children of Milking Bank Primary deserve this field, they’ve been campaigning for it for years, and we’re really glad that we’ve been able to work with them, the local community and Sport England to come up with a plan which benefits everyone.
The children get their own safe secure playing field, we’ve maintained access to the wider site and helped create a new pitch which will be available for community use outside of school hours. It just shows how much we can achieve when we work together.