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Spalding head teacher says vandals are harming pupils' learning

A Spalding head teacher believes her pupils are having their education harmed by vandals who have struck for the third time in nine days.

The latest incident at St Paul’s Community Primary saw intruders trash a woven willow and mud round house built by Years 3 and 4 pupils, uproot fruit trees and smash educational equipment in the outdoor learning area.

The trail of devastation was discovered this morning (Wednesday) by teacher Andy Dowling, who has spearheaded the school’s environmental learning - and was last year named by this newspaper as the Most Inspirational Primary Teacher in our Education Awards.

The latest damage has prompted fresh calls for the school to be left in peace so pupils who “deserve the best” get the most from their education.

Children were learning an ancient method of construction - wattle and daub - when they built this round house. Now it's trashed. (230119-27)
Children were learning an ancient method of construction - wattle and daub - when they built this round house. Now it's trashed. (230119-27)

Head teacher Kira Nicholls said: “I do sincerely hope this stops soon - the children’s learning and hard work is really being affected now.”

The school is witnessing the worst and the best of human behaviour.

While Miss Nicholls condemned last week’s attacks as “mindless and senseless”, Spalding Guardian readers reacted to our front page story with offers of help.

Miss Nicholls said: “I have been astounded by the generosity of people through monies donated to the school and offers of time to support the repairs of the damage.

“We received a cheque for £100 from a lady who wished to remain anonymous and didn’t even want to meet me so I could thank her in person and another from Major Roderick CP Cowan from Crowland for a further £50.

“We are overwhelmed with the kindness shown and can’t thank these individuals enough for restoring our faith in humanity and human kindness.

“We will certainly use these valuable donations towards replacing damaged items but are a little afraid of doing this if the destruction continues.”

The round house was an educational project that gave pupils a huge sense of pride.

Miss Nicholls said vandals tried to kick in the side of the round house and then “caved the roof in”.

This anemometer for measuring wind was damaged beyond repair. (230119-24)
This anemometer for measuring wind was damaged beyond repair. (230119-24)

When the Queens Road school was targeted last week, equipment in the garden was smashed, shed windows were broken with glass left hanging outside a Year 1 classroom, a polytunnel was ripped, and equipment in the learning area was thrown over a fence.

* Official figures show almost one in four children (23.89 per cent) in St Paul’s ward are in “income deprived” families while South Holland's average is 15.48 per cent.

What do you think? Email our editor jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk


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