Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cookson Tribute Garden Unveiled at Girls' School

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cookson Tribute Garden Unveiled at Girls' School

Article excerpt

Byline: Jamie Diffley Content editor

ANEW storytelling garden has been unveiled at a Tyneside high school in honour of Catherine Cookson.

Newcastle High School for Girls officially unveiled the Catherine Cookson storytelling garden at its Junior School in Sandyford in a special naming ceremony attended by Peter Magnay DL from the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust.

Mr Magnay unveiled a commemorative plaque dedicated to the Catherine Cookson charitable Trust. The plaque is on a specially crafted storytelling chair that will take pride of place in the grounds. Some of the girls performed readings from the South Tyneside author's work.

The Charitable Trust awarded a significant grant to the school over 18 months ago to part-fund a major landscaping project that has transformed the school's five acre site into a giant outdoor classroom.

The Catherine Cookson grant has supported the creation of a forest trail, storytelling area, kitchen garden and a wild flower corridor. The grounds also include two all-weather sports pitches, an amphitheatre, woodland walk, sensory garden, a picnic area and a pond and bog garden.

The result has been the creation of a unique outdoor learning facility within the Jesmond Dene conservation corridor.

All these elements are used by the junior school to deliver an outdoor curriculum that offers the girls aged 3-11 the opportunity to take their learning outside.

The gardens and grounds provide the 'classroom' for Newcastle High's Forest School programme, which is built into the school curriculum and offers the girls training in bush craft skills as well as the study of ecology and biodiversity as part of the science curriculum.

Headteacher Hilary French said: "It has been a joy to see our vision to provide an outstanding and unique learning environment turn into reality. …

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