Leeds school's dazzling new look awaits pupils next term

A group of volunteers and businesses have been chipping in over the half-term break to finish a revamp worth thousands of pounds at a Leeds primary school.

Friday, 17th February 2017, 7:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 7:52 am
COLOUR ME IMPRESSED: Headteacher Chris Dyson in a new-look classroom with volunteers and pupils. PIC: Simon Hulme

Classrooms at Parklands Primary School in Seacroft that had not been painted since the 1980s were revitalised in a scheme led by the firm behind the Thorpe Park development in east Leeds.

A total of £45,000 had been allocated by the school but headteacher Chris Dyson said that money could now be spent on teaching staff.

Mr Dyson said: “The current state of some of our classrooms is pretty poor and rather than wait for a maintenance budget to ‘appear’ I was able to convince the lovely people at Thorpe Park Leeds to don their overalls and help us to get the job done during half term.

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“When the children walk into the classrooms after half term their eyes will just light up.

“The walls have gone to being a off colour white to vibrant bright yellow. They will walk in and be dazzled.”

Mr Dyson said Parklands Primary School is open 52 weeks a year and tries to play a central role in its community.

Over Christmas it served hundreds of meals and has hosted a Santa’s grotto attraction for children who may not have otherwise had the chance.

He said it fell within one of Leeds’s most deprived catchment areas in which 89 per cent of pupils received free school meals.

Simon Marshall, joint chief executive of Scarborough International Properties, which owns Thorpe Park Leeds jointly with Legal and General Capital, led a team of 15 volunteers from businesses tasked with painting four classrooms a day over the school holiday.

Thorpe Park is an ongoing business development with plans to develop further in the pipeline. Last December, a proposed new 300,000 sq ft shopping and leisure park at the site moved a step closer to being constructed.

Mr Marshall said: “We are delighted to be able to assist Parkland Primary School to help to create a better learning environment for pupils.

“As we progress a very active programme of development for phase two at Thorpe Park Leeds we are also committed to supporting the local community with a dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) agenda that spans throughout and beyond our delivery programme.”

Mr Dyson added: “We are eternally grateful for this over generous support from Thorpe Park Leeds and its team of volunteers. It is going to be such a lovely surprise for the children when they return to have a shiny new classroom to learn in.”

Headteacher Chris Dyson offered his thanks to GMI Construction, GMI Energy, Northern Regeneration, Travel Plan Services, French PR, E S Decorators and BME Limited and facilities management firm Mitie, which contributed to manpower and materials during the project.

GMI provided all materials and BME Limited installed low energy LED lights, which were supplied free of charge by Thorn Lighting.