Stars sing praises of Le Rondin facilities
YOUNGSTERS at Le Rondin had a visit from famous sporting figures yesterday who want to see school facilities updated.
Pupils had a chance to ask questions of rugby union player Ollie Phillips, sprint athlete Jamie Baulch and former England captain and member of the 2003 Rugby World Cup squad Mike Tindall, before performing songs for their guests, who could not resist singing along.
Mr Tindall, husband of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, said it was wonderful to visit the school.
‘It wasn’t originally on the list but we’ve managed to squeeze in a visit. Just the energy and how much they love singing is great,’ he said.
‘It’s amazing seeing the great work that all the teachers have done,’ said Mr Phillips.
The three were invited over by the Wooden Spoon Guernsey for a day of fundraising for the school to upgrade and refurbish its three sensory rooms and hydrotherapy pool.
Now 15 years old, many aspects of these facilities are no longer usable and the Sensory Project has been established, aiming to raise £150,000 for upgrade and refurbishment work.
‘The sensory rooms play a very important role in the life of our school, providing enhanced learning opportunities and therapeutic environments,’ said headteacher Paula Sullivan.
‘The fundraising campaign will allow us to update the equipment and once again provide state-of-the-art facilities for the children and staff as well as for a variety of community groups who will also make use of the spaces.’
Funds are needed because replacement costs fall outside Education’s budget and so charities such as Wooden Spoon Guernsey have stepped in to help.
The Wooden Spoon’s mission is to transform the lives of children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland through the power of rugby.
‘The work that the Wooden Spoon do to help children from all walks of life is amazing,’ said Mr Tindall, who said it was great to see the island get behind causes such as this.
‘In this modern world we live in now and whether it’s your own children or not, we can make sure childhood can be filled with fun and laughter.’
As an ambassador and supporter of the Wooden Spoon, Mr Phillips was also delighted to support the day.
‘One thing I love about it is it’s one of the few charities where money raised goes back into the local community,’ he said.
Yvonne Hodder, who was project operation director when the school was developed in 2003, is leading the fundraising effort.
‘We are extremely grateful to the Wooden Spoon charity for their support.
‘This gives a boost to the campaign both in terms of raising money but also raising awareness of the Sensory Project.’
Sensory rooms consist of the small black room with controlled lighting to benefit the visually impaired, the interactive white room with plenty of tech to help pupils develop and the soft play room where children have a good rough and tumble.
Ryan Galsworthy, 10, Oakley Fletcher, 10 and Kayden Thomson, 11, all enjoyed meeting the three sporting heroes and said the rooms were an important part of school.
Ms Hodder said funds raised were now at £134,000.
AS WELL as the Sensory Project, the Le Rondin School Parents, Staff and Friends Association has also launched the Friends of Le Rondin School scheme.
In order for the school to be able to replace, refurbish and upgrade equipment without the need for extensive fundraising, the scheme is looking for islanders who would like to become friends of the school.
This will involve donating a small amount on a monthly basis so the association can build up reserves to maintain the learning environment of the school.
Anyone wishing to become a friend or to donate towards the Sensory Project fund can contact the school by phone on 268300 or by email at email@example.com. There are also forms available at the school’s reception.