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Norwich youngsters help build eco classroom

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 March 2011

Arden Grove School pupils help build their eco-classroom. Harvey Hurrell 6 pictured with the cob that is used to make the building.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Arden Grove School pupils help build their eco-classroom. Harvey Hurrell 6 pictured with the cob that is used to make the building.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Youngsters have been getting their hands muddy as they help create an eco-friendly building at their school.

Work has started on a classroom that will be made out of cob with a natural living roof at Arden Grove Infant School in Hellesdon.

And since the work got under way, the school’s 208 pupils have been getting their hands dirty, helping to build the cob walls by mixing, building and sculpting
it.

Headteacher Daniel Thrower said: “The children have loved becoming sustainable, natural builders.

“There’s been lots of messy hands, great enthusiasm and a real sense of building something that’s going to be very special. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they will remember for many years to come.”

The roundhouse will be Norfolk’s first environmentally-friendly classroom built using cob, a traditional mixture of clay-heavy subsoil, sand and straw, and will take 12 weeks to complete.

The project, being built by Devon-based specialists Earthed, has been largely funded through a £10,000 grant provided by Broadland District Council, and will be used as a learning base for art and outside educational projects.

It will also include a cob oven good enough to bake pizzas and a cob bench. As part of the project, Year 2 children have also been taking part in a carving workshop with a local sculptor to learn how to create decorative patterns for the framed entrance to the building.

Adren Grove pupil Harry Kid said: “It was really messy, you couldn’t see my wellies for mud, it was awesome.”

Harvey Hurrell added: “It was fantastic, it felt like I was a builder.”

As well as Broadland’s grant, the project has been supported by a number of local companies and charitable trusts.

Do you know a group of children who are involved in an innovative project? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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