A SCHOOL has transformed an overgrown plot into a new sensory garden - creating a calm space for pupils to learn and relax.

St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Askham Richard, near York, officially opened the news facility earlier this month.

The garden had been in the planning for around six months before the idea came to fruition.

The project was financed by fundraising organised by the Friends of St Mary’s (FoSM) group, which is made up of parents of children attending the school.

The group has raised money for the school on numerous occasions and most recently worked with AVIVA to raise cash for the sensory garden. Through the group’s efforts the school was able to raise more than £5,000.

York Press: The garden will help provide support for the wellbeing of the children

St Mary’s headteacher Richard Moss said: “They are an incredible set of parents who do a lot of fundraising for our school.

“We use the money to pay for things that the children can access. I’m genuinely blown away with the work they do and the efforts they put in.”

Friends of St Mary’s discussed the prospect of turning what was an overgrown space into an area to support the children and their wellbeing.

The project took around four months to complete, including the time it took to buy the materials and finish the manual labour.

Asked what he hopes the garden will provide for the children, Mr Moss said: “We hope that the sensory garden is a calm space that children know they can access when they feel they need to.

York Press: The school hope it will offer children a calming environment

“Staff can work with children in the sensory garden one on one or as part of a group.

“This will be for general school work, as well as more focused support on wellbeing.”

The school pupils are already enjoying their new space.

Mr Moss added: “The children adore the space.

“They enjoy doing group work there as well as one on one focused intervention.

“They also love to head there if they feel they need to calm down or relax.

“There are many different sensory items in there that have been purposefully selected and purchased to support children who need to relax, calm down or need general support with wellbeing.

York Press: It will be a great area for general school work

“Staff also love it for a calm environment to relax in or have lunch.”

The opening was held on December 15 and was attended by former Archbishop of York John Sentamu.