SCHOOLS across the Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust (DMAT) are gearing up to rejuvenate their facilities, with the help of Holsworthy Town Council, willing teams of staff, governors and older students and the wider community.

After huge success during the Easter and May half term breaks earlier this year, the AWE (Awe, Wonder, Engagement) Project has been rolled out to four more of DMAT’s primary schools —?Bradford Primary, Black Torrington Primary, Exborne Primary and Bridestowe Primary — with work due to be undertaken before Christmas. The Trust’s remaining 13 schools’ projects will be completed throughout next year.

The scheme helps the schools to capitalise on every opportunity to extend children’s learning and engage in wide-ranging projects with other local schools, their children, families, and with the larger community. It was initially designed as a continuation of the strong community spirit which had been evidenced during lockdown and has seen numerous local businesses pledge their support.

To bring the projects to life, members of the school enlist the support of community volunteers from the locality and have also benefited from the kindness and generosity of the wider community.

During the Easter series of AWE projects, the schools received a wide range of materials, from business like DIY Supplies Home Hardware, T J Davies General Maintenance, Euromaster and the Garden Shop Garden Centre. Donations included paint, bark chippings, seeds, stones, fencing and tyres, and the schools welcome any and all donations moving forwards.

Melissa Trudgill, community engagement manager has said how grateful the Trust and its schools are for the generosity shown and they have already received support for this term’s projects from Holsworthy Town Council and Tamar Trading. She noted that this initiative is an effective example of community and schools working together to transform spaces for children in short periods of time with kind donations from local businesses and organisations, and said the children get an amazing surprise when they come back to school on a Monday morning.

For the latest series of projects, schools have thought intently about the small changes they can make which will have a major difference. Bradford Primary School are planning on painting their entire ‘Creative Arts Room’ to make it an enticing and engaging space for students, while Black Torrington Primary School are seeking support to revitalise the top area of the school, beyond the playground with a new sensory garden, shelter for outside learning, a fire pit and seating area, and new raised planters and troughs for growing vegetables.

Dan Morrow, Trust leader for DMAT, said:?“We are delighted to be bringing back the AWE Project, and I am so proud to see the imaginative and ambitious plans which the schools have come up with. As a Trust, we have always taken our role in the community incredibly seriously, and projects like this really do support this connection.

“As well as deepening our schools’ links with their communities, it encourages our students to be creative and develop the pride they feel to be part of their school. I would like to thank all the wonderful businesses and individuals who have supported us so far and am excited to see the projects develop.”

If any local businesses would like to support the schools in any way, contact Melissa Trudgill on?[email protected]?or Derrick Brettat [email protected]