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Vaughan Gething & others at opening of school amphitheatre

A PENARTH school has officially unveiled their amphitheatre, with pupils putting on a special performance.

St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Penarth held an opening ceremony for their new amphitheatre on Wednesday (October 20) with parents and members of the community joined by special guests including Archbishop George Stack, Vaughan Gething MS, and town Mayor Cllr Ian Buckley.

The amphitheatre – set in the school grounds – can be used for pupils to explore and for them to take part in expressive arts workshops and performances. It’s also a place to study, read, create, and reflect.

Penarth Times: Archbishop George Stack blesses the amphitheatreArchbishop George Stack blesses the amphitheatre

The space also allows staff to develop the new curriculum for Wales, by facilitating activities that develop important characteristics; it will also help children with the humanities curriculum, including learning about Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.

Headteacher, Laura Taylor, said: “Our vision when designing and constructing the amphitheatre was to create an additional outdoor space, which would enhance the knowledge-rich curriculum we are developing.

“The finished result is a wonderful addition to our school, providing pupils with a space to perform, worship, learn and play in our peaceful and beautiful school grounds.

“Outdoor learning is also an essential part of our curriculum and the amphitheatre provides outdoor seating which is integral to that.”

Penarth Times: Pupils rehearsing ahead of the official opening of the amphitheatrePupils rehearsing ahead of the official opening of the amphitheatre

As a Pioneer and Innovation school for the Welsh Government, developing the ‘four purposes’ of the new curriculum and driving innovation in learning is at the heart of the school, which also has:

  • An orchard used for forest school
  • A polytunnel for children to grow fruit and vegetables
  • An astronomy observatory to learn about space and physics

Ms Taylor continued: “Having the opportunity to perform regularly on the amphitheatre will provide pupils with many life-skills including empathy, the ability to listen, teamwork, problem solving, and confidence.

“They will also feel a great sense of pride and achievement as they perform to others. These skills will help our pupils to flourish and thrive in mind, body and spirit.”

The project took 18 months and was undertaken by Gareth Thurlow of Patio Plus Ltd, with support from parents through donations and the governing body.

It was also made possible through the previous Friends and Family Team (co-chaired by Jessica Thomas and Alex Thomas) and the current Friends and Family Team (chaired by Sarah Buinimasi) who raised £7,000 and liaised with the company.

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