Pupils name the Centre - the full story

Written by Terry Kemp on .

We have raised over two hundred thousand pounds to build a purpose built ‘Outdoor Learning Centre to facilitate and expand the delivery of existing ‘Outdoors Learning’ education here at Rowdeford School. From the beginning of the project and the expansion of the initial ideas the intention is to create an exemplary facility that extends its work to involve the wider community, visiting schools and offer training; becoming a Centre of Excellence in Outdoor Learning.


The original ‘Kennels’ building (formerly school farm dairy & animal housing) was in  a state of dereliction and we are sympathetically restoring the building  as a simple, functional, weatherproof space repairing brickwork, timber and roof coverings. The intention is to be ‘minimalist’ in the refurbishment and within the restored spaces insert ‘pods’ or ‘self-contained’ units of free-standing accommodation creating storage and toilet facilities. This maintains the structure very closely to its 19th C origins and allows for integration of habitats e.g. swallows, bats. (we already have a Tawny Owl using the facility as a roost.)

Trust and Pupils to name new Outdoor Learning Centre after retiring Headteacher

Written by Terry Kemp on .

The building of Rowdeford School’s new Outdoor Learning Centre is still in progress but in advance of the school holidays the Centre will be named on the 11th July 2017 by two former pupils.

The Centre, which will be finished ready for the new term, has been financed through the efforts of The Rowdeford Charity Trust and other supporters.

Jonny Grew Chairman of the Rowdeford Charity Trust said,” We are so grateful to so many people and organisations. Costing over £200,000 the purpose-built facility will give access to the outdoor facilities around the school to more pupils and community groups. We are also really pleased that we can honour our retiring Headteacher Ingrid Sidmouth by naming the centre after her.” He continued, “Ingrid has been such an important ‘leading light’ since she first became deputy headteacher in 2001. It is appropriate the Centre should be called ‘The Ingrid Sidmouth Centre’ “

Fledglings delay works - sort off!

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Within the woods close to Rowdeford School, The Rowdeford Charity Trust and the School are restoring and extending the old farm kennels providing an innovative outdoor learning space. Contractors are on site as are a nest of fledgling flycatchers.

These rare birds and its nest are within an area of the old roof that has yet to be cleared. Scaffolding is in place, carpenters are replacing old timbers, concrete is being laid all observed by these little birds and their parents.

All off the planned works have been subject to strict environmental checks and conditions but this nest has been a surprise. The Schools appointed contractors, local firm Wilkins Builders Ltd have been very careful and now are rearranging their work to allow the young birds to develop and leave the nest naturally.

Terry Kemp the Trust’s Fundraising Coordinator said, “The work to raise the finance by the Trustees, School Staff, School Governors, Pupils, Friends and others to build an Outdoor Learning Centre has been tough. The fact that we have now started and could be thwarted by nature is ironic! But we can work around this and will welcome the birds back to our bird boxes next year.”

Imperial Charity Cheque presented to Pupils

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Now that the Rowdeford Charity Trust has reached ts target to be able to start work they are able to contact the various charities that have pledged funds. One such charity is the Imperial Charity who pledged £1000 if we raised the rest.

Pupils from the School met the President of the Imperial Charity David McCance and showed him the gardens and the site where the new Centre is to be built. Afterwards he presented the children,who on this occasion were, representing the Trust with the cheque. 



New home for Rowdeford Owl

Written by Terry Kemp on .

The building of our outdoor learning centre comes witha few conditions. One of those conditions is the provision of an Owl Box(roost) for our Owl. This bird has for some years been useing the roof of the old kennels so needs a new home now that we have taken the roof tiles off and building works are about to begin.

The pupils and staff have built the box and there has been many sighting of Owen and others standing holding their chins and pondering as to how to get it up into the tree. There has been talk of cranes, 'cherry pickers', even helecopters were mentioned. However, the end result was ladders and 'good old fashioned ' muscle (Owens!) 

Thanks to everyone for their hard work. Let's now see whether Mr Owl takes up residence.

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Mr Craze up the canal with a paddle,

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Aside from all the work in getting our Outdoor Learning Centre underway we often can forget that fundraising is still required for other essentual things required for the children at Rowdeford School.

John Craze,  one of the teachers at the School is so desperate to get some essentual exhibition equipment for his Duke of Edinburgh  Award pupils he is going to paddle his canoe 125 miles to Westminster! 

John has entered the Annual Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon in the hope that he can gain sponsorship and raise £1250. He tells us that he has stopped falling in and has been training now for most weekends. To support him and contribute to his fundraising effort. ( and what an effort too!) press Here .


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We have done it !

Thanks to so many who have given time, money and pledges we have built our Outdoor Learning Centre !


We want to share traditional outdoor skills and learning whilst breaking down those barriers between people with special needs, the wider community and workplaces.

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The Rowdeford Charity Trust
Rowdeford School,
Rowde, Devizes,
Wiltshire SN10 2QQ.

Telephone: 07584 778151

Registered Charity - 1088605

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