Left to right: David Canning, Sir Bob Russell, Simon Blaxill, Monica Hartley and Pam Rose. The children pictured are all members of the school council.

Kent Blaxill staff build school snake garden

Published:  03 May, 2013

Staff at Kent Blaxill have designed and built a giant outdoor game of snakes and ladders at King’s Ford Infants school in Colchester, to help children develop their maths skills.

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell recently opened the garden, which has been one of Kent Blaxill’s 175th anniversary projects. It features a numbered stepping-stone snake in an area enclosed by railings, to which an additional four 8ft long snake shapes have been attached.

The children, aged four to seven, will jump and count their way along the stepping stones, which will improve their numeracy and physical skills – as well as how to deal with winning and losing – according to head-teacher Pam Rose.

“King’s Ford Infant School and Nursery is thrilled to be part of Kent Blaxill’s 175 year celebrations and to benefit from their hard work which will enrich our children’s learning, wellbeing and development,” Ms Rose added.

The giant snake’s head and tail were made from marine ply by Malcolm Bennett to a design by Jasper Smathers. They were painted by Chris Parker, with other work carried out by staff from every Kent Blaxill department.

The snakes on the railings provide additional activity options for the children as they double up as blackboards and magnetic boards, and there are also two benches for children to watch the game from.

In another area, the school is developing a spiritual garden where Kent Blaxill volunteers have installed a calming water feature along with potting benches, cold frames and raised beds for growing flowers and vegetables.

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