SERC Trainees Make An Outdoor Classroom

As part of their commitment to working with the local community, enthusiastic trainees along with apprentices from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) have worked tirelessly throughout the term to design and construct an octagonal outdoor classroom for St Malachy’s Primary School, Kilclief as part of their studies.

Last week the local primary school pupils visited the college with their teachers for the official unveiling and they couldn’t hide their delight as they saw the structure for the first time.

Principal Ms Monan thanked SERC for the excellent work delivered by their students under Technical Support Officer Seamus Branniff and she added “We are really delighted with the finished product. It is a true work of craft, skills and art.

St Malachy’s Primary School, Kilclief, were delighted at the unveiling of the octagonal outdoor classroom which constructed by South Eastern Regional College trainees.

“The apprentices have done a fantastic job. We wouldn’t have had the money to buy something like this so working with SERC meant we only had to provide the materials. A lot of fundraising was done to help fund the build from the PTA and I can’t wait for them to see it when it’s installed at the school.

“The plan is that it will become an outdoor classroom hosting all subject areas including Art, PE The World Around Us, Numeracy and Literacy.

“I would like to thank the College and Seamus’ team who have worked tirelessly to build the bespoke outdoor classroom to our specific needs. It really does look amazing and the quality of the work that has gone into it is evident. Everything has been handcrafted and finished to the highest standard. We would not have had the funding to undertake this work by ourselves, we really can’t thank the apprentices enough.”

The build could only have happened thanks to generous fundraising from the Parent and Teacher Association, Friends of Kilclief.

The trainees who study the skills for work qualification designed and constructed the five feet bespoke gazebo which will be installed in its new home in the coming weeks.

The gazebo took eight weeks to complete and was a collaborative effort from trainees across a range of disciplines including carpentry and joinery, mechanical engineering, motor vehicle, plumbing, refrigeration and electrical. Level 3 Joinery apprentices installed hip–rafters on the roof which was used as evidence for their NVQ qualifications.

Mathew Herron, a 17-year-old joinery trainee who was involved in the complex build said: “I really enjoyed making the gazebo and working with other trainees and apprentices from the college. I got experience in a range of skills including installing windows, stud walling, sheeting and flooring.”

The build manufactured by the trainees will play a vital role in facilitating learning that will supplement a harmonious and more cohesive learning experience for the pupils.

SERC Technical Support Officer Seamus Branniff who assisted the apprentices throughout the project explained: “As the trainees do not have an employer, community projects such as this allow them to gain the additional skills they need to get the career they want. Therefore, students still get the much-needed industry experience which is vital when seeking employment.”

As the trainees began working on the project, they realised it would be more challenging than first thought. Throughout the project the trainees ensured a high level of accuracy and used specialist traditional skills to the best of their ability.

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