Staff at builders merchant Kent Blaxill have designed and built a giant outdoor classroom game of snakes and ladders at King’s Ford Infants school in Colchester to help children develop their maths skills.
The garden, which has been one of Kent Blaxill’s 175th anniversary projects, was opened by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell.
It features a numbered stepping-stone snake in an area enclosed by railings to which have been attached four 8 ft long snake shapes.
The children, aged from four to seven, will jump and count their way along the stepping stones, improving their numeracy skills up to 30, as well as the physical skills of balancing and jumping, and dealing with winning and losing, according to head teacher Pam Rose.
The giant snake 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 KB department.
The giant snakes on the railings provide additional activity options for the children as they double up as blackboards and magnetic boards, while there are also two benches for children to watch the game from.
In another area, the school is developing a Spiritual Garden where KB volunteers have installed a calming water feature along with potting benches, cold frames and raised beds for growing flowers and vegetables.