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Byline: Martin Bagot

A PRIMARY school has received a Ground Force-style revamp of its outdoor play areas in memory of a former teacher who died of cancer.

Leigh C of E Primary School in Tile Hill saw volunteer builders turn up on Tuesday and put up a weatherthemed learning zone and a reflection zone in just one day.

The revamp was part of a competition - inspired by the former hit BBC show hosted by Alan Titchmarsh - put on by nearby pub The Peeping Tom.

The school received the free revamp followed the death of former deputy head Anne Norman a few weeks ago.

Mrs Norman had worked at the school for 34 years until retiring in 2005.

A quiet "reflection zone" with benches under the shade of trees has now been created in memory of her.

Headteacher Debbie Middleton said: "We wanted to do something in the grounds in Anne's memory. She had an enormous impact on the school and our staff were devastated when she died.

"She had been ill for quite a long time.

"She inspired a lot of our children and staff.

"The school was her life and she donated a huge amount of her time to the school, its grounds and the environment.

"We just wanted a way to say thank you."

Anne Norman's grandchildren now attend the school in Plants Hill Crescent that was so close to her heart and were there to see what her legacy had built.

The revamp came about after three of the school's teaching assistants spotted an advert for a competition put on by the Peeping Tom's owners, the Orchid Group.

The school did a presentation to staff at the Cromwell Lane pub and won over judges who awarded them the prized revamp of its outside play areas, including the weather area.

Under the competition the winning bid would receive a building makeover - completed in a single day.

The competition was part of an community initiative put on by the Orchid Group to help the local community.

The pub company recently bought the Peeping Tom.

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, attended the official opening and praised Mrs Norman's dedication to the school over more than three decades.

"It's a wonderful and innovative idea to have a themed garden like this, particularly in a school of this size. It teaches young children that there's a lot that can be learned from the environment. We need to pay tribute to Anne Norman who gave so much of her time to this school.

"It's a fitting tribute."


WONDERFUL MEMORIES: Back row, from left, teaching assistant Michelle Bailey, pupils Caitlin Abbott and Alice Bailey, Jim Cunningham MP, teaching assistant Theresa Roberts and Jackie Hunt of Peeping Tom Nursery. Front, from left, 14-year-old Beth Abbott, teaching assistant Lesley Abbott, pupil Edward Owen, Paul Cutsforth of Orchard Group and teaching assistant Gaynor Malone. Right, much-missed teacher Anne Norman
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 13, 2011
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