Harpenden's St Nicholas Primary School has officially opened its new playground.

The town's mayor, Cllr Fiona Gaskell, joined staff and pupils for the launch of the Key Stage 1 facility, which features climbing blocks and a "rainbow retreat".

The new playground, which "provides exciting areas where the young minds can let their imagination run free", was funded by the school's PTA (parent–teacher association).

A mud kitchen allows children to interact with the natural world, as they did in 2021 when the school held an eco-afternoon.

Herts Advertiser: Harpenden's St Nicholas Primary School.Harpenden's St Nicholas Primary School. (Image: Google Maps)

To officially open the facility, a ribbon was cut by Cllr Fiona Gaskell while the school's children sang A million dreams is all its gonna take.

The mayor was also quizzed by children aged 5 to 11 about her duties, the highlights of her role and how heavy her chain was.

Class teacher Maddie Robertson said: “The new playground has been an exciting enhancement for the children and provides opportunities for all areas of the Early Learning Goals.

"The children especially enjoy the new stage and rainbow retreat because they can role-play, build confidence, and develop their communication and language skills.

"My favourite is is the mud kitchen. It’s great to have opportunities for children to get out and spend time playing with natural elements.

"One of the early learning goals is to understand the world and this is a great ‘hands on’ way of doing it.

"We have been watching them express their ideas and create narratives through storytelling. In addition, the climbing blocks promote risky play and physical development.

"It helps them to negotiate space safely and demonstrate strength, balance and coordination.


"They persevere with the challenging blocks and enjoy moving them to create new obstacle courses."

Mayor Cllr Fiona Gaskell added: “It was wonderful to visit St Nicholas Primary School, meet all the children and tell them a little bit about what it’s like being a town mayor.

Herts Advertiser: Harpenden mayor, Cllr Fiona Gaskell.Harpenden mayor, Cllr Fiona Gaskell. (Image: Harpenden Town Council)

"It was also a privilege for me to open their new playground; it’s a fantastic new facility and I hope the children have many years’ enjoyment using it.”