Final Stop: Coniston Primary School!

Bradley Stoke & Little Stoke Gifford Matters was delighted to be invited along to Coniston Primary School for the official opening of their latest innovative playground development – a reading bus!

This brilliant idea originated from the children at Coniston Primary asking for a space where they could sit and read, in the playground, at lunchtime.  After some research, Head Teacher Nigel Isaac came up with the idea of a converted bus!!

Having made contact with the local bus companies, First Bus were fantastic in coming to the School’s aid: not only did they provide an old disused bus drained of oil and made immobile, but Engineering Director Rich Northey, along with his team of engineers, then spent time working with the school to find out what was needed and offering their help.  The team refurbished the bus to the school’s specification, including removal of some seats to make room for tables and storage.  They reupholstered the seats and painted the bus in school colours before delivering it to the school playground – and all in 4 months!!

Spokesperson for First Bus, Martin Abele, told Bradley Stoke & Little Stoke Gifford Matters “Most of our old buses just go to the scrapman and it’s been rather nice to do this project.  Our team really rose to the challenge of making the bus suitable for its new life and we’ve really enjoyed today seeing how much the children love the bus” .  Rich Northey added “We’ve found a good way of re-utilising the old bus, we’ve enjoyed being part of the project and to be invited here to see the kids busy playing in it is just fantastic.”  

The school also approached Almondsbury Charities and Friends of Coniston PTA who kindly donated money to help resource the bus.  The bus now offers the children somewhere to seat and read, play games, do puzzles and arts and crafts.  It is also used for intervention groups and story times plus St Chads Preschool who are based on the school grounds are also planning story sessions on the bus.

Chair of Governors for Coniston Primary, Mike Lloyd, thought the bus was “Absolutely fantastic” and expressed his grateful thanks to the First Bus team, and also to the PTA and Almondsbury Charities, for making the project come to life.

A shining example of a community working together!

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