500 signatures reached
To: Crown Lane Primary School Head Teacher Mr Gavin Farrell, The board of Governors and The Resources and Pupils Parents and Community Committee
Save community services at The Lodge
The community wish to have clarification on the current and future use of The Lodge by community groups including but not limited to Natural Childhood, Dads Groups and Forest School.
The community further wish to have reassurance from the school and children centre that strategic and other decisions will not adversely impact current and future Forest School and community group services based at The Lodge.
The community groups have an established partnership with the school and children centre and wish for this to continue.
Why is this important?
The outdoor is an unbeatable playground and classroom with its abundant potential for sensory stimulation and ever-changing play and learning props from fallen leaves, fir cones and fossils to seeds and slugs and snails. Moreover, in addition to the fascinating and hugely educational environment that the natural world provides, the scope to move freely when outdoors also brings about neurological advantages.
The outdoor brings risks of course, which is a large part of the reason why so much of modern childhood takes place within artificially landscaped playgrounds, but as research psychologist Penelope Leach argues in House 2011:
“There is much that can be said about the importance of allowing children to play freely even though that involves risks; and about how important it is to let them actually take risks as they play, because they have to learn to understand which situations are risky, and manage themselves in them.”
The permitted use of The Lodge is as a children centre for social, community and educational purposes including community gardens and facilities for meeting of the Streatham Society and other groups.
The community groups currently resident at The Lodge have a longstanding relationship with the building including but not limited to petitioning for the building, its ongoing maintenance, applying for grants to enhance and improve services from the facility and delivering valued Forest School services, since 2013.
Recent events have meant these groups now feel that without warning or consultation the rights they have enjoyed for several years will be revoked and their access to The Lodge removed.
We, the signatories of this petition, would like to call the governors and management of the Crown Lane Primary school to start open talks with the community and representatives from Lambeth Council about the future of The Lodge and its access by members of the community.