CHILDREN and staff at St Mary’s School in Bentworth celebrated a dream come true with the unveiling on Monday of their Early Years playground.

With financial support from diocesan and government sports funding, the £30,000 playground, complete with climbing equipment, sand pit, mud kitchen and water wall, is the result of more than a year of planning and fundraising, with input at the design stage by children and staff.

Charlotte Baker, deputy headteacher and Year R/1 teacher, said: “This new outside area gives the children so many more opportunities which benefit all areas of learning and development.

“Messy and physical play are vital in the development of younger children and the new playground is a great way for us to support this.”

Headteacher Jo Ayres added: “Our governors knew how important this was to our children’s development and with excellent financial planning and diocesan support, we were able to build the learning area of our dreams.”