St. Joseph’s RCVA Primary School


Over the past 6 weeks at The Wood Pile on Tuesday afternoons we have had several little guests on site, the children from St Joseph’s RCVA Primary School in Durham.

We were contacted late in 2015 through our website www.thewoodpile.org by a teacher at the school named Dylys, Dylys was interested in a visit with the children to discuss the theme of recycling, upcycling and sustainability which would be beneficial to the children’s Geography and Technology curriculum.

After trading correspondence, we learned that the school did not have the facilities to teach woodwork, to that we then arranged for the children to come once a week for a 6 block period, in which they would be able to undertake their technology curriculum, at such a time they could learn and use skills such as cutting, joining, shaping and finishing.

We thought this would be a great opportunity for us, to help out in the community and have our volunteers and staff work to help the children, they’d be able to help with projects and give advice, the school were more than happy with this arrangement.

The sessions began on the 19th April and they had their final week on the 24th May, the children would walk with their teachers to our premises in Dragonville where they would spend around an hour with us.

Throughout the sessions the children went from deciding whether they wanted to make a fairy house or a bird box, then they would be talked through the process before being split up into little groups at their own work stations with each group having someone guide them through what they were doing, from drilling holes, hammering nails, measuring and sawing.

Each of the 14 students would go away with their own bird box/fairy house, they were helped to understand what they were doing why they were doing it, asking questions.

Once the projects began to take shape, the children seemed extremely pleased with themselves, this continued when it came to designing how they wanted to decorate their projects.

Some opted to draw on designs and then paint, whereas some just splashed on the paint, the final week once all projects had been painted accessorised and glittered, they were treated to some balloon animal making by our volunteer John, which seemed to be a big hit.

We’d heard from some parents that the children loved coming here, getting involved in the process of making something, we are extremely pleased to be able to provide a space and knowledge for this to take place, and we look forward to the next class of children starting on 7th June.

We have also begun working with the Foundation of Light, they are a sports charity affiliated to Sunderland AFC working with veterans to help them to regain confidence and assist them in getting back in to work. They have commenced a 4 week course to learn basic joinery skills, once again we are thrilled to be give this opportunity to help the wider community.   

Karen Stubbings (The Wood Pile Director) said, “we are thrilled to work with St Joseph’s School and the Foundation of Light, so far the results have been fantastic with some really creative work being carried out”

We will put some pictures from the weeks to show the children working on their projects.

Some comments from the children in Group 1

Ava “Thank you for everything, it was fun”

Isla “I loved it”

Kacey “I enjoyed it”

Esther “Thank you for helping me learn something new”

Amelia “I really enjoyed this as I got to learn a lot”

Some comments from the children in group 2

Megan “I like the way it is. thank you for helping us.”

Josane (How can we make it better) “It was already brilliant, Thank you very much I had a lovely time.”

Darcy (How can we make it better) “I like it the way it is, thank you very much.” 

Phoebe (How can we make it better) “I like the way it is, thank you very much.” 

Sophie (How can we make it better) “I like it all, thanks very much.” 

Tamisin (How can we make it better) “It was already as good as it could be, thank you I had a great time.” 

Mya “Thanks so much, it was the best!!!”


Photos below