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Recycled doors lead to quieter times

The donation of a set of old patio doors led to parents and teachers at a small village school in the East Neuk of Fife embarking on their own grand design and building a new room.

Last week, North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell opened the new space at Colinsburgh Primary, which cost just a couple of hundred pounds to build, thanks mainly to P3-5 teacher Frank Connell, a former builder, and parent Rab Gorrie, a joiner.

The two men, with help from Peter Carmichael, the husband of teacher Pauline Carmichael, gave up their spare time and single-handedly built the extension, buying materials using money raised by staff and parents. The janitor added the finishing touches, painting the room and making it ready for use.

The idea for the project was sown some four years ago when the patio doors were donated. However, most of the work has taken place in the past year.

The extension, just 2.2 metres by 3.4 metres, will provide the 50-pupil school with much-needed breakaway space, where teachers can work with small groups of children, according to headteacher, David Mitchinson. "As village schools go, ours is not too small but we were always looking for bits of space for quality time or quiet time, where small groups could work together," he said.

The new building has been christened the wee pod by pupils because it is smaller than the epod, a social gathering space in the school playground. Wee pod is also an acronym for "where everything educational" happens.

Sir Menzies was assisted during the opening by Colinsburgh's oldest old boy, Jim Birrell, and by Sheila Joss, the oldest old girl, now in their eighties.

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