Learning through play is crucial to children’s development but at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary in Blackhall Colliery their youngest pupils have shown off their learning through the world of work. Mini construction workers donned their hard hats and hi-vis vests, just like they do in the construction area at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.

The construction learning area at the Coast Road school is very popular with the children, so when they got the chance to visit a real-life building site they were thrilled. Nursery and reception children from St Joseph’s, which is part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, visited the Hardwicke Place Gleeson site in Blackhall Colliery, near Hartlepool.

Louise Coxon, Early Years class teacher, shared:

Whilst learning about our local area, many of the children spoke about passing the site on their way to school, so they are very familiar with it. We contacted Gleeson Homes and they kindly invited us for a visit. The school visit was part of the Gleeson Community Matters project. The children got a chance to see some of the machinery in action and they all had a go at bricklaying with real resources. They were exposed to lots of new vocabulary and this has given the children first-hand experience to link back to in their play.

Amongst the children there was a real buzz as they visited the Gleeson Homes site with them sharing things like “I want to work here when I grow up!” and “We put on hats to keep us safe,” and Phoebe summing up the day with “It was the best day ever!

Hardwicke Place is a housing development of new two, three and four-bedrooms homes in Blackhall Colliery. Peter Kelly, Head of Construction for Gleeson Tees Valley, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the children on to our Hardwicke Place development. The excitement of being on a real life building site was evident and they never stopped smiling; one little lad said he never wanted to leave.

Involving our local communities is imperative in the work we do and days like this really make it a joy to come to work. Hopefully, allowing the kids these experiences from an early age will inspire them later in life and shape our tradesmen and women of the future.