Farr Primary School pupils are working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) and its contractor, MSVE Transmission, to project manage an upgrade to their school garden. 

The pupils of Farr Primary have taken the initiative to form their own project management team to make their stone-chipped school garden fully inclusive for everyone at the school and have reached out to SSEN, who is constructing a new substation and overhead line nearby, to make their ideas a reality.

Initial ideas to improve the garden include the removal of the stone chips, lowering the flower baskets to allow even the youngest in the school to water them and looking at ways to attract more wildlife; particularly birds and bees. In addition to the visual improvement, the changes will provide a sensory space and better outdoor environment for everyone at the school.

Farr Primary 3/4 Teacher, Mrs Menzies, said:

“Alex, Charlotte, (P5/6/7) Magnus, Benjamin, (P1/2) Hannah and I (P3/4) along with Mrs McInnes from the nursery have been appointed as a sub-group to lead the school through the changes. We love our hard hats and working along with the engineers from MSVE Transmission, planning the new garden. We like taking charge of gathering the school’s ideas, taking minutes and speaking at Assembly.

“Both companies have been extremely generous with their time and resources. It is a wonderful experience and we have been overwhelmed. The children are seeing the relevance of numeracy and literacy, in the real world and how skills transfer.”

The school approached SSEN through the Farr Community Liaison Group (CLG) which has been established to ensure that the local community are kept informed throughout the construction of the Knocknagael-Tomatin reinforcement project.

SSEN Overhead Line Project Manager, Joanne Seath explains more: 

“Throughout the development of the Knocknagael-Tomatin project, we worked closely with the community to keep everyone informed on our proposals. When the project entered construction, we formed the Community Liaison Group to ensure that we continued to meet on a regular basis to discuss ongoing works and to identify opportunities where we can contribute to the local community.

“When Farr Primary approached the CLG for help, our overhead line contractors, MSVE Transmission, stepped up and offered to provide the pupils with a fully interactive project management experience, from initial site survey through to design, construction and completion.”

Colin Kelly, MSVE Transmission Construction Manager, said:

“To date, our team of engineers have visited the school and with the help of appointed team leaders have surveyed the garden. Layout drawings will be produced to scale allowing the pupils to interact with the current layout and design their new garden. From there, through visits with the school, we will turn their drawings into a reality showing the pupils every step involved in designing and building a project and show them the basic processes of a construction job.”

Farr Primary Head Teacher, Mr Graham added:

“It’s a wonderful work skills project, involving the whole school. Not only will it leave a legacy in the school, but the children are appreciating that their contributions make a difference. A lot of learning is taking place in a meaningful way.”

The Knocknagael-Tomatin project has been in development since 2012 with works on site commencing at the end of 2017. The project will see the construction of a new 275kV overhead line between an existing substation at Knocknagael to a new substation in Glen Kyllachy.

To find out more about the Knocknagael-Tomatin project, please visit the dedicated project page.


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