Imagine having a real-life train carriage as your classroom! It’s the stuff of dreams for most of us but for the children who attend The Dales School in Northumberland, it’s now a reality, thanks to Henkel, Network Rail, and Porterbrook Leasing.
The Dales School is a primary school for children with special educational needs, based in Blyth and Ashington, Northumberland. Through Henkel’s Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) programme, two retired train carriages and circa £50,000 of industrial products to ensure maintenance and longevity of the trains, were donated for outdoor learning & a ‘Reading Together’ library’ at the school.
The MIT programme encourages Henkel employees to support social engagement through various charity projects, with product and financial donations to make a difference in local communities such as the Dales School, that could have a lasting impact on the learning and development of the children which could last a lifetime.
The school’s main purpose is to support children to become effective learners and make a positive impact on their behaviour, well-being, mental health and future life opportunities. The school focuses on hands-on learning outdoors rather than in classrooms. Teachers choose a different topic each term and deliver practical and engaging lessons in an environment where children not only learn but thrive.
Noel Forte, a local Development Business Manager for the Rail Sector at Henkel, successfully applied for industrial product donations through MIT, to ensure the carriages can withstand time and nature’s elements. LOCTITE, TEROSON and BONDERITE products will ensure that the carriages are properly sealed and treated to prevent weathering, water leaks and corrosion.
Noel said: “This is such a lovely project to be involved with; it’s great knowing that this will provide the children with more learning opportunities and teach them some life skills, as many of them have never travelled on trains before.”
Henkel customers, Porterbrook Leasing and Network Rail, donated the two train carriages and train track, as well as a small station with ticket office for the children to role play in their learning. Texo, a local industrial services provider, constructed a platform, so the children have easy access to their train, and Bagnals, specialist painters, painted the carriages; making it a true community project.
- BONDERITE C-IC 624 MOD and LOCTITE SF 7515 Surface Treatment for corrosion removal and protection of the bodyside and roof
- TEROSON MS 9320 SF Sprayable Sealant for roof sealing, corrosion, and weathering protection against the elements
- TEROSON MS 939 FR sealant for Window sealing against water ingress and weathering
The train carriages will have a massive impact on the children’s learning. One will be used as a library and the other will be a STEM lab on wheels and career aspirations hub. Through role play, the children will learn how to travel on trains, including buying tickets, reading timetables and rail safety. Local businesses will be invited to give career insights and aspiration talks and the carriages will provide a creative and fun area to learn all things STEM related and an opportunity to learn and enjoy reading.
James Groundwater, Outdoor learning and therapy teacher at the Dales School, said: “We are delighted to have received these products from Henkel as otherwise, we would not have been able to ensure the longevity of the carriages. The children are so excited about the trains and can’t wait to get onboard to learn and engage.”