Providing the Uphill children with a safe place to learn is key to our success.
Funding the construction of a permanent primary school and kindergarten is one of the major priorities for The Uphill Trust. Each classroom costs around £10,000 to construct – about half the cost of a small caravan in the UK.
Construction is guided by detailed plans and carried out by a team of skilled builders and local tradesmen, many of whom have children at the school. Volunteers or Locals?
In the first 6 years of operation we raised the funds to buy land and build 7 permanent classrooms, 3 pupil latrine blocks, an administration building and a permanent hand washing station. Uphill from the Air!
Since then we have added a large multipurpose hall with kitchen, and have bought additional land away from the school for a dedicated staff accommodation compound.
In 2016 the first classroom block was built on the new school site, containing 3 classrooms for the top primary year groups. The wooden school building was taken down and rebuilt on the new school site at the start of 2017 to form temporary classrooms for the lower primary classes and the 3 kindergarten year groups.
In 2019 we had the funds to build two more classroom blocks for the primary school children.
After a a couple of years dedicated community fundraising, we broke ground for the Uphill school hall in February 2022. The project grew arms and legs, and suffered planning delays, but the building was eventually completed and put to use in September 2023.
The hall is used for school meals, assemblies, parent meetings and as a performance space. The kitchen, fitted with 3 environmentally friendly eco stoves, provides a safe, hygienic, smoke-free space for the school cooks and offers plenty of space for storage and food preparation.
In 2020 we moved the Uphill kindergarten to its own site next to the primary school. For the time being the children are being taught in wooden classrooms with stone floors. Our plans include 3 permanent classrooms for the youngest children in the school.
The playground has been extended and colourful tyre planters added. The Uphill Kindergarten now has plenty of space for outdoor learning activities and games.
Most school sites have fences to keep the children safe. At Uphill it became clear that it was the buildings that needed to be protected – from local livestock!
A security fence was erected in 2016, and extended in 2020.
In 2021 fire extinguishers were installed and fire safety training was provided for a team of staff and senior pupils.
Early in 2022 we were offered a house on a plot of land not far from the school. A good price was negotiated and we set about raising funds to create a dedicated staff accommodation compound.
During 2023 the house was renovated and can now house 7-9 teachers in comfort, providing them with a quiet place to rest, prepare lesson plans, and socialise out of school hours. Work is ongoing to build additional housing units, a kitchen and a sanitation block so that all the teachers can enjoy good quality housing as part of their remuneration package.
“With my teaching and mentoring background I can think of nothing better than giving young people even more of a chance in life” L. Warner