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Children 'devastated' as school hut destroyed by vandals

PUBLISHED: 13:04 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:19 19 July 2016

The hut after it was destroyed by fire

The hut after it was destroyed by fire

Archant

The building had been a key part of their outdoor learning activities

The hut in its original stateThe hut in its original state

Children at an Orpington school were left devastated by a suspected act of vandalism that destroyed a vital learning facility.

The Celtic Hut at Midfield Primary School on Grovelands Road burnt down last Wednesday and the Metropolitan Police have confirmed the incident is being treated as suspected arson.

Assistant head Phil LeConte said the hut had been a ‘central feature’ of outdoor learning.

“The children and parents were devastated the next day. It is very upsetting all round,” he continued.

“A lot of children have written letters explaining how they feel about it.

“We used it a lot for history classes and we have had drama up there. It was also used when we were talking about the Romans and how they came and took over the country.

“It has doubled as a three bears’ hut and Santa’s grotto, and was used when we do our forest school - if the children were making craftwork, particularly.

“We were planning to use it even more next year as we have been developing our outdoor learning.

“It was very much the central focus for the forest school, and also, with the way the building was set out in the woods, it was very picturesque.

“Forest school is very much something the children get a lot out of.”

Mr LeConte said he hoped the school would be able to replace the hut but a decision has not yet been reached.

“The feeling at the moment is that we can’t say for sure if we will be able to replace it,” he commented.

“We are doing as much as we can to improve the security and we have had quite a lot of donations without asking for them, because the support is there.

“We have been looking at how to make it more fire resistant and increasing the security with cameras.”

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