St. Mary’s Primary School in Byfleet has opened two wooden “peace pods” in an outdoor area that will be known as The Peaceful Place. The pods are specifically designed to provide a quiet and tranquil space for the school’s pupils to read, be peaceful and reflect.

The grand opening was a huge success with children sitting in front of the pods and, with teachers, singing a beautiful song written by them and the school called We Are St Mary’s. Head of School Jacquie Chambers then thanked everyone who had been involved in making the pods happen.

St Mary's pod Amanda Boote
Councillor Amanda Boote cuts the ribbon to open one of the pods at St Mary's Primary School. (Bob Holmes)

A group of workmen from Balfour Beatty were presented with gifts to show the school’s gratitude that they gave up their own time and resources to help the school.

St Mary's pod
The two 'peace pods' which provide a quiet space for children at St Mary's Primary School in Byfleet (Bob Holmes)

The PTA (Parent Teachers Association) raised £10,000 to purchase one of the pods, and four members of the association, who organised the fundraising, were handed lovely spring tulips as a thank you.

Thanks were also due to Councillor Amanda Boote, who raised a further £10,000 via the Surrey County Council Your Fund Surrey scheme, which made the second pod possible.

St Mary's pod interior
The interior of the pods which feature LED lighting and soft furnishings (Bob Holmes)

The team of pupils who designed the interior of the pods and are known as the Collective Crew and Tranquillity team stood up to a rousing round of applause.

Councillor Boote and the chair of the PTA, Charlotte, then had the great honour of cutting the ribbons on the pods to formally announce them open for use.

The pods are the brainchild of Mrs Chambers, who spotted them at an agricultural show that she visited last year. They will support children who need a quiet space during busy playtimes, and will also provide valuable additional learning areas.

The pods feature LED lighting, soft furnishings and comfortable seating. They are already proving a huge hit!

St Mary's pods grand opening exterior
Pupils, teachers, PTA members and workmen from Balfour Beatty gather for the grand opening of the pods at St Mary's (Bob Holmes)