A group of Fife primary school children donned hard hats and hi-visibility vests to swap the classroom for the building site and learn about construction on one of the region’s new affordable housing projects.
The children from the primary 1 class at Saline Primary School visited a £7.8 million affordable housing project in Saline, near Dunfermline, where Kingdom Housing Association is developing 55 new homes for rent.
The Scottish Government has provided around £4 million in funding for the project with an additional £100,000 in subsidy from Fife Council. The homes are being built by Fife builders Campion Homesand are due for completion in April 20191.
Sean Whittet, Alana Anderson and Shirley McConkey, from Kingdom’s development department, organised the site visit, where the children met Campion’s site staff and were shown around the site. Before going on site, the children were all kitted out with high visibility jackets and miniature hard hats, which got everyone excited and added to the experience.
Saline Primary School teacher Alexis Perkins said: “The children were really excited to visit the new Kingdom site, not only have a look around the site and houses, but to discuss the skills that would be required to become a builder.”
Ms Perkins added: “We were shown around the site and one of the newly completed houses and everyone enjoyed estimating how many bedrooms, bathrooms etc they would find in the house. A few parents commented that this had been a great experience for the children and how they had thoroughly enjoyed their visit developing their skills for learning, life and work.”
Dougie Herd, joint managing director with Campion Homes, said: “We were delighted to welcome the children from Saline primary school to the development. They showed great enthusiasm during their walk around the site and enjoyed exploring the various operations being carried out. We look forward to seeing them all again when they visit the completed development.”
Sean Whittet, Kingdom’s development officer, chatted with the children about the work that was currently going on and how being a good listener and being able to ask questions were valuable skills to have in the building trade, which of course prompted lots of questions. Sean responded to all questions giving the children the answers they required. Everyone decided they wanted to be a builder when they grew up except one boy who would still like to be a chemistry teacher!
Sean said: “Being able to have the kids along for a site visit gave us the opportunity to add another dimension to their education outside the classroom. Hopefully, they learned more about what we do at Kingdom and gave some of them the inspiration to pursue a career in the construction industry. The children who visited were a credit to their school and teacher, I’m sure they enjoyed themselves, we certainly did.”
Bill Banks, Kingdom’s group chief executive, said: “We are progressing a large new supply housing programme. This not only allows us to meet the growing need for affordable housing and help sustain communities, it also provides many opportunities to deliver a range of community benefits in local areas.”
He added: “Education projects are part of our community initiatives strategy and we try to collaborate with local schools as part of our development programme. The projects raise awareness of construction, health and safety and affordable housing and consist of classroom presentations, school projects and site visits. The visit of Saline Primary 1 pupils to our local site is a good example of that approach.”