Dagenham school opens ‘reading garden’ in memory of English teacher

Robert Clack School pupils enjoy the Colin Hopkins Memorial Garden. Picture: Jack Petchey Foundation

Robert Clack School pupils enjoy the Colin Hopkins Memorial Garden. Picture: Jack Petchey Foundation - Credit: Archant

A school in Dagenham has built an outdoor “reading garden” for pupils in memory of a long-serving English teacher.

The Colin Hopkins Memorial Garden at Robert Clack School is separated from the playground and features comfortable seating, plants and a mural.

It also features quotes from some of the late Mr Hopkins’ favourite authors.

Robert Clack School received a £750 leader award grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation to pay for the seating, including a deck chair, cushions and outdoor beanbags.

The school’s Jack Petchey coordinator Rachel Elliott said: “We are constantly trying to improve the literacy of our pupils.

“We have set aside a comfortable space inside the library which has proved extremely popular.

“An outdoor space will build on that and be more visible in the playground, providing peer reading role models.”