A VILLAGE school says it will be installing CCTV cameras as its pre-school play area has been repeatedly vandalised.

Staff at Calstock Primary School say that over the past few months they have found toys smashed to pieces and thrown around, a rope swing broken, and equipment used by the youngest children for outdoor play “wrecked”.

“It is very sad and frustrating,” said school federation business manager Judith Maunder.

“Calstock School has a wonderful outdoor learning environment. A lot of time, effort and money has gone into making it a lovely space for the children to learn and play in.”

Staff sadly believe that the damage is probably being done by former pupils – the pre-school area is very secluded and unless you know the grounds, it’s not obvious that it’s there, says Judith.

“It is clear that they have been climbing on the summerhouse roof, throwing equipment around and trashing the play areas. This is so upsetting for the school and pre-school.

“The mud kitchen and guttering that children use for water play has been smashed.  Toy diggers, helmets and other toys have been smashed to pieces and spread across the whole area, parts of a swing have been found in a neighbouring street, and a rope swing broken. 

“They have tried to force the doors on storage sheds and they have also been jumping on the solar panels on the summerhouse roof, but luckily have not broken them yet.”

The school put a fence up to secure a hole in a boundary hedge, says Judith, but this has not prevented the damage from reoccurring, so it’s thought access has since been gained via the main school field.

“There are plenty of areas to play in the village and to think that it is possibly ex-pupils coming onto the school site and doing this, makes the school and pre-school feel very angry,” Judith continued.

“Children should not be coming up into the school un-invited and in an effort to deter this happening, we have no other option but to install CCTV cameras.

“If anyone can help us identify the people responsible, please contact the school.”