Toner Avenue Primary School receive bus from Stagecoach for OPAL programme

The school received a Platinum OPAL Award in July.

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A primary school in Hebburn is celebrating after receiving a bus donated by Stagecoach as part of their Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) programme.

Toner Avenue Primary School, which is located on Johnston Avenue in Hebburn, received a OPAL Platinum Award in July of this year, becoming the first school in the region to receive the award.

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Head Teacher of Toner Avenue Primary School, Nichola Fullard explained: “OPAL play is much more than just equipment and resources.  A lot of planning goes into creating amazing playtimes, including writing policies, creating risk assessments and ensuring all staff have the correct training.

Now, the South Tyneside primary school have added to their outstanding OPAL provision, with the addition of a former Stagecoach bus.

A member of the teaching staff at Toner Avenue Primary School, Tracey Finnigan, contacted the national bus company’s North East division to ask if a donation of a bus to a school would be possible, and was delighted to hear that they were willing to do so.

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Tracey said: "We were amazed and surprised when Gary Chisolm from Stagecoach responded back asking if we wanted a single or double decker!"

Gary Chisolm, who is the Engineering Director for Stagecoach North East also attended Toner Avenue Primary School for the official opening of the bus to the children.

The bus is now being used by pupils at Toner Avenue Primary School for role play, and the school is currently working on plans on how to develop further play and education opportunities with the bus in the future.

The school also ran a competition with the children to create a bespoke Toner Avenue design, which would be displayed on the outside of the bus.

Toner Avenue Primary School were donated a Stagecoach bus.Toner Avenue Primary School were donated a Stagecoach bus.
Toner Avenue Primary School were donated a Stagecoach bus.
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Head Teacher, Nichola Fullard, added: "The bus is just one of the amazing features the school has in its yards. It is a great addition to the OPAL Platinum award our school gained in July this year; the first school in South Tyneside to receive this prestigious award."