Stop current plans to redevelop the Avanti Park Early Years outdoor area until a meaningful consultation with parents/carers can be carried out



Our children deserve the opportunity to form a bond with nature and all of the education and creative thinking that it inspires. Artificial grass and tarmac are connected to health issues and have a negative impact on the environment.

Heidi Gordon-Smith (Frome , 2021-03-23)


I'm appalled at these plans. They run completely counter to our values of fostering a strong relationship between our children and the natural world, and also go against commitments made by avanti during the curriculum review. At best these plans seem thoughtless and I'll conceived, at worst it feels like active betrayal of our trust in avanti to at least honour some of the values that drove us to join this school in the first place.

Please please please reconsider

Ben Harling (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I agree strongly with the points raised.

Johannes Moeller (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I enrolled my child into this school because of the natural garden and connection with nature throughout the day.
What are they thinking using tarmac and toxic plastic grass!?!
If these plans go ahead - I will be seriously drawn towards taking my child out of the school.

Aimee Cox (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I have a son that I am planning on joining reception - but to have young kids on Astro turf is just wrong in my opinion when there are other options! They are meant to be outside as much as possible in nature - exploring the natural world - not playing on plastic! I was absolutely shocked to hear that these are your plans. When most schools are focussed on forest school, you’re thinking to Astro turf it .. I really hope you reconsider and that that beautiful garden can be transformed into something natural and wonder-filled instead. There are lots of avid gardeners in frome if you need man/ woman power. Fingers crossed!!

Sarah Hugo (Frome, 2021-03-23)


The plans depend heavily on plastic grass which is the opposite of what this school community stands for. It is vital that Avanti engage with the parents rather than just announcing significant changes as a done deal.

Wendy Hubbard (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I support all the points made in the petition; a pause to allow proper consultation, better design, reduction in use of articifical materials, alignment with the values of the school community and wider frome community, an oportunity to support the school to create a truly amazing outdoor space - which the current proposal (despite some positive aspects) does not deliver. I also challenge the schools justification for the speed at which the work is to be carried out, being due to issues of health and safety, and a lack of flexibility as to when the contractor can complete the works. Although it is clear the outdoor space needs some
Attention, I am not in support of this proposal in its current form.
Thanks, Keir

Keir Haines (Frome, 2021-03-23)


No consultation with parents and too much artificial surface

Sam Widdows (Frome , 2021-03-23)


I am upset by the idea of astroturf/turf! The school is not embracing natural space.

Mandy Booth (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I believe the parents need to be consulted, and the materials used need to be environmentally friendly.

Alexandra Buchi-Parr (Frome, 2021-03-23)


claim on your website and everywhere that you believe in the nurturing of the pupils souls. AstroTurf is the total opposite to nurture!!! It’s wrong on every level: it’s fake, pretend, environmentally wrong and just sad ☹️

Christina Pickard (Bruton , 2021-03-23)


I'm signing because I have a 3 year old at Avanti Park nursery currently who has another year using the Reception garden. My eldest had a year in the Steiner kindergarten and loved playing in that garden. I am very concerned about the proposed plans to cover the area in artificial grass, the toxicity and micro plastics that will pollute the area and this massive move away from a natural environment. Children have enjoyed playing and planting in that garden, being close to nature and learning to care for their environment. I agree it could do with some tlc. and could be improved but replacing a natural environment with AstroTurf and tarmac is not the answer and may make the flooding issue worse. I am concerned that the children won't be able to use the garden for a couple of months while the work takes place and any fumes that might come in through open windows in the summer term. That garden has been a big draw for many parents and could be an amazing opportunity for outdoor leaning and forest school activities where the children could learn about nature, insects and planting and growing food. I would love it if Avanti could work with the parents and the skilled landscape gardeners we have in our parent body to make this garden a much improved natural environment that satisfies all the health and safety concerns and that all the children can enjoy playing and learning there for years to come.

Lucy Goldsack (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I agree with all of the points raised in the petition. I am also interested to know whether an arboriculturalist has been consulted by the contractor on the proposed scheme? The foundations for some of the play equipment on the upper terrace may lie within the root protection area of some of the trees in the east corner of Victoria Park. These trees are all effectively protected by a tree preservation order (by virtue of their location in a conservation area), and the potential impact on their health and longevity needs to be professionally assessed if there is any excavation proposed within their root protection area.

Rebecca Fine (Frome, 2021-03-23)


Pro nature.

Iain Gordon-Smith (Newmarket , 2021-03-23)


Children thrive in natural outdoor spaces. The proposed design is using far too many artificial materials which aren’t necessary to create a positive environment for the children to play and learn in. Please rethink your design to include more natural and environmentally friendly landscaping methods (not fake grass and tarmac). Natural environments and organic surfaces have a positive impact on wellbeing. This should be an opportunity to further enhance the already beautiful space to be more diverse and exciting and for the children to explore and in which to appreciate nature.

Jennifer Blakeman (Frome, 2021-03-23)


I’m signing because, there is already to much tarmac at Avanti park school. A natural environment that connects children directly to the earth is soooo important for there mental health. I’m an Eden Energy Medicine practitioner and work a lot with grounding. Why is it that so many, specially young children take there shoes and socks of no matter how cold it is. Because there is a knowing that it just feels so good to be directly connected to the earth. Please don’t ruin this beautiful outdoor space with some artificial thing. Please don’t. If you want children to learn keep the connected to the earth. Thank you 🙏🏼 🙂

Simone Salewski (Bath, 2021-03-24)


I am giving support to my grandchildren.

Jack Gordon Smith (Cambridge, 2021-03-24)


The plans are very disappointing.
Too much fake grass and plastic, hardly any space for nature.
The children have had no say in their garden. Avanti can do a lot better.

Emily Quilter (Frome , 2021-03-24)


My child is in reception class at Avanti Park Frome.

Stephanie Bierkandt (Frome, 2021-03-24)


I disagree with the proposed design. Tarmac and artificial grass do not support nature or help children to connect and learn about nature. Being in a natural environment free of man made materials is imperative to mental, emotional and spiritual well-being

Louise Papadopoullos (Frome, 2021-03-24)


The new garden design is disappointing on so many levels. All the fake grass is bad for the environment and for children’s health. Children need to play in well thought out natural surroundings. Many parents chose to send their child to Avanti due to the unique and natural outdoor space they can play in all around.

Amelie Brun (Frome, 2021-03-24)


My sons attend the school and need natural areas and materials for mental health and stimulating learning and creativity

Linnea Hopkins (Frome, 2021-03-24)


I am a parent of an EYFS child and I wish to voice my objection to the proposed plan. In particular, I consider the use of materials such as tarmac and artificial grass to be unnecessary and detrimental. In addition, there has been no evidence provided for the use of these materials, the choice of design and no information about the procurement process for this contractor from the Trust.

Katie Norris (FROME, 2021-03-24)


I'm concerned about the amount of artificial grass and tarmac proposed and also about how little planting of bushes/plants and number of trees there will be.

Tamsin Morgan (Frome, 2021-03-24)


I am aware that the space needs slightly updating however why anyone would use fake grass is beyond me, the children need to be in a natural environment, even areas of wood chip would me better for the senses.

Gwen Liby (Frome, 2021-03-24)


Wasted money on already nice space

Cp Cacciatore (Frome, 2021-03-24)


My second child will be attending the Kindergarten (maybe) and it’s nice to be consulted about such changes.

Graham Dews (Frome, 2021-03-24)


Even before considering the use of plastic grass and tarmac around young children, surely there are alternative materials that can be considered that aren't as ecologically unsound as these on a basic level? Certainly there seem to be practicalities that need addressing in this space but we should be moving beyond choosing such materials these days. Our daughter is due to start in reception in September and the idea of her not coming into contact with nature, but rather these materials on a daily basis (especially when playing outside) feels do disappointing when the curriculum review talked a lot about fostering a connection with nature and the natural environment. I am very dissapointed especially as this is the only outside area they will be using. It has made me want to reconsider if APF is in fact the right setting for a young child on a daily basis.

Jo Harling (Frome, 2021-03-24)


This is an unsustainable project for an area that has real potential!

charlotte carson (frome, 2021-03-24)


It is an absurd and harmful proposal, presented with no consultation and intended to be carried out at an entirely illogical time, that will be detrimental to the children's well-being.

Alex Horsfall (Frome, 2021-03-24)


Natural materials only please, and please consult parents on plans for OUR school

Jon Pickard (Bruton, 2021-03-24)


I want my child to attend Avanti in September

Simon Carr (Frome, 2021-03-24)


I care about my nieces school

Amy Carson (Bristol , 2021-03-24)


This is money that does no need to be spent. The play area in early years is beautiful and safe for curious little
Minds to develop.

Kelly King (Frome, 2021-03-24)


Children need to be surrounded by nature, by life beyond the human created artificial world, to have an experience of being with the earth, the plants, the insects which weave a meaningful web of beauty about them affirming them as a part of a meaningful whole. I am disturbed and saddened that a plan like this could even be suggested; it shows me how far humanity has lost its way.

James Watts (Frome, 2021-03-24)


I’m signing because I don’t feel a play area for nursery kids, or for that matter any school age child, should consist wholly of fake grass and tarmac. For a progressive school this is just really clumsy.

Ben MacFarlan (Frome, 2021-03-25)


I feel plans to change the outdoor space would be absolutely detrimental for the children.

Susanna Shakespear (Frome, 2021-03-25)


I hope that our youngest daughter will join Avanti in September 2022 and feel disappointed to see the new plans involving so little green space and so many toxic products that directly impact the environment and the health of our children. Children need to ground and connect with the earth, they can't do this when the ground is made of plastic and their play doesn't allow them to use their imagination and senses. Our daughter loves nothing better than playing with sand, feeling mud between her fingers and rolling around on the grass, concrete and astroturf can wait.

Claire Zarb-Owen (Frome, 2021-03-25)


This will interrupt the children’s learning. The materials are toxic, the entire school will all be impacted by this.
The kindergarten garden is SO Beautiful please evolve it don’t destroy it. Plenty of people join early years for that garden, you’d be any other school without it.

Isabella Spencer (Frome, 2021-03-25)


I´m signing because my 2 little girls go to the very school where are planning to put fake grass and tarmac in the garden playground, I don´t agree with the future effect that this can have in their daily routine, thats why I´m against this!

Daniel Yanez (Santiago, 2021-03-25)


It is such a gift to have a wildlife garden for young childre, , don't destroy that precious resource!
And astroturf? How environmentially unfriendly can you get?
Don't do that to our children! (I am a grandmother)

Eva Warman (Frome, 2021-03-25)


I believe the current plans do not support open ended play opportunities, lack of natural spaces, no sand pit, lack of planting beds. The use of toxic fake grass is unacceptable especially when natural options can replace it.

claira le marchand (Frome, 2021-03-25)



Romesh Wanigesinghe (Frome, 2021-03-25)


My son is due to start there in September and one of the main reasons we chose Avanti was because of the great outdoor space for the reception classes.

Kate Whitmore (Frome, 2021-03-25)


It is essential for children to have the experience of playing on grass to feel that proper connection with nature.

Carole Tracey (Warminster, 2021-03-25)


My Son is about to start at Avanti and we chose the school almost entirely because of the wonderful space available for the early years. We would feel that it had been totally mis sold to us if they change the space.

ellie jauncey (Frome, 2021-03-25)


The worst possible idea! Loss of wildlife opportunity, loss of learning opportunity for children, increase in plastics and non environmentally friendly materials. It makes no sense in the current political climate to improve biodiversity and combat climate change

Helen Deeming (Frome, 2021-03-25)


The proposed development of the playground will have an undeniable negative effect on the use of creative play and the development of imagination. I believe this is a huge mistake on Avanti’s part with serious consequences for the well being and development of my child. Please reconsider!

José Ignacio Alcántara (Frome, 2021-03-25)


It doesn’t sound like this is the best solution here. I would like to see a new plan that uses less man made materials and more recycled natural options.

Kerry Render (Frome, 2021-03-25)


I'm signing because all children need to play outdoors with grass and earth and water all around, available for play and for beauty and for nature herself. Avanti are demonstrating their complete duplicity between original statements and what they really mean

helen mepham (SOUTH BRENT, 2021-03-25)


Why plastic and artificial , children deserve Real Nature

PATRICIA GREAVES (Frome, 2021-03-25)


Learning through nature is key, you can’t see the change of seasons with astroturf and tarmac or play an active role in the management and beauty of it.... planting bulbs and seeing the flowers grow, feeling natural dirt and stones and sand and soil are all so essential for child development.

Lucy Wallens (Frome, 2021-03-26)


Children need nature

Holly Larkin (Pilton, 2021-03-26)


My daughter is due to go to school here in September. This is very disappointing that these plans are in place.

Claire Chapman (Frome , 2021-03-26)


I used to have children at the Steiner Academy Frome: a school of choice and freedom and creativity in learning for all families. That was taken from me and my children. Some families have stayed because they don’t have another choice. They have been accepting and welcoming to least honour them by listening to them...

Anna Okane (Frome , 2021-03-26)


Artificial grass is an afront to nature and should not be considered at all. Does not sound like the avanti way to me at all!

Caroline Wajsblum (Frome, 2021-03-26)


Its vital that young children can interact with nature,dirt and while playing to boost their immunity. Parents joined your school specifically for their child to have this experience. also nature,bees etc need as much interaction with greenery as possible. Parents should be consulted on this decision.

Lynn Glenister (Langport, 2021-03-26)


Frome was awarded "plastic free town" status by Surfers Against Sewage a couple of years ago, due to the fantastic efforts of local businesses to end single use plastics.

Artificial grass has no place in a school where children should be connecting with nature! It's so disappointing this was even considered as an option.

Perhaps the school could engage with the council and with the children to design a safe, imaginative, green space that will increase wellbeing rather than a dead plastic space.

Nicola Brain (Frome , 2021-03-26)


I am signing because I believe that Avanti are planning alterations to the Early Years garden which will be hugely detrimental to the children’s development and to the environment. I also believe that consultation does not mean the same to this organisation as most other people understand it and by raising a petition there is a minute chance that their conscience will be pricked- good luck!

Cally Herbert (Bath, 2021-03-26)


One of the reason to place my children in this school was its green playground and great - natural outdoor spaces. I feel that the change should be focused on improving this aspects not changing them into artificial but easy to maintain.

Magdalena Swietlik (FROME, 2021-03-26)


I disagree with the removal of the garden area.
An upgrade by all means because it’s been neglected for so long,but removal unjustified.

Michael Cook (Frome, 2021-03-26)


I agree with the parents concerns

margaret bond (Frome, 2021-03-26)


This directly affects my 3 year old daughter

Tom Breheny (Wincanton, 2021-03-26)


I feel it is owed to the families of the Avanti school to consult and hear them. Nature and ample outdooor time in a natual environment sit at the heart of the education many of the parents want. It would be in the best interest of the school to open this up for discussion.
Happy to be consulted
Adrian Dow

Adrian Dow (Greenwich, 2021-03-26)


I'm signing because I strongly believe children should have green spaces, regardless of possible muddy results and extra costs involved with maintaining it.

Helen Langford (FROME, 2021-03-27)


Children need green space for play.

Dorrie Peat (Gillingham , 2021-03-27)


I am signing this because I agree with the concerns raised.

Jonathan Larssen (Frome, 2021-03-27)


I wholeheartedly support the parents/carers and staff of Avanti Park School. I know from first hand experience that Avanti Trust have acted with very little integrity from the outset of their take over of the Steiner Academy Frome. Good luck!

Carol Kenward (Frome, 2021-03-27)


I will be disappointed if this is happening. I understand redevelopment is necessary for health and safety, but is there a more natural way of changing including grass rather than an artificial option?

Yasuno Carr (Frome, 2021-03-28)


I'm signing because the natural learning environment is an important part of the school. There is also the pressing fact that implementing these plans will upset the needs of the children attending nursery and reception.
This school has already caused a lot of disruption to this particular cohort of young children and any further disruption is unacceptable and should be considered detrimental to their learning and stability.

Imogen Spencer (London, 2021-03-29)


I'm signing this because I want the best possible play experience for my niece. Why waste money on changing something that is already perfect.

Francesca Gordon-Smith (Caudebec Les elbeuf, 2021-03-29)


We need to enhance the already depleted biodiversity and to ensure that children have access to nature as an essential part of their play and education. Stop this tarmac and astroturf madness!

Louise Brouard (Freshford, Bath, 2021-03-29)


I' m signing because I don' t understand why a tarmac playground is being considered preferable to the lovely Steiner garden that' s there now. Tarmac and concrete are very unfriendly to wildlife and I want my great granddaughter to grow up appreciating and looking after nature.The plan to tarmac her play space is destructive to wildlife and nature.

Morag Carmichael (Londone, 2021-03-29)


Children need contact with nature and the world doesn’t need any more plastic

Jane Thomason (Bath, 2021-03-29)


The parents of early years need to be consulted and the health of the children taken into consideration in this decision.

Amy Macfadyen (Frome, 2021-04-10)

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