The once barren concrete space at the back of Oriel Academy West London has been transformed into a green oasis and a place where students can sit, work and be inspired.

The newly revamped space will also be used as a gardening club by pupils at the primary school and they have community spirit and generosity to thank for the free makeover.

A team of Heathrow Community Rangers have spent weeks supplying and installing all the equipment and facilities to overhaul the space.

The outreach project, which falls under Heathrow’s Giving Back Programme, was given the green light by Svenja Duppenbecker, Community & Charity Partnerships Manager at Heathrow.

New planters were created alongside developing a sensory garden and a bespoke wooden reading chair was also ordered.  

Other touches included a cute installation of wellies on one of the walls to be used as little planters. The rangers also painted and replanted planters at the front of the school with volunteers from Heathrow’s procurement team.

Astro turf for the reading area was installed, edging for the footpath provided and three tonnes of play sand poured into a specially-designed area.
Finishing touches included a reading corner for outdoor learning, picnic benches, colourful sensory activities for children with SEN (Special Educational Needs) and bark mulch installed to make the space more user friendly and enjoyable for the students.

Oriel currently has places available in Reception and Nursery for the academic year that begins September 2023. For more information email: or call: 0208 894 9395.

A fantastic transformation for the space at Oriel Academy thanks to the Heathrow Community Rangers

Rachel Almaliki, Oriel’s Science Lead & Gardening Club organiser, said she was delighted with the work carried out by the Heathrow Community Rangers and said Oriel’s pupils are beyond thrilled with the result.

She told the Hounslow Herald: “We can’t wait to use the area and we’re looking forward to using the outdoor space for reading and growing our own fruit and vegetables.
“It’s taught the students a lot about working together and the importance of community spirit and kindness.
“This wonderful makeover would not have been possible without the generosity shown by Heathrow and the time devoted by the community rangers.
“This garden will make a positive difference to our students and they will reap the benefits for years to come.”

Old wellies were transformed into planters for this sweet display at Oriel Academy as part of the makeover by Heathrow Community Rangers

Oriel has retained its ‘Good’ Ofsted rating following its first inspection since the pandemic began.

Inspectors noted Oriel is “happy and welcoming. Pupils enjoy their learning and try their best. They feel motivated by the encouragement they get from staff. Children get off to a good start in the early years. They do well in the nurturing and stimulating environment.”

The Ofsted report, published earlier this year, reveals pupils state that bullying does not happen at Oriel as they know that staff will resolve any friendship issues or unkind behaviour.

The inspector also noted “leaders have ensured the school has continued to improve. They have introduced a successful mathematics programme and reading is at the heart of the curriculum. This starts in the early years. Leaders want the curriculum to be memorable and they use educational visits to bring learning to life.”


The garden makeover at Oriel Academy has provided students with a lovely place to sit, read and write