Construction Students On Board with the Friendship Express

Pupils from eight local primary schools travelled to the South Devon College Brunel Skills Centre to witness the unveiling of eight hand-made ‘Friendship Express’ trains made by Construction students from Newton Abbot College and surrounding schools.

The trains, constructed over the last year, will be installed in primary school playgrounds across the area. Any pupil who is struggling to make friends will be encouraged to play on the train and can be joined by others to make new and positive relationships with other pupils. Panels of the trains were sent to the primary schools to be decorated by pupils and teachers to raise awareness of the project. 

Construction students Leo Fletcher and Alex Fencham
Construction students Leo Fletcher and Alex Fencham

Steve Kocur, Assistant Principal at Newton Abbot College, said: “It has been a privilege for our students to be involved in this project. It is important that, as a College, we look outside our walls and encourage our students to give back to the local community in any way they can.”

Lily from Ellacombe Church of England Primary School said: “The trains are amazing. You can sit on the front of them and they are really colourful. I am happy that we have helped to make them. I think it will help people to make friends.”

Pupils will benefit from the trains located in playgrounds
Pupils will benefit from the trains located in playgrounds

South Devon College Centre Manager for Construction and Built Environment, David Dance said: “This has been a lovely project. Some of the Level 2 Construction students who have been involved in the project have gone on to find careers as joiners. Projects like this, giving back to the local community, really show our learners that the skills they learn and use can change lives.”

BBC News Spotlight Coverage

Friendship Express Construction Level 2 Newton Abbot College Ofsted Good Secondary School 4
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