A group of pupils set to leave school in January were given a taste of college life during a winter leavers’ programme in New College Lanarkshire.

Pupils from several South Lanarkshire Schools have been visiting the College’s Motherwell Campus for 16 weeks to complete a construction course and project for Wallacewell Primary School in the north of Glasgow.

The group designed and constructed raised beds, bird houses and a bug hotel for the school gardens. Once these had been manufactured, the pupils had the opportunity to deliver and assemble them on site.

The items were designed to allow pupils to have an outdoor area to enjoy and learn about the environment. They have already planned to undertake a ‘plot to plate’ project – plating, cultivating, harvesting and eating their own crops.

The winter leavers’ programme gives pupils who are leaving school and considering a future at college a chance to experience a number of subjects including Construction and Automotive.

St John Ogilvie High pupil Nathan Cassidy, 16, from Hillhouse, Hamilton said: “This has been a great experience as it has given me the chance to see what college is like before I apply.

“It has made me definitely want to continue to develop in construction, and the project will hopefully help me in my application to college.”

Fellow pupil Declan Murray, 16, from Fairhill, Hamilton said: “It’s a privilege to be involved in the project and helping out a school.

“It will also help us in future getting college places, apprenticeships or jobs.

“I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the project and visiting New College Lanarkshire – it’s been a great experience.”

Martyn Campbell, the College’s Curriculum and Quality Leader in Construction and facilitator of the project, said: “This has proven to be a great opportunity for pupils of South Lanarkshire schools to work on real commissioned work – from its design, through production and onto delivery and installation.

“These pupils should be very proud of the work they have done here and I am very pleased that it may have inspired some of the construction industry’s future workforce.

“By completing this task to the highest standards they have shown themselves to be successful in their learning and responsible for the quality and workmanship they have produced. They have contributed to the primary school by providing real time work in a confident and enthusiastic way.”