Flamstead End School put in two applications within a few days of each other and we are very happy to be able to award them both.
The first was for funds to set up STEM club, purchasing such items as lab coats, safety goggles and stopwatches. As teacher, Samantha Richardson explained, the club would be:
“…focusing on a different project each week ranging from a focus on physics, biology, engineering, design and technology, chemistry and mathematics and modelling.”
The club will initially be aimed at a selection of KS2 PPG pupils which will:
“provide them with new experiences that they may not encounter otherwise. They will be able to handle scientific equipment and use it in a child led manner, allowing them to take ownership of their own learning and discover through enquiry.
It could also serve to build their confidence within the classroom and motivate them to be more engaged with STEM subjects than they may have been already, helping to close the gap in these areas for disadvantaged pupils. The club will provide a memorable and meaningful learning experience to pupils who may otherwise feel out of depth or disengaged at school.”
This bid was for a relatively small amount of money that will make a big difference to a number of children who really need it. In addition, the equipment purchased will also be able to benefit other children for many years to come.
Flamstead End’s second bid was for equipment to set up an outdoor, mini-woodland learning area. The bid included such wonderful things as a messy play tarpaulin, a Bugs Life mini-beast hotel, a hedgehog house and mud pit and grow frames.
We are always impressed when schools find effective learning uses for existing areas/resources and when they find cost-effective ways of enhancing/extending a project. Lindsay Wistow (Class 2 Teacher) demonstrated both in her application:
“We have a small area consisting of 6 trees on the side of our open field that is not used and our intention is to utilise this space, which is not currently used for any particular purpose, by transforming it into our own outdoor mini woodland by letting the grass grow long and more unkempt like nature intends. Funding would begin the process by purchasing the resources listed, with the intent to collect recycled or donated resources and materials to then enhance the area such as crates, pots and pans, logs and wooden palettes.”
Lindsay has lots of great ideas how the project will benefit children across the curriculum (in addition to being loads of fun):
“…Opportunities for after school clubs to such as gardening/ cooking club to utilise the area for growing herbs/ fruits or vegetables.
… provide Mathematical and Science based learning opportunities for children of all ages, but to also enable our Early Years the space to engage in purposeful and exploratory play. We want them to have space to dig freely, use their imagination and resources to build shelters, dens, obstacles etc. managing their own risks within this time and to build emotional connections through outdoor stimulation.
…One of the core programmes of study in Science is to use observations to generate answers to questions which cannot always be taught indoors. Children must engage all their senses in order to connect with Science, which starts within the Early Years. We have investigative resources like bug finders, magnifying glasses, clip boards and gardening tools etc but need a space to use these purposefully.
…We would also love to incorporate links with our school’s Eco-Council and tie this in with a project next year.”