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Blast From The Past: Our First Ever Major Effective Learning Award

As our total grants to Hertfordshire schools passes the £1/4 million mark (December 2020), we received some great photographs of our first ever Effective Learning Major Award back in 2018.  The £10,000 grant went to Longdean School to develop a fantastic outdoor learning area.  Here are some before and after photos featuring the latest shots of the finished area.

A snippet from the Award News Item reminds us about the bid:

Edufunduk are very pleased to announce we have awarded Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead the £10,000 Major Award in Effective Learning.  The prize money will be used to set up a wildlife pond, observation tank and dipping platform on their site.

The huge benefits of outdoor learning were key to this winning application for Effective Learning.   Tracy Doyle (Finance Director) coordinated an excellent bid which drew on research that showed learning outside can reduce stress, boost creativity and problem-solving skills and greatly increase engagement and motivation.  For SEN children, other research has shown contact with nature can reduce symptoms of ADHD. 

The pond facility will be used for practical science lessons and environmental studies of natural British plants and wildlife as well as a general open-air study area.

Space Talk with Libby Jackson: 11th December

Libby Jackson is an expert in the field of human space flight and has worked as Flight Director at Mission Control (Columbus) and been a key member of Tim Peake's team.  This is a free online talk, aimed at primary school children.  The attached photo gives a little more information and you can book a space at: 

£1,500 - £2,000 Grant to Set Up and Train on Google or MS Office Learning Platforms

G-Suite for Education and Office 365 for Education are already free-to-use platforms, but eligible schools/trusts can register to receive funded support from an accredited partner to help get set up and trained on their chosen platform. You'll be assigned a partner once you register for support.  One of the major partners is Herts for Learning which many schools are working with already for many aspects of their IT provision and training.

Set-up funding for individual schools varies across phase: eligible primaries will receive £1,500 and eligible secondaries £2,000. Funding for academies in trusts is capped at £1,000 per school.

In short, if you access this scheme and get set up on one of the platforms, you'll be able to:

  • Assign and assess work, providing feedback remotely
  • Communicate with staff, students and parents in real time, using written word, voice and video
  • Facilitate collaboration between groups of pupils and teachers

Information and application forms can be found through The Key:

Stevenage Writing Project a Massive Success

In the autumn term of 2019, EdufundUK were very pleased to award a grant to fund the majority of a superb writing scheme involving 10 Stevenage primary schools and organised by Sarah Inman, Deputy Headteacher at Pixmore Primary School.   The project was a massive success and culminated in a wonderful awards ceremony on Friday 7th February.  Here is their press release explaining the event:


The Writing Event of the Year! 

The winners of a Writing Project, which has engaged 3000+ children in 10 schools over Stevenage and North Herts, were celebrated last Friday evening at a ceremony in The Lesley Rose Auditorium, The Nobel School. The winners received prizes for Endeavour, Progress and Best Writers from Year 1 to Year 6.  Simon Speller, The Mayor of Stevenage, Steven McPartland MP for Stevenage and Tracy Warner (Education Services Director for Herts for Learning) joined Headteacher to give out the prizes. ‘There was palpable excitement in the auditorium’ tweeted Penny Slater (Deputy English Team Leader for Herts for Learning) who attended the event and has been an advocate for the project.

Children from Almond Hill Juniors, Camps Hill Primary, Grange Junior Academy, Hillshott Infants, Martins Wood Primary, Pixmore Junior, Preston Primary, St. Marys Junior and Woolenwick Junior schools were all in attendance to celebrate children’s writing  and creativity inspired by ‘Flotsam’ by David Wiesner.  

Chairs of Governors were involved in the final decision for Best Writer by judging anonymised pieces of writing. ‘It took governors over 45 minutes to decide the winner of Year 6,  such was the quality of writing’ said Kath West, Chair of Governors of Pixmore Junior School.

‘The Writing Project’ is the brain child of Sarah Inman, Deputy Head and English Lead from Pixmore Junior School. Using a creative approach to developing writing, which includes art and drama, the project aims to immerse children in a wordless picture book in order to extend their vocabulary and inspire their writing. This approach had a really positive impact on the writing quality within Pixmore Junior School. The success in school inspired Sarah to firstly share it with other local junior schools last year and then, in her capacity as a Key Stage 2 moderator in 2019, with other schools in the local area.

Alex Evans, Head of Pixmore, said, ‘Sarah’s energy commitment and enthusiasm is second to none; she is a dedicated and inspiring teacher both for children and other professionals’.

The project was sponsored by Edufund UK, one of it’s Directors, Gareth Mottram, was also in attendance giving the prize for Year 5 and Year 6 Best Writers. ‘This approach to writing and the awards could well be a model for other towns and communities to replicate’ he said.  Paul Wallace of David’s Bookshop in Letchworth supported the project by providing the books used by all the schools and is working with Sarah and the other English Leaders to decide the book for next year’s project.

Sarah Inman said, ‘Nothing will compare to the many smiley faces we had tonight and the fact that 3 parents from other schools came up and said that the project had inspired their children to write. That’s why I started the project: to prove that every child can write!’

The winners for best writers were:

Year 1 Hillshott Infants, Year 2 Camps Hill Primary, Year 3 Pixmore Juniors, Year 4 Pixmore Juniors, Year 5 Almond Hill Junior, Year 6 St Mary’s Junior

Effective Learning/Motivational Videos for Free

Fix-Up Seminars are releasing a free series of short videos aimed at success in examinations.  They cover such things as: Resilience, goal setting, making good choices etc.  They are aimed at pupils and kept short - about 2:30 - 3:00 minutes each.    You can view the videos here to judge whether they will be effective for your pupils.

* EdufundUK do not specifically endorse individual organisations but we do, from time to time, feature news of organisations and resources for staff to evaluate.*

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