Clore Shalom flip-classrooms and grow minds.
We were pleased to award Clore Shalom School an award for two laptops to enhance the learning and motivation of vulnerable pupils at the school. Lorraine Field (Office Manager) gave some strong arguments for how the laptops would enhance learning and motivation including a flipped classroom use:
"During class time, the laptops would be useful to support vulnerable pupils with pre-teaching topics they may not be familiar with e.g. during a topic on the Mayans, to show pictures to those pupils who may not have had the opportunities to go abroad and see ancient civilisations, or for a topic on healthy eating, for those children who are not given varied and balanced meals to be able to access pictures/videos/information etc.
Word banks would be created and used on programmed, such as Clicker and Widget, with access to dictionaries and thesauruses to help those children, particularly reluctant readers, who do not yet have a vast vocabulary and will encourage them to use keywords they are less familiar with as they will have access to the spellings, definitions and synonyms.
They will be used to support children with their home learning, which is now being done on an online platform. There will be opportunities for children to access and complete their homework using these laptops in school in a supportive environment i.e. in a lunch time session, where they are unable to access this at home.”
Lorraine went on to argue how access to various interactive programs would also help:
“We also find that children who are reluctant to learn times tables and practise handwriting and spellings, and have little support with this at home and little motivation, will be more motivated to do so by using online resources such as Times Tables Rockstars, Purple Mash Spellings and Letter Join. We have found that there is a high take up of access to these programmes for some of our pupils in school, but less so for our vulnerable pupils. Again, to ensure equality for all, we plan on making these laptops available throughout the day during break and lunch times for the vulnerable children to be able to come and access these to further their learning by practising more in these areas.”
Lorraine also brought in growth-mindset benefits of the vulnerable children being able to use I.T:
“The children we have in mind who would benefit from using these laptops during class time would be children who don't always feel ready to commit to paper what they want to say and are scared to take risks and get things wrong. Therefore, to be able to complete some of their writing on a laptop, where they are able to delete and make changes will enable them to feel safe to take further challenges. The idea is that they develop this skill first using laptops and can then transfer it to their books, with a deeper knowledge and ability that it is ok to make mistakes as this is how we learn best.”
St. John’s square away a great sounding joint bid.
We were pleased to award St. John’s Catholic School (Baldock) an award for two simultaneous projects – one for English and one for outdoor learning (Maths). Suzanne Meadows (English Lead) and Pippa Harvey (Maths Lead) made a joint application:
“We would like to add to our current reading scheme as we need more decodable reading books. We also need more books for our whole class Guided reading sessions. We would like these to link to topics as well as teachers choice.
We would also like to paint a 100 square and a place value chart on our playground to allow for outdoor learning and visual learning so the children can actually 'be the counters'”
Suzanne explained the benefits of the Collins Big Cat phonics book sets she had chosen:
“These reading scheme books link in with the letters and sounds that we teach in early years and ks1 and will help the children through the use of decoding to read words taught in their phonics phases. These are now a requirement when Ofsted conduct their reading deep dives. We want all children to achieve in their reading as well as enjoy their reading. These books will also help the LA children who struggle with their spellings/reading and can be used for interventions with TAs and teachers. “
And Pippa told us how the large painted squares would enhance learning and motivation and also gave us an idea of their longevity:
“The hundred square and place value charts will enhance the children's learning because they can physically move and see how digits change e.g. moving 2 places to the right for division etc. The hundred square will aid those children who need to physically see and move to understand how to add, subtract, multiply on a hundred square. We expect the paint to last 2 years and we are hoping in the future to purchase our own paint and machine for the upkeep of this.”
St Margret cover Klimt and Kandinsky with Kapow!
We were pleased to grant St Margret Clitherow School (Stevenage) an award for a Kapow Art and Design Scheme and supporting art materials. Carmela Puccio (Headteacher) gave us a good idea of the benefits of using the Kapow scheme:
“The Kapow scheme has enabled teachers to develop their confidence in teaching art and DT. They have detailed lesson plans, resources and then videos for the teachers to watch prior to delivering the lesson. Using the scheme has meant that the children are exposed to a greater variety of art techniques.
...There are lessons on weaving, optical illusions, sculptures, Zentangle printing and patterns, still life and lego printing. They can also complete artist studies.
Kapow has cross curricular links so teachers are able to link learning for their children.”
The scheme has an annual subscription which the school were renewing for the first time. This means they had direct experience of the benefits, but subscriptions always raise a question of longevity and sustainability for us. However, Carmela dealt with this issue by viewing this year’s subscription as a training resource for her staff:
“Due to lockdown we were unable to complete the whole year of lessons and that's why we need to purchase it again for the full year of work. The aim is to only purchase it for the full year as teachers should then be able to deliver without it.”
Redbourn read recommended ranges.
We were pleased to award Redbourn Primary School (St. Albans) a grant to buy a huge range of library books for their younger children*. This purchase is a distinct part of an ongoing creation of a new library as Amanda Bowran (School Business Manager) explained:
“Following the successful merger of Redbourn Infant & Nursery School with Redbourn Junior School in 2018 to form Redbourn Primary School - we would like to create a whole school library which would enable children from across the whole school come together, to enjoy story time, borrow books and create a love of reading.
We completed the first stage of the project through the creation of a library in the old junior school (funded by our PTA). This included repurposing a disused classroom, painting and furnishing the room as well as an audit of the books and purchase of new books to ensure our collection was relevant to the curriculum and up to date. We are now at the second stage of the project where we wish to extend the provision to include the infant aged children.”
Amanda strengthened her bid by showing how committed the whole school community is to the project and how well previous phases have benefited the children:
“We are lucky to have a small group of willing volunteers who open the school library before and after school to enable all the children and their families to access the school library, ensuring that the benefits are not just restricted to school hours.
…Following the completion of the KS2 library area, which has been very well received by the children in years 3 to 6, we want to be able to offer the same experience to our younger children. This is especially relevant at the current time as the local village community library has been closed since March.”
Amanda then went on to explain other benefits of the books she wished to buy:
“There will be many benefits of a whole school library including: fostering a love of reading and appreciation of books from an early age, reinforcing the curriculum and school's approach to English/literacy, providing a range of books and reading materials to those who do not have access to books outside of school, providing a variety of non-fiction books to encourage research and problem solving skills, encouraging children to develop their reading skills by providing books on subjects which interest them and providing opportunities for parents and older children to be trained and to take responsibility as volunteer librarians.”
* As EdufundUK don’t grant awards for a “general resources” or departmental funds, we have to know the specific items (or training etc) that schools are bidding for. Redbourn has good links (and discounts!) with a children's book centre which compiled a recommended list of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books for this age group. The school approved the list and emailed it in with Amanda’s application.
Manland have big hearts for learning!
EdufundUK are very keen to help with staff training as the benefits for children last for the whole of the teacher(s) career. We were therefore very pleased to award Manland Primary School a grant to fund a day’s training from an English Advisor from Herts for Learning.
In this case, Manland were addressing a specific need as Cally Arbury (School Business Manager) explained:
“We have a new English Lead and have made writing a key focus in our school development plan.
…the new English leader would be skilled up in the latest effective ways of teaching English. This is a particular area where our school needs assistance and writing is one of the focuses of our School Development Plan.”
Manland are certainly squeezing value for money out of the advisor as Cally explained:
“The Advisor would also deliver teacher training at a staff meeting.”
St Mary’s net a huge haul of PE equipment
We were pleased to award St Mary’s CE Primary School (Northchurch) a grant for a wide range of PE equipment including tennis racquets, basketball hoops, rounders sets, foam javelins, balance boards and even a pedal roller!
Jodie Brown (Nursery Teacher) explained the importance of having the equipment:
“As a school we are focussing on mental health and wellbeing, and a big part of this includes being outside, playing games (including team games), and being more active.
By having more resources for P.E it will enable us to offer more sports clubs during lunchtime or after school and will support the children who excel in a sports activity, when often they find academic learning in the classroom more difficult. We want all our children to be able to shine bright and be proud of their successes, and for many this happens during sports.”
Bids that are responding to an identified, specific need often carry a lot of weight and Jodie brought this into her arguments to strengthen her application:
“In the past we have had feedback from our parents, saying they would like more sports clubs on offer.”