Harvey Road have a pool party.
We are delighted to award Harvey Road Primary School (Croxley Green) a grant to help purchase a new permanent liner for their swimming pool. We rarely contribute to large projects as we would rather the maximum £1,000 we can award facilitate a quickly implemented, discrete project that makes a big difference. However, we made an exception in this case as Harvey Road was going to have to close their 50 year-old pool which was the last primary pool in the area and they had been working so hard to raise the funds to keep it open. Once they had confirmed they had the rest of the funding in place, we were able to send our cheque to complete their project.
As Clare Wallis, School Business Manager, explained, the pool benefits a wide range of children, not just in Harvey Road School:
"We carried out a parent survey and 94.1% of parents would like us to keep the pool and therefore we are committed to raising the funds to support the refurbishments. We teach 210 children swimming every year and for 36% of those children, their only experience in a swimming pool are their lessons at school, which is an astonishingly high figure.
"In addition, by carrying out these refurbishments we will not only be able to provide swimming lessons for our children, but also provide access to the 3 other primary schools in Croxley Green (who are not as fortunate as us and do not have a swimming pool). We also intend to hire the pool to local community groups to enable a greater number of children to benefit from our facilities.”
Kenilworth don’t crumble under the pressures of DT
Kenilworth have successfully bid for funds for class packs of crumble controllers and the DT Association’s Projects on a Page scheme. They identified three key barriers to delivering the high standard of DT they aspire to and tailored their EdufundUK application accordingly. For example, as Deputy Headteacher, Claire Williams, explained:
“1) Through purchasing the DT association projects on a page curriculum, we will be able to support the teacher's subject knowledge for all aspects of the DT curriculum. Each project offers guidance for the structure of the unit, core vocabulary and clear subject knowledge for the delivery of the curriculum. This will benefit the children currently at Kenilworth and future learners.
2) Within the application we have requested a class pack of crumble controllers, these controllers will support teachers with incorporating computing into their designs. This will support the coverage of the dt and computing curriculum. We have also requested to purchase a cams demonstration board and an axles demonstration board that will support teachers with clear visuals of how to teach these aspects. This will benefit present and future children with clearer understanding of mechanisms and computing. These are reusable resources that will benefit future cohorts as well as our current children.”
We at EdufundUK are always impressed when clear identification of a need and well-researched, long-term solutions are clearly presented to us. Applications are especially welcome if these solutions help busy teachers improve their skill sets effectively but without taking too much time out of their days. We understand that DT often has to take a “back seat” due to the pressures of delivering the core subjects and agree with Claire’s arguments for its importance:
“We feel that, by improving the quality of the DT provision at our school, we will be benefiting the children through preparing them for life in secondary school and beyond, creating interest for the children to apply for STEM jobs in the future. Our school is in an area of high deprivation and we need to provide children with these opportunities for them to problem solve, develop resilience and take charge of their own situations - high quality DT is a core driver for offering these skills to the children in our care.”
It's also loads of fun!
The Grange Academy have author, Pippa, pop in.
We are very pleased to award the Grange Academy (Letchworth) an award for an author visit from Pippa Goodhart (Winnie the Witch, Flow). The visit will form part of the transition arrangements, combining the Grange’s Y3 with Y2 from their feeder infant school.
As deputy headteacher, Nicky Murphy, explained:
“We have run a number of transition initiatives before but this year want to focus on writing and decided that an author visit/workshop would act as fantastic inspiration to engage the pupils. Following the visit, the two schools will be completing cross-phase writing which will involve joint planning, assessment and moderation.”
The Grange is in an area considered to have a high deprivation factor and they have high percentages of PP and SEN children in their two Y3 classes. For this reason in particular, the school strives to expose children to wider life experiences they may not otherwise enjoy.
Nicky further strengthened her bid by explaining other benefits of an author visit:
“Author visits can be hugely inspirational to help motivate our young writers who might be otherwise disengaged with the subject. When we have undertaken similar visits in the past, it has also helped to boost the number of pupils wanting to read as they want to try out the books written by the visiting author. Within the new Ofsted framework there is a huge emphasis on early reading and we believe by inviting in real life authors this can only benefit this priority.”
Applecroft maintain their P.C. status
Applecroft Primary School (Welwyn Garden City) have been successful in their application for 5 new PCs to enable the school to better deliver the IT curriculum and successfully run their upgraded version of Windows.
As Odette Coe, Finance and Business Manager put it:
“Having new PC's will enable the IT curriculum to be taught effectively and efficiently. Children will be more engaged and enthusiastic as programmes will not crash and it won't take them an eternity to complete a task.”
If you are thinking of making a similar bid, please be aware that, as a small charity, we can rarely afford to fund the simple upgrade or replacement of core equipment. Successful applications are usually tied into a specific project to improve learning effectiveness (inc. motivation) and/or extend the school’s current offering of subjects and activities.
St Nicholas scheme to enhance reading
We are very pleased to award St Nicholas Primary School (Stevenage) a grant to introduce a new reading scheme, including graded reading books and teacher handbooks.
Many children will benefit from this project, as Sue Brinded, Office Manager, explained in her bid:
Not only just the whole school (up to 230 children) but also special groups of children including 34 children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and 77 children with English as an additional language (EAL). This scheme would also benefit 47 children who are Pupil Premium (PP). These children would be split by class so not all taught at the same time but across the school week.
It was obvious from the bid that St Nicholas evaluated the reading scheme carefully before reaching their decision. Some of the (many) advantages they described are:
- The scheme is attractively produced and would enable children to access topic and areas of life they may not otherwise experience.
- This scheme is designed to promote thoughtful responses through its emotional fiction with realistic settings and which will develop children’s comprehension skills. This will be particularly helpful for those SEN children who can struggle with emotional issues.
- The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to stories with the right depth and complexity for them, and helping them to progress.
- Inside cover notes to help children deepen their understanding and support their reading comprehension.
- This scheme supplements our existing scheme and plugs key gaps. Notes help teachers and parents to focus and develop key reading skills.
- Children love to see progress and this scheme allows them to move up through the levels whilst also gaining greater depth within each level.
- We know that these stories are also enjoyed by adults so we expect to see more parents reading with their children and will initiate this by inviting parents in to read with their child.
St. Nicholas further strengthened their bid by securing additional funding for INSET to ensure the school squeezes out the maximum benefit from the scheme.
Bromet show the sense of outdoor learning
We are pleased to award Bromet Primary School (Watford) a grant to enhance their outside learning area. As Ann Turner, Outdoor Learning Coordinator explained, the project will:
“…not just repair our outside learning area but also to add a much needed outside sensory area which the children would definitely benefit from. We intend to add a shelter, (decking), wind spinners, sun catcher, mirrors, a water feature, flowers; this will result in a safe relaxed natural outside environment.”
All the children at the school will benefit from the project…
“All the children in our school have the opportunity to participate in outside learning but there is a great focus the more vulnerable children, those with additional needs who struggle with the confinement of the classroom, children who would benefit from being outside… We have an after/before school club and a summer school club who will also benefit in using the outside learning, with an age range from 4 - 11 years of age.”
Ann augmented her bid with an impassioned argument…
“Playing with sand, water, mud, trees, stones and rocks, climbing natural and man-made heights to gain another perspective should be in every child's education. Human relationships with animals and other creatures can be among our most valuable and soul-searching experiences.”