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.”
Applecroft cook up a plan to equip their new food technology room.
We were pleased to award Applecroft School an award to purchase a large range of food technology equipment.
We love to see the efforts and determination staff and schools put into achieving their learning objectives and Applecroft have managed to convert their nursery into a food technology room during these difficult times. We are proud to help them acquire the equipment which takes them over the last barrier to introducing the subject into their curriculum.
Odette Coe (Finance and Business Manager) explained the benefits of a strong, well-resourced food technology offering:
“We have already seen how having an understanding of food groups and how important they are for healthy living has had such an impact on children’s attitudes and wellbeing - to actually allow the children the opportunity to learning basic food preparation skills and move onto cooking meals will embed attitudes and wellbeing even further.”
Odette went on to explain how children will also benefit outside of the curriculum:
“The food technology area will also be accessible to our after-school club to allow them to do additional activities with the children in their care. The after-school club also run holiday clubs so will have the same access to facility.”
Little Green create a great crate space
We were very pleased to award Little Green Junior School an award to buy two class sets and an intervention group set of portable outdoor seating. In a detailed and well-argued bid, Joanna Rowland (Pastoral Lead) showed how a large number of children would benefit from the equipment:
“The equipment enables two classes to use portable, purpose built seating to support their focus and involvement in outdoor learning. Similarly, a small intervention group will benefit too.
…Alternatively, the equipment can be used in a variety of ways to stimulate imagination and independent learning.
…Little Green After School Club
…Local Brownie and Guide pack
…School holiday and/or after school groups such as Art Club, Tech Club (as and when these resume)”
She then went on to explain the need and the many benefits of this equipment and outdoor learning, putting her arguments in current context and giving specific illustrative examples e.g:
“When our Year 6 cohort returned to school in June (after the partial lifting of Covid-19 restrictions) it was immediately apparent how invaluable these outside spaces were. Children were not necessarily with their usual class teacher, peers or friendship group. Nevertheless, in spite of the necessary restrictions, the children thrived when learning outside. For example, teachers were able to devise maths challenges using natural resources, art inspired by Goldsworthy and Frieda Kahlo, as well as numerous (socially distanced) PE and team building activities focusing on self-esteem and secondary school preparation. The freedom of learning in the fresh air and open spaces undoubtedly released some stress and anxiety for the children.
…For example; mini beast hunts and observing nature, transformed into a Celtic fort, as well as the scene of an ambush by Roman Centurions, data collection, sketching or painting nature and of course, whole class or group speaking and listening or reading. Research confirms that by experiencing their learning kinaesthetically, children’s understanding and recall of their learning is far more embedded.”
Long Marston stretch their children with yoga.
We were very excited to award Long Marston VA CE Primary School a grant towards training and mats to enable them to become a Yoga Trained school. As Clare South (Headteacher) explained:
“This consists of a day of training with class staff and the children; we are then left with a scheme of work and a contact to support our progress. So we will have trained staff and a scheme to support learning but we will also have a programme to support our child further with their wellbeing. Opportunities for mindfulness and relaxation will be invaluable even more so in this current climate. This work fits beautifully with our school philosophy of working with the whole child.”
Clare strengthened her bid with some of the lasting benefits of Yoga to both children and staff:
“The project is to support our children with physical activity as well as with their mental health and wellbeing. The whole school will benefit including staff. Having time to stop and think is difficult in this fast-paced world and by providing children with these skills at a young age, they will hopefully have a lifelong learning skill.”