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.”
Ashwell get a shed-load of outdoor learning equipment.
We were very pleased to award Ashwell Primary School a grant for outdoor science and English sheds and water play/learning equipment in order to create an outdoor learning space for their Year 1.
We are always looking for arguments of the benefits a bid will provide but even better than this is evidence that the projected benefits are likely to come into fruition. This might be from e.g. other schools, research or previous experience of staff or the school itself. Tracy Bowen (School Business Manager) provided the latter as part of her bid:
“Having already witnessed the benefit of the outdoor learning area in Early Years where we have seen children flourish, we know that these facilities will help our children to continue to make good progress in all areas of their learning.”
Galley Hill show great latitude for laptop use.
We were pleased to award Galley Hill a grant to buy two Dell Latitude laptops. As Gail Ringrose (computer technician) explained, whilst in school, the laptops will be used by SEND children…
“… to access online learning or computer programmes already purchased by the school to assist in their learning when they can't access the class teaching.
The award would help the children make progress with their learning targets, provide them with additional resources to develop their learning journey & keep them engaged when they might otherwise switch off or distract other children
We would allocate the laptops to a particular SEND child, to support their learning, for full weeks at a time. This would allow for the class teachers / TAs to plan accordingly for the week and ensure that we were following covid guidelines so that they are left untouched during the weekend. In addition to this, the laptops (along with all computing equipment currently used in school) would be wiped down before and after every use.”
In the event of a school lockdown, the laptops would be used by teachers. This is a difficult one to pass through our award criteria as our grants have to benefit children’s’ learning and motivation directly. However, Gail argued her case well…
“In addition, they will be used by teachers for use at home where they do not have anything in place already. Finally, they will be used either by teachers or pupils at home in the event of another lockdown to support children's remote learning.
We have recently received the DfE funding to set up our online learning platform. All teachers received training in the use of Microsoft Teams for remote learning on 16.09.20. Unfortunately, we do not yet have the full infrastructure to allow staff to set this from home in the event of a lockdown. The additional laptops will provide us with enough for all teachers to be able to run 'virtual classrooms' for their classes in the event of a lockdown, therefore directly benefiting a whole class of children to be able to have direct access to their teacher and teaching materials in this situation. In the event of a lockdown, the DfE will provide us with laptops for some of our most vulnerable pupils but these will only be of use to us if the staff are able to set online learning using our new platform in the first place. “
Kingsway give us food for thought in design and technology
We were delighted to award Kingsway Junior School (Watford) a grant for equipment to introduce the Cooking element of the primary design and technology curriculum. Amanda Akers (Teacher) wrote a very convincing bid which gave many benefits of being able to deliver this subject e.g.:
“Cooking and food can be taught through topics, be a topic itself, provide a focus for literacy, numeracy and link to growing. Learning cooking and food skills also prepares pupils for transition to secondary school where they will be taught more formal food technology with opportunities to further develop their skills.
Eating healthily is now more topical than ever. With the recent research highlighting obesity as a factor in struggling with viruses – its so important children learn healthy eating at an early age and can then educate their parents. This then links to exercise and PE so that children can understand the two go hand in hand with each other.”
Amanda went on to explain how other subjects can be reinforced and applied to cooking:
“Maths – measurement, money through helping the new PTA in sales and costings. Children to measure, make and then sell
Science – changing state / properties, healthy eating, teeth, digestion.
Learning about different cultures through food – lots of food tasting on countries that children are studying in Geography. Year 5 – Yucatan, Year 6 – Mexico (Mayans)”
Amanda also argued for the wider benefits of children being able to cook healthily outside of the school setting:
“…When children eat better, they are more alert in lessons and have energy throughout the day by eating a balanced diet, even as much as having breakfast. This would help to improve attainment and progression.
…To use the equipment to hold weekly cooking workshops for vulnerable children and PPG children to experience real life cooking that they may not access at home. They will be taught how to cook healthy and nutritious meals with the emphasis on using food that is easily assessable and cheap.”