Primary Award Winners

Over £125,000 Granted to Hertfordshire Primary Schools Since September 2019
Showing 49 - 54 of 99 Items (Page 9 of 17)

Flamstead End achieve a STEM double with bugs, clubs and hands-on learning.

Flamstead End School put in two applications within a few days of each other and we are very happy to be able to award them both.

The first was for funds to set up STEM club, purchasing such items as lab coats, safety goggles and stopwatches.  As teacher, Samantha Richardson explained, the club would be:

“…focusing on a different project each week ranging from a focus on physics, biology, engineering, design and technology, chemistry and mathematics and modelling.”

The club will initially be aimed at a selection of KS2 PPG pupils which will:

“provide them with new experiences that they may not encounter otherwise. They will be able to handle scientific equipment and use it in a child led manner, allowing them to take ownership of their own learning and discover through enquiry.

It could also serve to build their confidence within the classroom and motivate them to be more engaged with STEM subjects than they may have been already, helping to close the gap in these areas for disadvantaged pupils. The club will provide a memorable and meaningful learning experience to pupils who may otherwise feel out of depth or disengaged at school.”

This bid was for a relatively small amount of money that will make a big difference to a number of children who really need it.  In addition, the equipment purchased will also be able to benefit other children for many years to come.

 


 

Flamstead End’s second bid was for equipment to set up an outdoor, mini-woodland learning area.  The bid included such wonderful things as a messy play tarpaulin, a Bugs Life mini-beast hotel, a hedgehog house and mud pit and grow frames.

We are always impressed when schools find effective learning uses for existing areas/resources and when they find cost-effective ways of enhancing/extending a project.  Lindsay Wistow (Class 2 Teacher) demonstrated both in her application:

We have a small area consisting of 6 trees on the side of our open field that is not used and our intention is to utilise this space, which is not currently used for any particular purpose, by transforming it into our own outdoor mini woodland by letting the grass grow long and more unkempt like nature intends. Funding would begin the process by purchasing the resources listed, with the intent to collect recycled or donated resources and materials to then enhance the area such as crates, pots and pans, logs and wooden palettes.”

Lindsay has lots of great ideas how the project will benefit children across the curriculum (in addition to being loads of fun):

“…Opportunities for after school clubs to such as gardening/ cooking club to utilise the area for growing herbs/ fruits or vegetables.

… provide Mathematical and Science based learning opportunities for children of all ages, but to also enable our Early Years the space to engage in purposeful and exploratory play. We want them to have space to dig freely, use their imagination and resources to build shelters, dens, obstacles etc. managing their own risks within this time and to build emotional connections through outdoor stimulation.

…One of the core programmes of study in Science is to use observations to generate answers to questions which cannot always be taught indoors. Children must engage all their senses in order to connect with Science, which starts within the Early Years. We have investigative resources like bug finders, magnifying glasses, clip boards and gardening tools etc but need a space to use these purposefully.

…We would also love to incorporate links with our school’s Eco-Council and tie this in with a project next year.

Merryfield “dongle” an irresistible application in front of us.

We were very pleased to award Merryfield Community Primary School a grant for 5 tablets and dongles to help their vulnerable children access online learning.

Erica Cook (Office Manager) explained that the school is in a deprived area and they have high levels of PP pupils who are missing out on learning during lockdown.  As important as this is to address, the school also plans to ensure our important “longevity of benefit” criteria:

“Initially a small group of vulnerable children will benefit from the award who at the moment are missing the opportunity to engage in any sort of home learning due to their family situation. These children include pupil premium and low ability children , who we have worked so hard with prior to the lockdown and now they will fall further behind and it will be so difficult to close the gap for them when the schools reopen fully. The tablets and dongles will be made available to support other children both at school and home in the future.”

The school has sourced some great value tablets which will enable the relevant home-learning activities to be accessed by the children who need it the most and we are very glad we were able to support them.

St Mary’s snuggle up in the mud.

St Mary’s Church of England (Berkhamsted) were awarded a grant for an outdoor mud kitchen, snuggle pod and a whole host of outdoor learning equipment.  As Jodie Brown, nursery teacher and Science Lead explained:

"We currently have a Forest school space but need resources to really utilise this area in order to enhance learning, teach life-long skills, enable children to experience hands on practical learning in a creative way, where they can take reasonable risks to support self-esteem."

The forest school will benefit many pupils, both in lesson time and in afterschool clubs and will also be available for their linked preschool children.   Jodie made a strong case for the equipment:

"At St Mary's Primary School & Nursery we are passionate about the positive impact that outdoor learning and Forest school activities can have on a child's well being, no matter what their age or ability. We have seen first-hand how some children who find formal academic learning a struggle, thrive during Forest school and outdoor learning. Their motivation levels increase dramatically, and they begin to shine in a way you don't always see in the classroom environment. Forest school and outdoor learning is something that will benefit all children from Nursery to Year 6 with Nursery, Reception and Year 1 have a weekly or fortnightly timetabled slot. By increasing a child's confidence levels this has a direct impact on learning back in the classroom as well as in the wider world.
Key benefits to Forest school and outdoor learning are:
-Building confidence and independence
-Feeling empathy for others and nature
-Physical fitness
-Health benefits
-Improved mental health
-Learning by experience
-Exposure to manageable risk
-Better sleep and mood
We are also promoting more outdoor learning during Science lessons and the Forest school area provides a wonderful outdoor classroom for hands on practical learning."

Bayford hits the high notes outside.

We were very happy to award Bayford Church of England School a grant to buy and install a high-quality outdoor cadenza for their outdoor music ensemble project.  As Malcom Foster (Headmaster) explained:

By creating an area in the playground with outdoor musical instruments, it will allow every child in the school to continue their musical interest at lunchtimes and playtimes, enjoying playing together in a less structured way.

In time, with more instruments, we will also conduct outdoor music lessons, taking portable instruments to supplement the fixed ones. Through the installation of outdoor musical instruments we believe that children will become further engaged in music as we strive to become further known in Hertfordshire for our excellent musical engagement.

Malcom certainly did his research in order to fully explain the many benefits of the project:

It has been proven that music is able to holistically develop children and research shows music can create improvements in a number of ways:
• Language and literacy skills
o Music experiences enhance processing of speech and language which impacts on learning to read.
o Music training develops skills to perceive auditory patterns between phonemes, also having a positive impact on reading.
• Some research shows a correlation between music tuition and improvements in some areas of maths, such as patterns, sequences and fractions.
• In a study of IQ, children in groups who had music lessons increased their IQ more than children who had not.
• Personal and social skills are developed – learning an instrument can create a sense of achievement, increase self-esteem, increase confidence and improve self-discipline which combine to create motivation for learning in general.
o Participating in musical groups promotes friendships, social skills, team-work, a sense of belonging and development of trust and respect.
• Improvements have been seen in physical development, health and well-being. Learning to play instruments enhances fine motor skills and research shows that singing may bring health benefits to: the immune system, breathing, good posture, improved mood and stress reduction.

 

We were also impressed by the efforts Bayford has made to gather instruments from other sources and raise money from other sources.  Let’s hope the weather holds for the budding young musicians.

Oak View add a Chrome polish to their old computers.

Oak View Primary and Nursery school have been granted an award to convert 25 school laptops into Chromebooks.  This will enable them to be used in the homes of their vulnerable children who are not currently able to access the online elements of the school’s home learning provision. 

Susan Wombwell (Deputy Headteacher) explained the need for the conversions very clearly:

We are a school with a high percentage of Pupil Premium children 29.7% and 17.6% SEN in two form entry primary school. Initially, a group of twenty-five children will benefit from the award but our plan is to alternate the provision to provide greater access to more vulnerable children. The children we refer to are being provided paper copies of the learning activities set by teachers but they are missing out on the direct daily contact they can have with their teachers and peers through our school learning platform. These children include pupil premium children and low ability children who we have been working in school so hard to close the gap and are concerned on the effects the school closure is having on them both mentally and academically.

As vital as the lockdown provision is, we may still have struggled to get the bid past our very important longevity of benefits criteria.  However, Susan addressed this potential issue in her bid: 

Once the school reopens these new Chromebooks will continue to be available for our vulnerable children to support in enriching their learning experiences and closing the gap between them and their peers.

We hope Herts IT can convert the laptops quickly so the vulnerable pupils can start to close the learning gap as soon as possible and start to reap the wellbeing benefits of contact with their teacher and classmates.

School Feedback

I am delighted to inform you that the laptops have been successfully turned into Chromebooks. The speed at which they open and connect is amazing compared to how they were operating prior to the conversion. It has truly put a new life into them. Parents were so appreciative when I phoned them to explain that we were now able to provide them with a Chromebook for their child's home learning. It will make an enormous difference to how they can engage with their learning and allow the link with their class teacher and peers through the use of Google Classroom.

Thank you so much for enabling this to happen; it really is appreciated

Hillshott zone out with beautiful music.

Music Bid

We were very happy to award Hillshott Infant and Nursery School a grant for a class set of 4-hole ocarinas and accompanying booklets.   Sarah Murdoch (School Business Manager) coordinated a strong argument for the instruments in her school:

Ocarinas are perfectly suited to younger hands and with pupils able to use one each, it will provide equal and wider opportunities for all pupils in our school.

All children, including those with SEND will be able to use the most basic 4-hole ocarina. The only other pitched instruments we have in school are glockenspiels and recorders, but they are difficult for EYFS and KS1 children to play and we do not have enough for 1 per child in a class. The ocarinas will be featured in the KS1 curriculum for years to come, creating wider opportunities than we are currently able to provide.

We hope the sound of 30+ ocarinas playing brings joy to the children, staff and parents in class and concerts for years to come!

 

PE Bid

Sarah quickly followed up her Arts bid with another one for safety barriers for Hillshott’s football/basketball/hockey area.  She explained the benefit of the project clearly:

We are undertaking a full review of the outdoor equipment we have in school for safer play times for all children who use the playground. This includes having enough varied equipment to covers all needs / interests for children in Reception through to Year 2. This means the playground will be 'zoned' for multiple activities at once to keep everyone safe.

The grant would benefit children by providing a safe area for physical education.  By allowing us to zone the playground safely, children are able to exercise and play in a safe way across the whole playground.

The physical zoning of outdoor areas will also prove useful with our phased return to school, particularly as regards the youngest pupils.

Showing 49 - 54 of 99 Items (Page 9 of 17)