Goffs-Churchgate bounce back stronger.
We were pleased to award Goffs-Churchgate a PE Minor Award for two trampettes. Kevin Yardley explained how the equipment would not only benefit the school’s own pupils:
“…these would be used for both students who attend the school and children in the local area who attend the classes run by our external hirers.”
Kevin went on to talk about how the trampettes would help their students:
“These would allow the students to work independently on their trampolining skills.
…The new trampolines will increase the children's motivation as there will be more access to them, as well as the fact they are newer so they will be to a higher quality.
…We will be able to run more extra-curricular activities as there will be more equipment to allow that to be possible.”
Chancellors have “bin” there and dumped that!
We were pleased to grant Chancellors a STEM award to design and make a series of recycling bins made from recycled/recyclable materials to be placed in every classroom and office around the school. As James Field (Head of Technology) explained, the project will develop and enhance many areas of curriculum knowledge as well as skills such as teamwork:
“In addition to the students that head up the team in Sustain we have since discussed creating an additional team that can support the manufacture of the bin units. This new team will be created by offering to all students in all year groups.
They, as well as the Sustain leadership committee will:
- Design the units using 2D design, taking into account standard sack sizes (capacity maximised).
- Take into account Design and Technology practices in reducing wasted material and creating an effective and strong unit.
- Test as appropriate and modify design.
- Manufacture using our laser cutter during dedicated lunchtimes.
- Assemble and distribute. “
The project will also have other real-life benefits for all pupils by:
- “raising awareness and support the environment by increasing the amount that we recycle.
- (pupils) taking responsibility for the waste they produce.
- Raising the profile of the school as a Beacon of Excellence for sustainability.”
Reach robotics causes a storm.
We were pleased to award The Reach Free School a STEM Minor Award for the majority of 3 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Robotics Sets. Annalise Armitage (Science Teacher) explained this exciting project:
“This is an in-house project that spans over 12 1.5 hour lessons and it allows pupils to build, programme and navigate their very own robot through some unique robot games and puzzles. The challenge that they are set is based on real world problems. This year's one is around being active.”
The pupils will enter the First Lego League Challenge competition which…
“…will not only help inspire pupils in STEM as it shows them how the theory they are taught in lessons can be applied not only practically, but also to real life situations, but it also helps the pupils socially and emotionally.
As this project is run over several weeks, the pupils have to show and develop resilience, teamwork, innovation, problem solving and inclusion of others.”
As well as the depth of learning benefit, we always look for the number and range of pupils who will be helped by a project and how long those benefits will last. Annalise covered these points well:
“The project can be rolled out for all abilities and has been adapted for all to take part. I think this would be a fantastic opportunity for pupils to engage with each other, but also inspire them to dive deeper into STEM.
Although for this year it will only be delivered to a small group due to current times, once we have the equipment and resources, this is a project that can be delivered several times across several year groups, year on year within minimal additional cost.”
Chancellors achieve excellence through staff training.
We were pleased to award Chancellor’s School an Effective Learning Minor Award to fund the majority of an Achieve Excellence keynote workshop and 4 coaching sessions. With the unprecedented pressures on the education system at the moment, we are very aware of the need to help both pupils and staff not only get through these trying times but also to “build back better”. As Elizabeth Grant (Deputy Headteacher) explained:
“We believe that this training will enable staff to be reflective, better practitioners and also help us retain the best teachers at Chancellor's. This will all have an impact on the standard of teaching and learning and continual progress of all students.”
We are always impressed when schools decide on the best projects to apply for with the benefit of research and/or experience. Chancellor’s had done just that and ticked our “longevity of benefit” box as well:
“We have already delivered a whole staff workshop in November 2020 on 'crucial conversations' and prior to lockdown had 6 members of staff ready to be trained as coaches.
All staff have attended the introduction to coaching and its benefits. 30 staff have already indicated that they would like to be coached to improve their current practice and allow them personal reflection time. 6 staff were chosen in the first round to become fully trained coaches and many others will be trained over the next couple of years so that we have a bank of coaches.”
As well as improving staff’s wellbeing and practice and thereby benefitting students, the project will also help students directly:
“We have also made sure that two of the coaches being trained are Heads of Year so that these coaching techniques can be used with students, alongside restorative practice.
These coaching techniques will also be used with students, via our pastoral system, asking the right questions to enable students to come up with their own solutions to problems as well as being supported and listened to.”
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