Secondary Award Winners

Over £230,000 donated to Hertfordshire Secondary Schools since January 2018
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Bushey Academy: PE Major Award - Highly Commended

We were very impressed by Bushey's PE Major Award bid and so, when they were pipped to the post by Presdales, we decided to grant them one of our optional Highly Commended Awards of £1,000.

Their bid was for a large number of top-quality, indoor and outdoor table tennis tables and equipment.  The sport is very popular at the school and they have been in the national top 10 in a number of age-groups until recently.

As well as expanding the PE options and exam course specialities, Natalie Williams (Subject Leader in PE), also made a great case for the activity helping SEN pupils, including their students on Educational Health Care plans.  As Natalie wrote:

...the opportunity to play table tennis for these students where there is less noise and not as much team play would be amazing. 

Table tennis offers all pupils the opportunity to become active and engaged and would be especially helpful for SEN pupils at break and lunch time when other areas of school are very crowded. 

We have previously used the Green House table tennis project to motivate and engage disaffected pupils and those who have struggled to follow school rules.

Although obviously disappointed not to have won the Major Award, Natalie was very pleased to inform us that the Highly Commended  prize will enable them to buy 5 new indoor tables facilitate a lot more singles play in lessons and clubs.

In November 2019, as part of our follow up procedure, Natalie told us....

We have held a very successful table tennis tournament in school to raise money for our chosen charity. The GCSE students have now got access to a greater number of tables in lesson time so get more time practising and this is having a positive impact on GCSE grades. Some students who found team sports challenging or uninteresting are now taking part in more practical lessons and enjoying PE more.

Longdean School (Hemel Hempstead): EFFECTIVE LEARNING MAJOR AWARD 2018

Edufunduk are very pleased to announce we have awarded Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead the £10,000 Major Award in Effective Learning.  The prize money will be used to set up a wildlife pond, observation tank and dipping platform on their site.

The huge benefits of outdoor learning were key to this winning application for Effective Learning.   Tracy Doyle (Finance Director) coordinated an excellent bid which drew on research that showed learning outside can reduce stress, boost creativity and problem solving skills and greatly increase engagement and motivation.  For SEN children, other research has shown contact with nature can reduce symptoms of ADHD. 

The pond facility will be used for practical science lessons and environmental studies of natural British plants and wildlife as well as a general open-air study area.

We were very impressed with the range of pupils who will be learning more effectively in this outdoor area.  Longdean School has above average FSM pupils and houses one of Herts LA's specialist teaching bases for Speech and Language Difficulties.  They have close links with 5 primary schools (inc. two adjoining their site) who will be able to put such initiatives as "Thinking, Doing, Talking Science" into effect and and ties with groups such as Scouts and Cubs will ensure community use as well.  To quote some of the research Tracy used:

‘Pupils in schools that were offered TDTS [Thinking, Doing, Talking Science] made three months’ additional progress in science compared with children receiving standard provision. Exploratory analysis suggested that the intervention had a greater impact on pupils eligible for free school meals, pupils with low prior attainment, and girls. Pupils who received TDTS also reported an increase in positive attitudes to science and science lessons.’ (Source, EEF) 

Advice from other bodies such as the Boxmoor Trust and a secured donation of trees from The Woodland Trust also added weight to their application and shows outdoor learning around the pond area is only the beginning of a proposed Eco Hub for outdoor learning on the school's extensive grounds.

We wish them every success with effective learning around the pond and hope for a little rain to help fill it up!

Presdales School (Ware): PE MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2018

Edufunduk are delighted to award the £10,000 PE Major Award to Presdales School.  The grant will be used to equip their multigym with treadmills, static bikes, a rower and a cross-trainer.

Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator) led a very strong application which emphasised both the importance of this form or exercise and the wide range of its beneficiaries.  The multigym will be used by many pupils at the school, from their 220 Sports Leaders and elite athletes to regular PE classes, numerous after-school clubs and small groups of girls who are struggling with self-esteem issues.  With around 10% PP students, the free access will be a big draw considering the costs of gym membership and travel locally.

But it doesn't stop there…

Primary school pupils will have access through KS1 festivals, school games competitions, participation festivals and 'Come and Try It' events and the many sports clubs using the school will also be able to arrange access.   Staff at the school will not be left out - following a very positive survey of interest, they will be able to use the facility before and after school too.

Nikki drew on research and campaigns like "This Girl Can" to highlight the problems of exercise drop-off rates for girls, particularly through fear of judgement.  Friendly, small group sessions in the multigym will help rebuild self-esteem and fitness.  Individual exercise programmes would not only help these girls but also hone the skills of all pupils at Presdales', right up to their gifted and talented and elite athletes such as their England U16 Girls Football captain and G.B. sailor.

Research was also quoted to show the positive effects of exercise on academic success.   Allied to this, we were particularly impressed by how keen other departments were to make use of the facility for study e.g. Biology for practical lessons on bioenergetics and Maths and Physics to bring their subjects to life by generating personal data on speed, acceleration, time etc. for analysis.

Longevity of benefit was also a strength of the bid.  Nikki estimated the 7-12 year lifetime of the equipment would provide excellent value for money, giving students gym access at a cost of less than £1 a year per student over that time.  The schools Trust fund also committed to provide a maintenance and replacement programme should the bid be successful.

We wish Presdales a speedy and successful installation of the equipment and maybe some cooler weather once it's up and running.

Barnwell School, Stevenage: STEM MAJOR AWARD 2018

Barnwell School (Stevenage):  STEM MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2018

Edufunduk are delighted to award Barnwell School in Stevenage £10,000 towards a Laser Cutter, extractor and associated equipment.

In a very strong application, Andy Reavell, Senior Leader, explained how the new cutter would benefit a wide variety of pupils.  Firstly, Barnwell's own pupils, (where there are above average numbers of PP students) would make extensive use of the machine through KS3 D+T where it will be based on their middle-school site.  The students will be able to see CAD in action first hand, be able to utilize CAM software and gain an understanding of prototyping and one off production. They will be able to actually produce work they have drawn up on the CAD software and take it home and so stimulate their enthusiasm for STEM subjects.

GCSE and A level students will also have access to the new machine of course which will help them excel in their coursework and see their design work quickly brought to life.

A major strength of the bid was the number of primary school students who will also gain a taste of CAD/CAM in action.  Barnwell work with up to fifteen local primary schools through the year, including a huge Science/Technology fair attended by hundreds of KS2 pupils  (They were short-listed for a TES collaboration award this year).   As Andy wrote in his application:

"We have a number of primary schools bringing students in to our school to work in our ICT suites, the ability to produce a product from the work students can quickly create in CAD software would be amazing."

Barnwell are very excited about the difference a high-quality laser cutter on site will make to all levels of students:

"This would also allow our higher ability students to develop a deeper understanding of the CAD/CAM process and would allow our weaker students to produce practical pieces of a high quality despite their own individual difficulties."

We wish Barnwell all the best with their new cutter which will continue to benefit pupils for years to come.  We look forward to seeing some of the results next year.

Longdean Virtually Sweep the Board with Another Win!

Longdean picked up their second Minor Award last week - well done to them!

Virtual Learning Environments can be fantastic resources and motivators for students and staff.  We were therefore delighted to grant Longdean a Minor STEM award to enable them to purchase a VLE and CPD for an exciting new course:  Smart Product Design and Manufacture (Level 2).

The course will capture the imagination of students and lead them into the world of CAD/CAM,  laser cutters and 3D printing and the VLE will help bring all of this to life with videos, animations, interactive exercises, handouts, schemes of work and teacher support.  Longdean will run the course as part of their innovative, 1-year, mixed-ages, intensive option programme.

Longdean Pupils Present to Parliament

Edufunduk are proud to have helped to fund a small group of children to undertake an excellent programme which resulted in them talking to ministers and having a V.I.P. tour of Parliament.

A group of about 15 students organised a "Send my Friend" to School campaign to help them understand the value of literacy. The students researched and prepared campaign materials, presented to each other, spoke in assemblies and met with their local MP before presenting their campaign to a minister and officials in London.

The course drew on many excellent Effective Learning techniques such as:

  • Thinking Skills - broadening thinking, ideas generation, focussing attention, organising thinking, assessing evidence, debating, creativity methods, dealing effectively with information and emotion/values 
  • Debating/Public Speaking - learning to organise information, prepare an interesting and informative talk, getting to the point, impromptu speaking, control voice/posture and give constructive evaluation 
  • Educational Coaching/Self-Belief /Confidence/Mind-Set/Motivation - developing attentive listening skills, effective questioning techniques and understanding/applying what motivates others and bolsters confidence. 
  • Collaborative Learning - using learning in pairs or larger groups to accelerate and deepen learning as well as increase motivation and enjoyment. 

The students' confidence has grown incredibly, and they are increasingly articulate. They seem to have grown in stature, and not only does the school community look upon them quite differently, but they see themselves differently too. 

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