Watford Grammar School for Boys - Effective Learning Major Award 2019 - WINNER
WGSB are the deserving winners of the 2019 Effective Learning Major Award. Geoff Curwen, Assistant Headteacher, constructed a detailed and wide-ranging bid for expert effective learning workshops across the school, staff INSET, parental workshops and specialist books.
The school launched their whole school “WBGS Learner – Developing a Learn to Learn Culture” program a year ago relying mainly on internal staff expertise. They have now reached a stage where both pupils, parents and staff would massively benefit from bringing in outside experts.
Geoff’s bid was to bring in InnerDrive, specialists in growth mindset, metacognition and stress management strategies, to take their WBGS Learner program to the next level.
InnerDrive will deliver workshops to every pupil in years 7-10 and 12, two and a half days of staff INSET and parental workshops for each of years 7-9. The school will also purchase a class set of pupil books and teacher books for each department.
Pupil workshops will cover a wide range of effective learning techniques from growth mindset, through communication and concentration techniques to “The Mastery Mindset”. Parents will learn about growth mindset, understanding the teenage brain (good luck with that one!) and helping children revise. The books are a graphic led, entertaining digest of many learning studies from across the globe with each one concluding in action points for pupils and lesson planning tips for teachers.
This wide-ranging set of techniques, directly benefitting so many pupils and helping parents become effectively involved with their child’s learning, was a real strength of the bid. Our always-important longevity box was well and truly ticked by the teacher training which will benefit pupils for decades to come.
WGBS’s bid promises to embed the training deep within the school as part of a three-year development plan and particular focus will be to close the current attainment gap between their 77 pupil premium students and the rest of the school. The techniques and activities will form part of the Y7 transition program to ensure effective learning becomes the norm all through the school.
In November 2019, as part of our feedback programme, Geoff informed us of the initial impact of the programme...
It has been brilliant! Staff, students and parents have all given very positive feedback on the sessions. Staff now feel they have more understanding about what 'resilient learner' means and have been given concrete examples and ideas of how they can encourage their students to be learners and what are some of the key drivers in terms of student motivation. To date Year 9 parents have a had a session on the 'teenage brain' and say this has resulted in them feeling more able to understand ( and therefore support) their child at home. We have student 'effective learner' sessions planned for later this year and these willl provide a connection for them to our focus on the schools 16 (desired)learning attributes. An unseen benefit has been the relationship we have established with InnerDrive, that I am sure will continue beyond this year
Presdales School - STEM Major Awards 2019 - WINNER
Huge congratulations to Presdales School in Ware for winning the 2019 STEM Major Award of £10,000.
Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator), coordinated a very detailed and persuasive joint bid from science, technology and maths. The application supported STEM in a wide variety of ways including curriculum enhancement, cross-curricular collaboration, equipment to support new exam specifications, a whole-year group full day activity, a visit and extra-curricular clubs and competition entry.
Firstly, the bid looked to finance equipment for a series of science/technology activities across KS3 from resources to run a new Food Science curriculum extension to equipment for joint, hands-on maths/science experiments. A full day of STEM activities for Year 8 where they will be building solar-powered cars and a visit to an engineering careers fair for interested Y9 students were also key parts of the bid.
A major strength of Nikki’s bid were that the activities reinforced learning across several subjects in a rolling program that promised real longevity. As Nikki put it:
In support of this application, a collaborative group from science, technology and maths have produced a programme of work, proposed for Key Stage 3 students, linking and applying skills across the curriculum and providing greater impact to students’ STEM learning.
As if this wasn’t enough, there was even an allocation for the latest VEX equipment to help build up their extra-curricular robotics club and enter the national competition – a fantastic way to excite Presdales’ pupils about engineering and programming in conjunction with other local schools.
Specific items and costs were included for each element of this wide-ranging bid and the benefits and needs for each aspect were clearly and concisely explained. We are delighted to award the Major Award to Presdales and look forward to hearing how the various projects work out.
The John Warner School - STEM Major Awards 2019 - Highly Commended
EdufundUK are very pleased to award the John Warner School a highly commended award for their excellent VEX Robotics bid.
Warners have been very successful in regional, national and even world VEX Robotics competitions taking many trophies at all levels including the prestigious Sportsmanship Award (Science Division) in the 2019 World Championships in Kentucky, USA.
Technology has moved on since the school first started their very successful robotics club however and they desperately needed to upgrade their kits and motors to the latest V5 edition in order to compete with other teams already using the new equipment.
Stuart Higham, Head of Engineering, made a very strong case for the activity’s massive benefits in exciting pupils about engineering and computer programming. Not only this, but the VEX competition requires different school teams to work together so the young engineers have to develop teamwork, presentation and social skills as well as all the technical expertise. Amongst the seven teams at John Warner, there are students of all learning abilities, cultural backgrounds and 25%+ girls.
The benefits of the award extend even further, however. The school is very active in encouraging and running training events for other schools to develop their robotics and practice for the VEX competitions. Particularly pleasing is the inclusion of Presdales and St Albans girl’s schools in the training sessions. The clubs run at lunchtimes, after school and during holiday “build camps”.
We are delighted to help the club upgrade and extend their kit and wish them and their partner schools all the best of luck in 2019/20 VEX competitions.
Presdales School - Effective Learning Major Awards - Commended
Congratulations to Presdales school on receiving a Commended Award in the 2019 Effective Learning Majors.
Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator) put together a detailed and persuasive bid for a class set of Chromebooks, together with supporting hardware/software and a subscription to Scholastic Reading Pro.
Nikki used some excellent summaries of research into digital learning and assessment for learning to back up the case for the tablets and tied the bid in with existing staff INSET on digital teaching and learning. She also clearly explained the need for the class set by explaining the current ICT provision, Presdales’ growing intake and the benefit they would bring to intervention groups.
The bid was further strengthened by excellent arguments for the wide-ranging benefits of the reading program and how this would be made more accessible to students in school by the acquisition of the Chromebooks.
Highfield School: Effective Learning Major Awards - Commended
We are very pleased to give a Commended Award for Effective Learning to Highfield School this year. Jennie Clift, Assistant Headteacher, made a strong case for funding a two-year Bedrock Learning subscription for KS3 and 4 which also included extra staff hours for intervention, headphones and reading tests.
Jennie clearly explained the importance of literacy for all pupils and how the Bedrock system would help all abilities of student and provide invaluable feedback via its in-built monitoring system. Bedrock’s adaptability means that subject-specific language can be reinforced across the curriculum and its easy access makes it suitable for in-lesson, after-school and home-learning. The “fun” nature of the software also helps engage all pupils and bring parents on-board to help with home-learning.
Barnwell School: Effective Learning Major Awards - Commended
Congratulations to Barnwell School in Stevenage for winning a Commended Award in 2019 Effective Learning Majors.
Cary Francis, Assistant Headteacher (Teaching and Learning) made an impressive bid for a full class set of iPads, cases and screen protectors. Cary argued hard for the benefits the tablets would bring, explaining the different types of software and its applicability to effective learning across the age ranges and subjects. She explained how the iPads would enhance not only the core activities of lessons but starters and plenaries and detailed how the technology would help all levels of students, but particular academic and/or behavioural needs. A further strength of the bid was that the new iPads could be integrated into existing facilities and software to enhance its use across the school.
In November 2019, Cary got in touch to give us the following feedback on the impact of the equipment....
Student engagement in the classroom. Greater use of AFL, especially as this leads to teacher being able to move around the classroom and interact with students.