Secondary Award Winners

Over £300,000 donated to Hertfordshire Secondary Schools since January 2018
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Presdales are no dummies when it comes to textiles.

Our first Effective Learning award of 2020/21 went to Presdales School Academy Trust for the purchase of 6 Diana dress form adjustable sewing dummies for textiles.

Textiles sometimes struggles to attract enough pupil numbers but during the lockdown, an interest in sewing related activities has grown across the country.  Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator) explained:

“Whilst the number of students is relatively low in comparison with other subject this project is significant because Presdales is the only school in the area offering A-Level study in Fashion and Textiles and against the national trend the number of students at KS4 (GCSE) and KS5 (A-Level) is due to increase by 175% for the 2020/21 academic year.”

Practical subjects appeal to a wide variety of students.  In particular, Nikki noted:

 "According to OFSTED, pupils with special educational needs make better progress in D&T than in most other subjects. This is because designing and making usable products gives pupils a real sense of achievement. They benefit from experiencing their own progress and taking responsibility for their own learning.” 

Whilst projects in all our focus areas should strive to help pupils learn more effectively in some way, an Effective Learning bid has to work harder to prove the project will enhance the learning of pupils in one or more subject areas.  Here are a few of the strong arguments Nikki made:

“The range of equipment being sought in the overall project addresses teaching and learning at both end of the textiles technology scale. At the low-tech end of the scale the addition of the adjustable dressmaking dummies within the Textiles classrooms will allow students to effectively learn the traditional techniques of dressmaking and tailoring as well as more modern pattern construction approaches. Through their use, our students will develop a better understanding of the fit of garments and how to adapt a pattern to create a custom fit. Maths will be engaged in a practical setting with the use of equations to grade patterns to different dress sizes. With the use of the dummies students will be afforded with an applied method of learning helping the more visual or tactile learner.

Practical application through modelling or sculpting fabric onto a dummy will also support the teaching of alternative pattern manufacture techniques used in the fashion industry providing a significant advantage to visual learners. With pattern cutting and modelling now amounting to roughly one third of the overall non-examined assessment grade this simple equipment will greatly support confidence and understanding throughout their studies as well as enabling them to test their products throughout their manufacturing process affording them access to AO3 of the AQA Key Stage 4 & 5 specifications.”


We had some lovely feedback about this and other awards Presdales have received from us over the years which was written up in their Press Tales newsletter.  Here's a snippet and the photos are included above:

"Following three recent applications Edufund have supported us once again with grants for four new sewing machines and a class set of dressmaking dummies. This is of great significance to Presdales with student numbers in Textiles Tech increasing and ours being the only school in the local area to offer the subject at A-Level."

Barnwell strive to be practically perfect in science.

We were very pleased to give our first award of 2020/21 to Barnwell School to purchase class sets of required practical books for science.  As Jackie Johnson (Assistant Headteacher) explained in her application:

“These are particularly crucial, this year, due to the restrictions we will face in terms of conducting classroom based practical lessons.”

We are always impressed when schools manage to integrate new resources/training etc with other resources and procedures in a cohesive learning plan.  Barnwell are doing just this:

“For students in Years 7 and 8, members of the science faculty are creating additional resources, to compliment those required in KS4, which will help to embed the practical skills required within science and ensure that our students are confident in this aspect of the curriculum.”

Jackie took some time to explain how the practical books will enhance effective learning of science practical knowledge and skills:

“…these will allow the students to undertake each practical in a methodical, formal manner as required in their final examination. This rehearsal and subsequent formal recording of results and analysis of findings will ensure that the students are confident in answering related questions and, as a result, we are confident that we will see an improvement in overall outcomes.”

2019/20 Secondary Minor Award Winners

2019/20 Summary

We are very pleased to have given £29,309 in minor awards to secondary schools in £51,309 in total (including the Major Awards) this year.

Here are the secondary schools that succesfully bid for a minor award in each category during 2019/20.  Just click on the dots to see a short write up about their award.

Broxbourne     Presdales  
Chauncy Townsend    
Haileybury Turnford Barnwell    
John Warner  


Parmiters      The Highfield      
Rickmansworth    Watford Grammar (Boys)      
Sele      Watford Grammar (Girls)      
Watling View      Birchwood      
The Reach Free School      The Nobel School    
Batchwood     Bishops Hatfield Girls' School    
Queens' School          

Queens put in a hot bid for thermal cameras

We were very happy to award funds to The Queens’ School for two new thermal imaging cameras.  Hetal Patel, Senior science technician, showed the bredth of the project’s benefits by giving many examples of the topic areas where the cameras could be used:

“Concepts of Radiation are first introduced in Year 7 where students learn about energy from the sun. However, currently we use the camera in the following years to explain these topics:

Year 9 Physics Heat Transfer
Year 9 Thinking Scientifically (Insulating materials)
Year 10 Physics Chapter 2 (Heat transfer)
Year 10 Physics Chapter 4 (Current electricity) - for use with thermistors
Year 10 Physics Chapter 5 (Electricity in the home) - for use with fuses
Year 11 Physics Chapter 13 (EM waves)
Year 12 Physics Waves and Optics
Year 13 Physics Astrophysics

This camera is such a valuable resource in effectively being able to introduce and demonstrate these difficult concepts. There are many other potential uses in the other sciences too. For example, to look at and explain exothermic and endothermic reactions, displacement reactions in Chemistry or for Aerobic/anaerobic reactions in Biology. Similarly, it opens up the possibility for cross curricular links, for example to help understand how different materials that are used in DT are affected by heat, or understanding thermochromic paint used in Art.

 …enrichment through our 'Thinking Scientifically' program where students investigate topics by devising practical methods and setting up experiments based on prior learning and knowledge. A topics that is offered as part of this enrichment is Insulating Materials (Year 9)”

Hetal also explained the depth of the benefit…

“…such a powerful visual towards understanding heat transfer, infrared radiation and allowing teachers to address misconceptions easily.

The joy is in allowing students the opportunity to witness heat energy for themselves. Where the camera has been used to illustrate these various concepts, they always leave these lessons very positively and are more likely to recall lessons learnt.”

Bids are almost always made stronger when relevant staff (and pupils) collaborate.  Hetal demonstrated this was the case for her camera bid:

‘As one of our Physics teachers has said, "It is a vital resource because it is the only way for students to experience something that is invisible (infrared radiation or "heat"). This camera lets them 'see' it and therefore makes it much easier to understand and conceptualise. It is also an incredibly fun demo and makes the subject very engaging for the students."’

As for our important “longevity of benefits” criteria, we have little doubt that Queens’ pupils will be learning efficiently and enjoyably through this equipment for years to come as they replace two second-hand cameras donated to the school over fourteen years ago!

Bishop’s Hatfield Girls give us a strong bid in microscopic detail

We were very happy to grant Bishops Hatfield Girls School a STEM minor award to purchase microscope eyepiece graticules, micrometre and liver slides and two digital cameras for microscopes.  Isabelle Fautrero-Sayer (School Development Officer) worked with Sarah Keay (Science Technician) to put together a very detailed and persuasive bid: 

They started with the project’s aims:

“Our project is the Visualisation of the Microscopic World

Its aims are:
- To aid understanding of the microscopic world by providing better, more advanced and more engaging interactive equipment
- Make information clearer, more easily accessible to all and adapt teaching to current and future social distancing measures
- Improve observational and technical skills
- Improve grades at GCSE and A-level as microscopy and histological techniques are integral parts of both the GCSE and A level Biology specifications. See notes (1), (2) further on.
- Boost interest in STEM subjects through active participation in microscopy both within the class and as extracurricular activities (such as our Science Club and STEM activity days we organise with our local feeder primary schools). “

Then they detailed the number of pupils and teachers who would benefit e.g:

“Teacher(s) trained: 20 STEM teachers + 2 or 3 trainees on placement + 2 professional technicians

There is the option to share the new equipment with the four other secondary schools in our Sixth Form consortium - Monks Walk, Stanborough, Ridgeway Academy and Onslow St Audrey's.

We also have 2 science teachers who are STEM Ambassadors that visit other secondary schools to discuss and demonstrate STEM excellence in the classroom, of which microscopy is a vital component.

The more advanced techniques will also be shared with students from our Sixth Form Consortium of 5 Secondary Schools.

To add to the above, the whole school will also benefit through our extracurricular events which 200-250 pupils attend yearly. The equipment will also benefit each year group every year over the 5+ years life of the equipment

Through our Primary Links Programme, we hold regular Key Stage 2 Science events to inspire 50-90 pupils from 4 local feeder primary schools several times a year, every year.”

Sarah and Isabelle then explained just how each element of their bid would benefit pupils’ learning:

Having a set of slides to use when we visit years 5 and 6 will allow primary pupils to see links with their curriculum (e.g. how organisms are classified and what arteries/veins look like and their relative size). These hands-on activities, led by our A level biology students, introduce primary pupils to the microscopic world and fuel their interest in the life sciences. They are also vital in the development of our STEM Sixth Formers… Acquiring several sets also means class work will not be compromised by taking the equipment out of school to visit the community.

The addition of microscope cameras would allow us to extend the primary link sessions to encompass more primary pupils e.g. both year 5 and 6 (approx 60-90 pupils) and still provide a visual and interactive STEM session.

2) Microscope camera:
By having microscope cameras available, the teachers can also project a microscope image onto the whiteboard.  This will enable students to identify what to look for, teachers to highlight key components (e.g. kupffer cells in the liver) and allow any students with visual issues to participate more in the process, making it more inclusive.

These cameras will help us accommodate larger groups when working with our Sixth Form Consortium biology students (from 4 other schools) or running regular whole school events such as British Science Week, Biology Week and our annual Science Fair.”

The bid was even linked to current events…

“We are currently working on a STEM event, suitable for all key stages, that would look at a pandemic scenario and allow students to use both biotechnology and microscopy to follow through various virus related tasks. This is designed to help pupils make sense of the last few months and all the information they have heard on the news and see how it all fits together to overcome a virus like COVID-19.

While social distancing is in place, this equipment will enable us to offer our students access to live microscopic images without compromising safety.”

Another strength of the bid was they explained the more specialist equipment to better extol its virtues:

“3) Eyepiece graticules and slide micrometres:
These allow students to calibrate the microscopes in order to calculate image size. This is a requirement for A-level and having only one per A level group delays teaching and learning time whilst students wait for the microscope and graticules to become available. By having more, it also means there is scope for this skill to be opened up to other year groups, enabling extension practical work at e.g. GCSE, to be carried out.”

The Reach tee up a virtually irresistible bid

We were very happy to award The Reach Free School a grant to purchase some excellent science resources to help bring the subject alive, particularly for EAL (25% of pupils), SEN and disengaged students.  Sushil Rishiraj (Head of Science) sourced some great practical equipment as well as some highly illustrated science dictionaries.  The practical equipment included structure and bonding class kits and sets of Virtuali Tee tee shirts which utilise AR to show the body’s organs, circulatory system etc whilst pupils are wearing them.

Sushil made a strong case for each element of his bid:

The Virtuali-Tee takes Science to a new dimension enabling our pupils to learn about the human body...on a human body. With beautifully designed augmented reality and amazing 3D learning experiences it will allow out pupils to explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems with fully immersive 360 video. There is also a holographic guide to the body, which navigates and talks you through the anatomy and physiological systems in the body, describing processes such as the Circulatory system in detail using Scientific literacy. This interactive and novel way of seeing inside the body is a submersive experience and will no doubt engage and allow pupils to visualise concepts which we cant see with the naked eye. To support EAL pupils it is also available in 11 different languages… This set of resources will also work wonders within our sessions with our local primary school in which we can hook them into the love of learning and the wonder of Science.

Unfortunately, we do not have the budget to award grants for class sets of core text books to schools, as vital as we know these are.  However, Sushil made a good case for the dictionaries, explaining why and how they would promote effective learning not only in the subject but across the school:

“There are feature panels on key topics such as electricity, classification, metals, and the periodic table, all fully supported by 2-colour diagrams and illustrations. Clear, accessible definitions and cross referencing give full clarity to complex scientific entries.

All of these features build into ensuring our pupils yes can spell all key words but more so be able to define and apply terminology within work and longer style questioning. This would benefit every pupil in the school and would not just be beneficial to Science but to every subject taught. Improving the literacy of our pupils is paramount in Science as there are many words they will not use elsewhere within the curriculum. Having Science specific dictionaries that are laid out both pictorally and with the required definitions will be hugely beneficial to every pupil but also including our EAL/SEN groups too.”

And finally, the case for kinaesthetic learning of a complex area:

“Fundamental teaching in Chemistry is the structure of an atom, leading into the subatomic particles and how they interact to form what they do. This concept is extremely difficult for most pupils and as much we can use sweets or other models within lessons to have a set of designed and fit for purpose models that can be used and adapted would be amazing. Using the Atomic Structures and Bonding model, students can explore (individually and in groups) atomic structure with enough components to build two atoms up to Atomic number 20 (i.e. calcium).”

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