Parmiter’s Submit a Knock-Out Bid!
We are delighted to award Parmiter’s School in Watford a PE Minor Award to train a whole squad of of staff members in Boxercise.
Tom Clarke, Head of PE, sent detailed information and links about the supplier and explained the economies of scale of bringing the Boxercise trainers into school rather than sending some staff out to one of their training courses. As more staff can be trained, Boxercise can be also added to their wide range of after-school clubs as well. Tom strengthened his bid by also managing to secure funding for equipment from the PTA if his training application to us was successful.
Parmiter’s PE department and senior management are very keen to expand their KS4 curriculum in particular and they firmly believe Boxercise will attract some of their disengaged pupils as it is something different. They have had great success with other non-standard offers such as Zumba and step-aerobics and informally surveyed pupils to confirm their enthusiasm for Boxercise.
We readily agreed with their argument that Boxercise will also help develop self-discipline and confidence and promote exercise as an enjoyable activity – all of which helps embed a lifelong love of fitness and sports. We are very interested to hear about these relative character effects on boys and girls after the course has been running for a while.
As a final fillip to his bid, Tom was able to have the new course set up early next year as there was a training slot available this December – very impressive!
Cutting Edge Equipment for St Mary's CE High School
We are very pleased to give a double award to St Mary's - one for STEM and one for Effective Learning. The school had to work hard for the awards as their original applications lacked some specific details about the items being requested, the need for them and their precise benefits. However, after supplying us with the requested details, it was clear that both projects were very worthwhile and fitted our criteria well.
The STEM award will buy St Mary's a Draper variable speed metalwork lathe which they desperately need for the students on their new BTEC engineering course. Their existing lathe is only useable with wood so the new one will not only ensure the full range of experience in the BTEC, but open the doors for a T level course in the near future. The STEM award also included a new oscilloscope and software to replace their outdated equipment. The new, multifunctional apparatus will link to their network and is far easier to use as well as being much closer to equipment their young physicists will use at university and in the real world.
St Mary's Effective also put in an Effective Learning bid for a type of project we haven't received before - a high quality video camera and playback system to support coaching and mentoring for teachers and other classroom staff. The school will record lessons, without the pressure of having a human observer in the room, and then the recordings can be used as a clear basis for discussing strengths and areas for improvement in teaching and learning etc. We thought this was a fantastic way to make learning more effective, with the lessons learned helping not only the recorded staff but all other teachers and classroom assistants. The training benefits will help all staff involved and their pupils for the remainder of their careers and so gained a big tick in our longevity criteria box.
Herts and Essex serve up an ace application.
We were very pleased to hear from The Hertfordshire and Essex High School and Science College again this year and even happier to be able to grant them an award for two sets of socketed tennis posts and nets.
Hayley Jones (Asst. Head and Director of Sport) wrote a strong application detailing the limitations on existing access to tennis sessions both in lesson time and for extra-curricular sessions. The removable nets will help them make double-use of their netball courts immediately and also add flexibility to their new sports centre when it is completed next year. Hayley aims to make tennis available all year and the nets will be available for community clubs' use in the new sports facility.
Ridgeway feed us an application for a goal third!
We are very pleased to give our third award this year to Ridgeway Academy - a cheque for three sets of netball posts and padding. Football, basketball and netball are the big three sports at the academy but the first two have benefitted from investment recently whereas netball has fallen behind a little.
The posts will not only help facilitate more training and matches during school time but also help Ridgeway in their push to further extend extra-curricular activities, especially for PP pupils. In addition to this, they made a good case for needing the nets to ensure they can successfully host their family of primary schools in league matches and tournaments.
Townsend double-up in maths.
We were very pleased to grant a second minor award to Townsend C of E school early in the season, this one for a STEM subject.
Anna Berry, Assistant Headteacher and Head of Maths, has long been a fan of Matt Parker, an inspirational "Stand-up Mathematician" who appears on the BBC, YouTube and on stage and has written in The Guardian. Anna researched his work and found he is part of a group called Think Maths who give presentations and run workshops in schools. As they say on their website:
Our sessions are interactive, engaging and cover mathematical content which will grab the attention of students and inspire them to get excited about maths. We show students the wider world of maths beyond school while giving them a chance to develop invaluable mathematical thinking skills. Our aim is to inspire students to be more motivated in normal lessons.
Think Maths offer several workshops and we are very pleased to fund their "Mathematical Magic" event in Townsend School. As Anna explained in her application, Townsend is in a relatively deprived area of a wealthy city and many of their pupils would have difficulty funding a trip to a maths event. By bringing Think Maths to the school, groups from each year can have their eyes opened to the "beauty, complexity and applications of maths" at no cost to them.