We had a good selection of bids this year, with PE and STEM applications once again proving very popular. For the first time since our Major Awards began in the summer of 2018, we awarded two winners in two of the categories. This was due to the top two applications being too close for us to call amongst a strong field. Needless to say, we were delighted to be able to help fund 5 large projects this year.
As we do every year, we reviewed our judging process beginning with a mark scheme (based on our standard criteria) which then informs final discussions. We don’t publish the actual mark scheme to avoid bids being written “to the scheme” rather than giving a realistic assessment of the project and its benefits. However, we can tell you that there is an increased emphasis on applicants to explain and evidence the expected benefits which will add to our own judgements on how each project will enhance learning and motivation etc.
Anyway, on to the winners…
STEM MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2022
Onslow Saint Audrey School to purchase a wide variety of sensors, data loggers and 10 Chrome tablets.
This was a very strong bid. The project will not only benefit all pupils at the school but also primary students on the Y5 friendship events, Y6 taster days and summer schools as well as A level students from consortium partners. The school went into detail about how the equipment would enhance learning and backed it up with some evidence. Individual groups were highlighted (e.g. the less able) and the bid explained how they would benefit given their particular needs.
PE MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2022 (1)
Richard Hale School to establish a fitness suite with a range of equipment.
We are always keen to help expand schools’ provision and this application explained how Richard Hale currently have a brand-new building but no equipment due to cost over-runs. The well-equipped gym will benefit all pupils in many ways from general fitness to specific training for their elite athletes as well as providing a facility for staff and extra-curricular clubs outside of lessons. The application also did a good job of identifying the different groups who would benefit, ranging from their academy performers to students who have been disenfranchised from PE.
PE MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2022 (2)
Roundwood Park School to replace their long jump pit.
Roundwood Park entered a strong bid which highlighted the importance of athletics at the school and the wide range of students who would benefit from the reestablishment of the pit (as their current one has been closed on health and safety grounds). The bid also explained how the double run-up pit would enhance learning and teaching of long jump, triple jump and early-stage pole vault and gave arguments for its longevity.
EFFECTIVE LEARNING MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2022 (1)
Hitchin Boys to create two new meeting rooms and install a large touch screen in their Learning Support area.
As well as supporting bids that benefit a large number/wide range of pupils (and others), we also value projects that strongly benefit smaller numbers of students with specific needs (whether low or high ability and general or specialised areas of learning.)
The school entered a well-reasoned, two-pronged bid explaining their desperate need for private meeting areas to make best use of their newly trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant and other SEND staff and the huge benefits a large, touchscreen would bring. The application explained the range and number of pupils under the SEND department’s charge, their issues and exactly how the facilities would address their particular needs and backed up some of his points with research. To strengthen the argument further, the bid also explained the effects of their current facilities and argued for the longevity of the benefits the new rooms and screen would bring.
EFFECTIVE LEARNING MAJOR AWARD WINNER 2022 (2)
Presdales School to purchase 4 ActivPanel interactive screens to be distributed across a range of departments.
Our two winning EL bids both featured large interactive screens, but Presdales project would benefit a wide range of pupils including all year groups, many subject areas, Y6 and teacher training. This bid went into great detail about how exactly these interactive boards enhance learning and motivation, giving specific examples from the various departments targeted for the boards and backing it up with research findings. The boards would, for example, extend the effectiveness of Presdales bring your own device policy by allowing students to collaborate as well as share and evaluate each other’s work. The application also detailed the included software and features of these specific boards and how they would benefit learning and finished by arguing that the boards would also enhance the training of the many teachers who come to Presdales in their capacity as a training centre.