We are delighted to give one of our first awards of 2020/21 to the Stevenage and North Hertfordshire Writing Project founded and organised by Sarah Inman (of Pixmore Junior School). Here’s a summary of the project from Sarah’s application:
“The writing project began as a partnership between 5 junior schools and the impact it had on the pupils, families and staff involved was enormous. The project was based around a book and staff created 3 weeks of engaging, creative lessons which resulted in the children producing some amazing writing, displays and models.
As part of the project, we held a competition between the schools where children could showcase their work and were nominated for best writer in their year group (the Chairs of Governors selected the winners). They were then recognised at an awards evening, complete with trophies, which aimed to celebrate the children’s endeavour, progress and skills in writing – an event which the parents and children found extremely motivating.”
You can read more about the project here: https://www.hertsforlearning.co.uk/blog/oh-what-journey
EdufundUK were approached last year to help with funding as the project had grown substantially…
“In 2019-2020, the project grew to include 9-10 schools across the area (infant, junior and primary); over 3,000 children were involved. The success of this project has led to more schools wishing to be involved for 2020-2021 – 15 schools in total (over 4950 children).”
We are delighted to be able to help again in 2020/21 by purchasing 142 copies of this year’s focus book 'The Winters Child' by Angela McAllister and contributing towards the prizes and award ceremony venue hire.
As well as generating excitement for reading and writing, this project brings so many other benefits to the children and staff involved…
“Another outcome of the project has been the opportunity to moderate writing together and share good practise, where all of the schools involved brought work to compare, discuss and assess. This was a really supportive meeting, particularly where we are trying to raise standards for our disadvantaged pupils. With 15 schools involved this year, we intend to hold another moderation activity following the completion of the project. This helps to promote creativity in planning, support CPD and ensure accurate assessments for our pupils.
In the first year of running the project for my own school, we saw 45%+ of each cohort making progress in the 3 weeks of the project alone. For many that showed accelerated progress by the end of the spring term as they were able to continue to put their enthusiasm and enjoyment for writing and vocabulary into other units beyond the initial project.
In the last 2 years, the other schools who joined the project also said that the enthusiasm with which staff approached the project lead to better teaching, more creativity and freedom around the outcomes”
We wish Sarah and her collaborators every success again this year and know the children of Stevenage and North Herts are in for a post-lockdown treat!