The first day back after half term for Year 6 saw them working with Cornish artist Tony Minnion. His work is community and educationally based and involves working with textiles exploring traditional and new technology. Art Machina is a project being run by Daisi that I have managed to access for the school.
Daisi is a not-for-profit arts education organisation creating and promoting inspiring artistic and cultural experiences which enable more children and young people to access the power of the arts. Like myself, Daisi believes that pupils should experience creativity at the very heart of their lives and learning; sparking their imaginations, supporting their well-being and self-esteem, and helping them to observe and explore the world around them.
Year 6 were using textiles with technology to create gifs (moving images). As they are studying Africa and are to perform Lion King, at Christmas, some of their work produced will be used to support the background and scenery, giving them a real purpose and audience for their work.
To further develop art with technology I have contacted WeST Plym secondaries, for possible use of laser cutters. I am due to meet Plymstock staff this week, to see if we can not only utilise their equipment but also develop a possible cross-phase project. The opportunities for cross-phase, subject expertise and specialist equipment are one area that should greatly benefit pupils within WeST.
Funding & Projects
Whilst time and funding are our biggest barrier to building developments, it is not without a glimmer of hope! As you are aware FroWS have worked tirelessly to raise funds to support the rebuild of the swimming pool changing rooms. (I believe there is currently circa £5k.) Literally mid-week I was made aware of the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF). The Soft Drinks Industry Levy will provide revenue in 2018 to 2019 for the HPCF. This fund is intended to facilitate an improvement in children and young people's physical and mental health by increasing and improving access to and use of facilities for physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and well-being and medical conditions. The funding aims to increase and improve access to, and use of, relevant facilities such as kitchens, dining facilities, changing rooms, playgrounds and sports facilities. As a partner school in a larger MAT, WeST, the trust is automatically provided funding from this, though how much is not yet clear. I have already been in touch with the trust to promote and put forward the changing rooms as an urgent project and hope that through this we will be successful. Unfortunately it looks as though work would only start in the summer at the earliest. It’s not through lack of trying numerous funding streams, by myself, governors and other staff that we have been unable to complete this, so we are hoping this will be our answer. I will of course keep you updated, knowing how many past and present parents and pupils have helped raise the £5k.
Another ‘perk’ of being a partner in WeST is that building funding is also automatically generated for the whole of WeST. Like the local authority, schools will need to put forward their projects and the trust will prioritise builds/work. Within four days of becoming officially an academy within WeST I put forward our extension plan for EYFS/KS1 with the intention of also bringing all classes within the main build. Whilst it is currently only an idea on A3 I have requested a fully detailed project with costs to put forward before the end of term. Should this not be successful then I will have no option other than go to local MPs, as the main school building is still temporary and no longer meets needs. The LA were unable to offer additional funding support so I am hoping the strength of the trust will be our ally!
Thank you for your annual collection of these vouchers, it is very much appreciated the effort parents, extended families and community go to, to donate to the school. We have purchased a range of PE/sports equipment, new balls, hoops etc and a range of consumable games items for use at play time and lunchtime.
£2000 was raised through your shopping and donations of tokens in Tescos, Ivybridge. Another massive thank you. We will use this funding to support the development of the Forest School area and allotment.
Our application for the Platinum Award has been submitted and we are imminently awaiting the result. As you will have heard our football teams (girls and boys teams) were very successful on Friday in the GOALs league. Well done to all team players. This week sees the Saints football tournament, which we qualified for, so good luck to the team, who will be playing against a number of Devon teams for the trophy.
Don’t forget to book your Parent Consultation, now live on Teachers2Parents. This meeting will be a good indicator of how well your child has settled into their new classes, routines and demands of the curriculum.
Wednesday 15th November we have a workshop for parents to come in, experience and play the Djembe drums, with tuition from Ms Boucherat. This will be in the school hall 3.15-4.15pm, so if you are waiting to see your child’s teacher why not pop along?!
We look forward to seeing you.