A couple of years ago, a number of parents approached the school expressing a desire to donate money to the school, to support us in the work that we do. We therefore established The Coleridge Voluntary Fund (previously the Learning Enhancement Fund). Through this fund parents can, if they wish to, make one off donations or set up monthly standing orders.
The Coleridge Voluntary Fund is separate to the fundraising that Coleridge Families do. And, there is no expectation that parents have to donate to the fund.
Since the voluntary fund started, the financial climate in education has not got any easier for school. The landscape is still increasingly challenging and despite new levels of investment in education by government, schools across the country continue to struggle to make ends meet.
The voluntary fund therefore has been hugely valuable to Coleridge. All money raised through the fund has been directly spent on enhancing teaching and learning at Coleridge. The fund and all the money donated has had a huge impact on our children.
A massive thank you to all those of you who have donated to the fund, we have been overwhelmed by your generosity, it has made a huge difference to the school and our children.
What we have spent the voluntary fund money on
Developing Reading & Handwriting
We have been evaluating and exploring how to improve reading in Year 2. The Year 2 team spent a lot of time developing and refining their practice and are now spending more time running guided or group reading activities with our children. We have therefore used the voluntary fund to buy new sets of reading books for each of the four classes. We are also looking to use any future money raised to buy resources to fund the development of handwriting across the school.
We used the voluntary fund to send two of our teachers on Forest School training. Forest School is a process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
All of our Key Stage 1 and 2 classrooms have had their interactive whiteboards replaced with new interactive touchscreens. These screens offer more opportunities to enhance teaching and learning in the classrooms. To date, we have been able to buy 24 new whiteboards, which we would have struggled to buy without the fund.
For Year 1 we invested in big playground equipment which enhances children’s imaginative play in the playground. We have already bought a set of community blocks, which are large wooden blocks the children can use to build with. All children on Coleridge East use the blocks during the school day and at playtime. They have proved to be hugely popular and successful.
Developing Teaching and Learning across the school
Lesson Study is a model of teacher-led research where teachers have the opportunity to work together to develop their practice on an aspect of teaching and learning. During a lesson study, staff have the opportunity to observe each other, evaluate their practice, discuss the learning that took place in the lesson with the children and then identify areas for development.
This model has had an extremely positive impact on developing outstanding teaching and on the children’s learning. We would like to progress with this model and be even more ambitious by running lesson studies across all year teams, benefiting all our teachers and children. The focus of the Lesson Studies will be to look at strengthening the support and challenge in the teaching of maths in Year 2, 3 and 4 and in writing in Year 1, 5 and 6.
As an outstanding school we aspire to ensure our teaching and learning is exceptional. In previous years, we were able to fund and run Lesson Studies at Coleridge. It is an expensive model, therefore we are unable to fully fund our plans and we would like any donated funds to support us to fulfil this project.
The School Play
The annual school play is a highlight of the year. All children take part and it is a special and unique time for them and for us as a school community. The play has a huge impact on the children’s self-esteem and confidence. It provides opportunities for all our children to shine both on and off stage. Last year we used the voluntary fund to pay Adrian Hardy (a music teacher) and Tom Hodges (musician) to work with children to arrange and put together the musical score for the play. Adrian spent a month prior to the play in school working with the school orchestra and choir. We are hoping to use some of the voluntary fund to do the same for this year’s play.
How to contribute:
You can set up a Direct Debit using the following details.
Account name: Coleridge Families
Sort code: 60 06 26
Account number: 51554119
One-off donations can also be made into the same bank account.