During 2021/2022, Schools North East partnered with the Community Foundation to make £110,000 of funding available for Tyne & Wear schools looking to develop their cultural, sporting or careers provision for disadvantaged and looked-after children.
Funding for the North East
Projects funded through this partnership continue to take place in the region. Around £4,000 per bid went to chosen schools in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, and North and South Tyneside.
The funding focused on reaching those with the greatest need including:
Developing dedicated cultural and sporting enrichment opportunities for students;
Giving disadvantaged children access to cultural spaces and events, such as visits to museums, art galleries, places of local historical significance and sporting interests; and
Developing high quality Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG), work placements, and university visits for disadvantaged and looked after children.
Here are some of the innovative and exciting projects schools have used the funding for:
Case Study: Beech Hill Primary – History Enrichment
One of the schools awarded funding through the partnership this year was Beech Hill Primary School, in West Denton. Their project ‘History Enrichment’ saw student workshops linked to the topics on their curriculum, including a ‘Dance through the Decades’ workshop in KS1, a WW2 experience workshop for Year 5 and a Roman soldier workshop in Year 4. Additionally, the Year 6 cohort were taken to York Dungeon for the day.
Beech Hill used this opportunity to include their Pupil Premium students in the workshops, allowing them to attend events outside of school that they may have had limited opportunities to access before. Beech Hill reported that:
‘All students were fully engaged by the workshops/trips through the amount of resources and novel experiences they received. The main focus was History – but the York Dungeon experience in Y6 demonstrated the magic of theatre to the children too. The Dance Through the Decades workshop, aside from History, had links to PE, music and culture.’
Linking their workshops to the topics students already had been exposed to allowed the project funding to deepen their understanding. For example, Year 5 were studying changes to Newcastle before and after WW2 and then took part in a WW2 workshop to help consolidate their understanding. Students gained a greater appreciation for historical contexts including cultural, military, local, national. They were inspired by how historians construct the past and how memories of the past are preserved.
As well as benefiting students, staff were also introduced to new resources that can be used in future History lessons. Experiences and resources used in the workshop were discussed in subsequent lessons. Beech Hill will continue to monitor the engagement in History through progression in the subject through formative and summative assessments.
Case Study: Harton Academy – FutureMe Northumbria Uni
Another school that received funding through the partnership was Harton Academy in South Tyneside. Harton chose to use the funding to inspire their students with a project called ‘FutureMe’ where students looked forward to the prospect of going to university.
The whole of Year 10 were taken to Northumbria University over the course of two days, where they were given a campus tour, a taster of a business/marketing lesson, a session by a TeamGB athlete on success and motivation and a session on budgeting. The project links to an existing careers programme within the school.
Many students that took part in the project would be the first-in-family to go to the University, coming from postcodes which have low access to higher education. The motivational project allowed them to witness the advantages of going to university and also a realistic expectation of the financial demands of higher education. Further support was put in place for the lower ability students with discussions about access to higher education made within the budgeting session.
Harton reported that students engaged well throughout the day of the campus tour, and were split into two groups over the days based on their pathways within school.
James Murphy, Teacher at Harton Academy stated :
‘Students are much more aware that they are able to access university through a number of routes, and not just a sixth form. This is of huge benefit to our cohort’.
Students came away from the event with more information about entering into higher education and access through different pathways. Harton also noted that a number of staff attended the event too, helping to disseminate information and misconceptions of higher education across the staffing in the school. The school followed the project through 1-1 sessions with their Careers Advisor who monitors students aspirations.
Schools North East helps to create a gateway between schools and funding opportunities. Partner Schools also have access to unique Partner School Opportunities throughout the school year. Chris Zarraga, Director at Schools North East stated:
‘I am thrilled to see the successful projects that have taken place in the North East due to the partnership with the Community Foundation. The case studies of Beech Hill Primary and Harton Academy show the potential of this kind of funding for schools. Well done to the schools who pioneered these ideas and provided opportunities to their disadvantaged students, it is truly an inspiration to see. We look forward to helping to inform schools about more funding opportunities in the next academic school year and are always keeping an eye out for projects that need funding’.
To learn more about Community Foundation, click here: https://www.communityfoundation.org.uk/
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