INSPIRING LEARNING THROUGH PLAYEngayne Primary School in Upminster, Essex, was founded in 1958 and throughout this academic year we are celebrating our 60th birthday.
To mark this milestone, we are delighted to announce that some of our former pupils are spearheading an ambitious inspirational learning-through-play project. Because of the link between outdoor learning and mental health, the plan is to completely transform our school grounds into an outdoor hub for learning. They have launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £30,000 to make it a reality and are calling on the school community and wider community to come together and help them raise their target.
Throughout our history, we have been proud to serve our community and we believe it is testament to that service and the esteem we are held in that quite a few ex-pupils are on our staff from a number of different eras.
It is these alumni who are keen to improve and revamp our school playground for current and future pupils by focusing on learning through play, totally renovating and landscaping relatively unused areas of the school environment and reinvigorating current areas of our grounds.
The common strand of the project will be to thread a vein of learning from activity to activity in the grounds. A science and maths investigation area will be created around the existing bug hotel, where pupils can experiment with water and sand, using a variety of exciting receptacles. The concrete areas will be marked out with fun paintings and diagrams which will encourage maths and phonics and encourage group play.
Storage areas will be created to protect equipment and toys from the elements, but they will also be creatively multi-use! For example, wooden storage benches will open up to reveal books and toys while blackboards will be painted on the doors of reading huts.
The layout will also encourage children to put everything away because the storage areas themselves will be fun.
We also plan to transform areas of the grounds, such as grassy slopes, into exciting play areas. Our current thinking is that we could build steps into the bank with old tyres or create climbing frames or playnets into the grass banks. We are even looking at creative landscaping including natural grass ‘sofas’ and ‘chairs’.
We would also like to create reading and quiet areas, a role play area and an area for children to play with large blocks and construct their own makeshift dens.
We will all be doing our bit to support this fantastic Alumni Project. Our fundraising will include approaching businesses and companies to see if they can donate funds, time, personnel or goods to assist us. In school, offline events such as the Big Spell, and enterprise events will donate and contribute to the project. Several staff members have also secured match funding from companies for a sponsored run.
We hope that we can draw on this strong school and community support to make our crowdfunding appeal a great success. Crowdfunding is a great way to hit a fundraising target through a group of people all coming together to put funds in to the same pot and encouraging others to do the same.
The larger the group or ‘crowd’ formed, the more money we raise, so the key to any crowdfunding appeal is getting the message out there via all of our networks, so we need your help to build our ‘crowd’!
We intend to honour our generous sponsors and donors in some way, possibly with an embossed stepping stone in the garden area or a hand-decorated pebble.
Please help us to make this possible by donating as much as you can, and please pass on the appeal details on your own social media network to family, friends and your other contacts to help spread our message. Every single donation helps.
To make a donation, please click on the DONATE button. You will have a choice of making a one-off donation or a regular monthly gift to the school.
Thank you for your support! It will really make a difference!