A hardworking and enthusiastic committee organises a wealth of lively fund
raising and social activities – such as quiz nights, discos, a Christmas Fayre,
summer barbeque and Auction of Promises.
The money raised through these events is fed directly into purchasing
educational equipment. All parents and staff are automatically members of
Working with the School Community we have developed an Annual Plan carving out the key things we will work to deliver to the school and our children. We will deliver this by working with you our wonderful parents and the local and business community. Mrs Blackburn and the Friends have agreed that future funding will be invested into 3 identified areas:
1. Developing Forest School:
This is a unique area of natural environment within the school that enriches the Children’s Lives above and beyond the normal outdoor activities. This activity delivers real applied learning and health benefits. We would like to enhance this area to ensure every child enjoys the skills development and benefits of true outdoor education. We want to achieve this by:
- Broadening the range of outdoor facilities and activities, including the purchase of a bread oven.
- Creating an all-weather facility with the planting of a natural shelter
2. Completing the school library
This year we want to really complete the vision for the Library and deliver space that truly engages and excites the children to enjoy and use the library as a place of both education and leisure where reading is relaxing and fun. We want to achieve this by:
- Broadening the fictional book range with the purchase of more fictional books
- Providing comfortable functional features in the library including waterproof bean bags and foldable tables.
3. Enhancing learning Technologies
There is a whole range of new technology and resources that the school has embraced to enhance the teaching and learning experience and we would like to help the school enhance the bank of resources across all classes. We would like to achieve this by expanding access to new technology with the purchase of the following:
- Other Classroom resources
Engagement with the business community
The Friends want to forge strong relationships with the wider community of Ironbridge to help the schools success. With a large and attractive business community we are approaching a number of key businesses in the area. Working alongside the businesses and organizations in the community we aim to organize:
- Sponsored activities that interpret the history of the area in an engaging way
- Sponsored activities that provide hands on experience for the children i.e. engineering and construction
- Sponsored activities that enrich the children’s lives through learning and social experiences
- Direct support from the business community to achieve our aims ie sponsoring new piece of equipment (fund raising)
In 2015 The Friends approached Merrythought to form a relationship between the school and the last British Teddy Bear Manufacturer that was established in the Gorge in 1930. Hannah and Sarah Holmes, the owners of Merrythought very kindly agreed to produce a traditional teddy bear that has been designed specifically as the School Mascot. The children were asked to think of names for the bear that would be incorporated in the design; they chose the name ‘Dale’.
‘Dale’ was welcomed to his new home in May 2015, where Merrythought presented ‘Dale’ to the School. In celebration of this new school addition the Friends organised a Teddy Bears Picnic in Dale End Park, complete with storytellers and food provided the Co-op.
This event has enriched the lives of all the children at our wonderful school by expanding their skills in reading and writing, inspiring budding storytellers and young authors and providing an event to improve social skills and communication.
The school celebrate their commitment to enhancing our children’s skills in English, writing and literature and events like this provide an innovative approach to developmental learning.
We would like to extend our thanks to all the team at Merrythought with especial thanks to Hannah Holmes who presented Dale the Bear in Assembly, Sara Ridgway who designed the bear.
In addition we thank the team at the Co Op Ironbridge with especial thanks to Adam Jeff, General Manager and Community Pioneer Thom who gave up their full day to support the event, going far beyond expectations. The Co-op have also provided additional support fundraising in store towards the forest school, reaching out to the wider community.
The Friends of the School are proud to be working with these companies as well as Morris Properties, Aga, The White Hart and many businesses in the community to help support the work of the school. This partnership support is helping us in 2015 to enhance the resource of our School Library, expand the facilities of our unique Forest School outdoor learning centre as well as providing unique cultural and social activities for all our children.
During 2014 we refurbished a store room to convert it into a new library. Friends of the School donated a £6,000 towards new books and the school purchased library shelving and dividers. Shropshire Library Service were employed to help us to catalogue all of the books and colour code them into categories of book to help children to find titles on specific topics.
Each year the Friends provide funding towards:
- A dedicated pantomime performance within the school premises
- Water bottles for new Reception children ensure they are hydrated through the day
- New books for class libraries
We need you
To be successful we need your support. With your help, sponsorship, ideas and support, we can enable the teachers to free imaginations and create a learning environment that the children will be engaged and flourish.
Whether you can come to a meeting and give some ideas, help with events, manning a stall or just simply clearing away, or even being available through email we’d love for you to join us.
Our aim is to have fun, the more fun we have the more we tend to achieve but success is from the helpers.
If you are interested in helping please contact us through email firstname.lastname@example.org or better still attend the next meeting.