Making Our School Exceptional (MOSE)
Making our School Exceptional (MOSE)
In March 2017 we introduced an important new initiative that I and the staff are very excited about, and we would like to ask for your help in delivering this. We are calling this “Making Our School Exceptional”. This is all about ensuring that the school has the resources we need to support our teachers in delivering the highest quality education and improving the attainment of our children.
As you will have heard in the media, schools across the country are seeing their resources ever more squeezed and, in order for us to deliver our ambitious plans, it is critical that we find new ways of securing resources for the school – this is where we really need your help.
Making Our School Exceptional is about bringing together all parts of our school community to help our children reach their full potential. I want us all to have a common view of our priorities and why these are important, to get involved in activities to support the school, and to celebrate our successes.
There are a number of ways you can help, available to download is a list of the “10 small things” you can do and how to follow-up on these ideas. Nine of the “10 small things” are about non-financial ways that parents, carers and the community can support the school. For example you may like to donate an unwanted item to the school or sponsor goods or services the school needs. You can also download our current wish list of requirements. The tenth asks you to consider making a financial contribution, particularly if you are unable to contribute in other ways. Your contribution really will make a difference to the children and available to download is our School Development Gift Form for those that wish to support us in this way.
Asking for financial support is not something I am doing lightly. At the end of last year we shared information with parents and carers on the school’s financial situation. Whilst the school is not in financial deficit, our funding grant from Bucks County Council is falling year-on-year and there are more things we need to spend our money on.
My leadership team and governors are working hard internally to manage our costs, having made significant efficiencies, but we need to find additional money for the improvements we want to make. Further internal cost savings would impact the quality of education we can offer, which is not something any of us want to see and would be counter-productive to what we are all trying to achieve.
Some examples of recent projects which we funded from internal resources and grants we were able to access are:
- We purchased a new Phonics scheme that is being rolled out across the school and is already having a significant impact on the progress of the children
- Interactive panels were installed in all classrooms at Easter, costing around £30k
- Last year we spent around £100k on projects including installing wifi throughout the school, making major changes to the EYFS area, converting the “outdoor corridor” between EYFS and Year 1 into a new study area to allow smaller group working, and building the extension behind the kitchen, with new break-out and music rooms
- We will shortly be replacing one of the school mini buses
However, we can’t continue to fund these kinds of investments from our existing resources, and I wanted to give you a flavour of some of the next projects we want to take forwards.
- We were awarded £10,000 lottery funding to develop the Memorial Garden. We would now like to look at renovating all the outside areas including the Foundation Stage area. Play is an essential role in the social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being of children
- Enhancing the outside areas will extend to improving the school frontage by replacing the fencing and installing new gates.
- The school is eager to purchase IT equipment to support learning in the classroom and our IT Development Group is already looking at research and talking to local schools on the effectiveness of using iPads, laptops etc. to improve standards
- Alongside improvement in IT classroom provision for pupils we will be upgrading and replacing our network and teacher PCs. This will maximise IT efficiency and eradicate the current slow speeds and frustrations teachers are experiencing.
I want to be clear that we are not mandating that parents must make financial contributions to the school – the Making Our School Exceptional initiative is about much more than money as you can see from the “10 small things” you can do to help. However, I hope you agree that these projects are worthwhile and can see how they will benefit our pupils. If everybody contributed £10 a month, we would raise £50,000 per year, increasing to £63,000 through Gift Aid. This would make a huge difference.
I am always overwhelmed by the response we receive when we ask for support. The more we can do together as a whole school community, the better equipped we will be to support the learning environment in the school and continue the strides we are making towards improving standards and supporting our children as they progress through school.
Please do come and speak to me or contact one of the school’s governors if you have questions about MOSE- governors are often in the playground at drop-off and pick-up times, or can be contacted through the School Office.
I hope you will get involved and be part of Making Our School Exceptional and am looking forward to reporting back on the difference that has been made to our school community.