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Published: 21 December 2020
Christmas has come early for Matt Crook, Year 6 teacher at Lunt’s Heath and co-ordinator for the Ogden Halton Partnership. He asked parents and local businesses to support his ambition to create a science library for use across 16 local primary schools. He wanted to be able to provide each school with a set of science books for a half term; the books would then be circulated around the schools together with a scrap book for pupils to share photos and book reviews.
Matt compiled a list based on the top 100 children’s science books, created a shopping ‘wish list’ and started his campaign, being sure to include local businesses and contacts with contacts!
“An initial delivery of two books from an unknown source started the new library,” explains Matt. “I then heard from an ex-parent who works for Jaguar Land Rover – they could not contribute as their charity funding had gone to a local food bank, but they did enter us into their Christmas draw for a good cause, which we won! The prize of £260 was a fantastic boost to our library fund.
“We also have a grandparent who runs a science business in Widnes,” continues Matt. “He already pays for science workshops and gives us generous donations to help with school projects. He has now made an incredibly generous contribution of £3,000 for us to use for all things science.”
Matt has now bought 180 books for the science library, which will mean six sets of science books in circulation next year. He has also been able to invest in data loggers and resources for new class science challenges.
“I have been overwhelmed by the response to our science book campaign,” concludes Matt. “I appreciate that we have been incredibly lucky with the donations we have received and winning the Christmas draw, but if you don’t ask you will just never know. We have found that there is fantastic local support out there which is really helping us to achieve great things in our school and community.”
Applications for new partnerships open annually between September and February.
Partnerships normally comprise four to ten schools and can be a mix of maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools, across the primary and secondary sector.
We welcome applications from any schools in England but are especially keen to work with new partnerships in rural and coastal areas, as well as schools based in areas of social deprivation.