Hagbourne School is fortunate in having a lot of outdoor space, but some of this is not currently used to its full potential. Working together, the school and the Parent Teacher Association, have devised a plan to transform the school grounds by identifying discrete areas that can be refurbished in phases, ultimately creating a cohesive playground full of fascinating zones for the children to explore.
The first stage of this work has seen the resurfacing of part of the playground, the updating of the sensory garden, and the creation of a chill-out zone especially for Year 6, as well as a designated area for forest school lessons. Our aim for this school year is to create a Super STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Maths) Space in the space next to the Year 6 chill-out zone.
The STEM Space is envisaged as consisting of an all-weather STEM “station”, comprising work benches, cupboards, etc., with a variety of equipment that the children can use to explore the world around them through play. There will be planters containing sand, and gravel, and equipment for carrying, pouring, mixing, weighing, measuring, etc. The aim is to encourage the children to experiment, design, and develop key STEM skills of observation, critical thinking, and problem solving in a relaxed and enjoyable context.
The precise design and content of the STEM Space have not yet been finalized, but based on the research we have done into available systems of this type, we think we will need something in the region of £4000 to set it up. This includes the cost of preparing the site, buying and assembling the station itself and the accompanying planters and their contents, and also providing some equipment (balances, magnifiers, potion bottles, blackboards for recording observations, etc.).
Alex and Theo Cookson have got us off to a flying start in our fundraising for this by donating the £500 they raised from the 100km sponsored run they did over the summer, and the money raised from recent PTA events will be added to this, but in order to reach our £4000 goal we need your help!
If you would like to help us to raise the money we need to get the STEM Space built, we have created an appeal page at https://wonderful.org/appeal/superstemarea-8aa437f1, which makes it quick and simple to support the project (or you can always make a donation in person via the school office if you prefer). Please also feel free to share this link with friends and family, or indeed anyone you think might be willing to contribute to the fund.
The PTA would also be very glad to hear from you if you have suggestions as to what sort of equipment the station should contain or how we can develop the site to its best advantage. Clearly, the more money we raise, the more equipment we will be able to provide, but we are also keen to make the funds go as far as possible.
If we do not raise the required amount we will rethink the plans for the STEM space to work to the revised budget. If we raise more than we need for the project, the extra money will be put toward further playground improvements.
Don’t forget, you can follow the progress of the appeal on the Fundraising Test Tube at the school gates!