What is Astwood Bank Primary School’s Curriculum Enrichment Fund?
The fund was started to help us to maintain and expand the wide range of curriculum enrichment activities that parents, pupils, staff and governors are all rightly proud of at Astwood Bank Primary School. We feel that these opportunities help all of our children to develop both academic and personal skills that they can go on to use in all of the curriculum areas. The Curriculum Fund enhances the learning experiences of our children and and motivates them to become lifelong learners.
Many of you chose our school because we offer these exciting, stimulating opportunities and it is certainly part of what makes our school what it is. Having a fixed sum of money that we know we can spend on this curriculum enrichment makes it easier for us to plan a range of exciting activities throughout the year for all our children.
How is the Curriculum Enrichment Fund funded?
We ask for a voluntary contribution from parents of £20 for each pupil at the beginning of the school year. All pupils take part in the activities regardless of whether parents have made the voluntary contribution or not, however, in order for us to afford all of the enrichment activities listed below, we need and depend on your support.
We feel that when compared to what else one can buy for £20 these days, our request offers excellent value for money.We have found that by asking for a £20 contribution for each pupil we are able to maximise this amount to the full; we are able to cut down on administration costs and because the Fund has charitable status we are able to increses the amount by 25%.
Ideally we would like you to pay using ParentPay however we realise that for some families £20 does represent a large proportion of their budget and therefore, if you wish, you can pay with two cheques for £10 each, with the second cheque being post-dated for January 2018.
The Curriculum Fund is designated as a charity which allows us to increses the amount we have to spend on the childre by up to 25% without increasing the amount we ask for. Please complete a gift aid form (available from the office) in order for us to do this.
The fund will continue to be managed in the same way as before, with the School Governors ensuring the school gets best value from the fund and overseeing its use.
Why does the school feel this is necessary?
In an ideal world, the funding that we receive from the government would be sufficient to enable us to resource a wide ranging and creative enhancement to the National Curriculum. However, as you may be aware, funding per pupil in Worcestershire is well below that of many other local education authorities.
We are therefore left with the difficult choice of not providing these exciting and creative activities for our children, or asking for a modest voluntary contribution from yourselves. In the event that we receive a reduced number of contributions, we will have to take the difficult decision to offer a smaller number of activities.
What is the fund spent on?
One of the great benefits of this fund is that it enables us to enrich our topics during the year, making them interesting, fun and memorable. Recent activities have included:
- Visiting Theatre Groups performing to the whole school
- Visiting specialists: Samuel Pepys, World War One soldiers, Neil Armstrong
- Puppet workshops, including Punch & Judy
- Making willow sculptures/environmental art
- Working with a visual artist/textile work
- Cooking activities
- Resources borrowed from museums
- Additional sporting opportunities, including subsidisingthe cost of bell boating
- Support with transport to sporting events, choir and dance and literature festivals
- Visits to art galleries
- Young Enterprise weeks
- Themed days e.g.Roman, Sea-side, Pirates, Languages Day
- Author's and poet's workshops
- Orchestra, musical/singing workshops and performances
- Story tellers
What if I have more than one child in the school?
We appreciate that paying for more than one child at the start of the school year may be difficult. Therefore we are happy to accept payment for second or subsequent children in January 2018.
Does this mean that I won’t be asked for any other money by the school?
The Curriculum Enrichment Fund covers all visitors and additional curriculum based activities in school, but does not cover activities such as swimming in year 3 or school trips, which will need to be paid for separately. Our main aim has always been to minimise the number of occasions on which we ask for your support and therefore cut down on administration costs.
How much does it cost to have visitors/groups in school?
In conversation with parents, we realise that the costs of artists is perhaps something you are not aware of. To get in visitors/theatre groups it costs approximately £300-700 per day.
If you have any further queries about the fund please do not hesitate to contact the school.
We have no doubt that your children will really benefit from your contribution towards enriching their curriculum experiences and we, as a school, are delighted to be able to offer such a wide range of activities that our children can thoroughly enjoy and learn from. Thank you for your support