Inspiring Worplesdon School's budding scientists
Every pupil in Worplesdon School's science class now has their own microscope and bug-hunting kit so they can get closer to nature
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils also enjoyed a Royal Institute Science Workshop
“At Worplesdon we believe that children get just one childhood: it should be a magical and happy time where education should leave a host of positive and deep meaningful memories that last for the rest of their lives.”
Based in Guildford, Surrey, Worplesdon School is a large primary school with two classes in infant year groups and three in junior year groups, The school provides education from Early Years to when children are 11 years old and offers access to a variety of resources including a developed woodland area, vegetable plots, pond, sports field, two libraries and ICT equipment.
The teachers at the school work and plan collaboratively to share their areas of expertise across the school and treasure every single child, ensuring each one receives personalised and nurturing care during their time studying there.
However, we all know how tight school budgets are and how much of a stretch it can be to ensure every student in every class has access to the resources and equipment that make learning more engaging. This is especially prevalent when it comes to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, where the best kind of learning is practical, hands on and explorative.
When the school heard about the Farr Foundation, they contacted us with a request for funding that they could put towards STEM equipment and resources.
The Farr Foundation’s grant enabled Worplesdon School to provide:
A microscope for every child in their science class
A bug-hunting kit for every child
A Royal Institute Workshop for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children – plus an After School Community Workshop
As every child now has their own microscope, they feel fully involved in their science lessons and this hands-on learning added an extra, practical and hugely beneficial aspect to their lessons e.g. instead of having to draw a dissection of a leaf on paper, the pupils now cut one up and then view all the patterns and inside of it up close and magnified. The school was also able to provide their classes with bug-hunting kits so they could get get up close and personal with all kinds of creepy-crawlies during outdoor lessons. The Farr Foundation was able to provide this grant funding through UK Connect’s ‘Buy one, Give one’ scheme which finds the company working with the construction sector to donate a proportion of profits generated from sales of its goods and services to the Foundation to help inspire the next generation’s love of STEM. Another huge benefit arranged through the Farr Foundation was a Royal Institute Workshop designed for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children – plus an After School Community Workshop – full of big bangs and bubbles on fire that left the whole school hall buzzing. With rockets flying across the room and plenty of laughter and learning, this experience inspired the pupils to ask more questions in their lessons and the teachers to gain more confidence in how they delivered them with more focus on interactivity. Months later, the pupils are still talking about the workshop and the teaching staff are keen to arrange another one. Parental feedback following the After School Community Workshop was also hugely positive and it was a wonderful opportunity for those children who may not have had the chance to visit a science museum in person to experience this kind of event. Worplesdon Primary School initially believed the Farr Foundation’s offer of a grant was “too good to be true” but now it's been put to positive use, the children at Worplesdon are more confident when it comes to talking about science and there has been increased levels of performance across the board.
‘"The impact of this investment from the Farr Foundation goes beyond our hopes and dreams. Staff are more confident in their teaching, they have the resources they need and children look forward to their lessons, relishing the fun whilst they learn."
Mrs Kareen O’Brien, Head Teacher, Worplesdon Primary School
"We’re delighted to hear how much of a positive impact our grant has had on the children – and teachers – of Worplesdon Primary School. We’ve seen the Workshop the pupils enjoyed so much and are not surprised that it left such a lasting impression – it's so much fun and hugely inspiring."
Kate Hurst, Trustee, Farr Foundation
The Farr Foundation is a charity that supports organisations dedicated to inspiring school-aged children, raising their aspirations through STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) activities. We do this through the provision of grant funding throughout the calendar year.