A school with a vision ...

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pargyle

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We had an excellent speaker at the SE Hants convention today .. Joe Turner-Wing ... he is the Business Manager of Charlton Manor Primary School - situated in East London and very inner city.

To cut a long and very interesting story short(ish) .. the school were initially (in 2008) invaded by a swarm of bees and the Head Teacher eventually decided (as a result of major interest from the children and despite resistance from most of the parents and some staff) to start beekeeping with these same bees.

The school had a high percentage of 'problem' children who were sometimes disruptive and under-valued the benefit of education, often with a lack of cohesive support from some parents.

The story of how the beekeeping, gardening, a teaching restaurant and a variety of other 'hands on and practical' elements of the curriculum were introduced and how this has had a marked effect on the behaviour and learning ability of all the children at the school was enthralling.

Although the effect on the disruptive element has been most noticeable - it has lifted the entire ethos of the school and promoted community links and parental involvement. They have a school shop where they sell their honey and surplus fruit and vegetables and use the produce they grow in the school restaurant; the children learn about where food comes from, how it can be used and these activities immeasurably benefit the teaching of the core curriculum. Providing the impetus and a reason for the children to use and learn maths and literacy in a practical environment - encouraging creativity and practical crafts as well.

Everyone at the convention was blown away with what this school, in a relatively deprived location, is doing - using the bees, the gardens, the school restaurant, a local inner city farm and the chickens they keep as an integral part of the curriculum - and funded totally from the school's curriculum budget.

It was a truly inspirational talk - they regularly have high profile visits from local dignitaries, the local MP, celebrities such as Raymond Blanc and Levi Roots and even cabinet ministers from this and the last government, they are often seen on TV and have even had three gardens at RHS Chelsea (winning Silver Gilt)... it should be a beacon that lights a path in education and an inspiration for our Educationalists ... why this sort of project is not being rolled out to a plethora of other schools across the land is beyond me.

They have a strong link with the local beekeeping association - Ruxley Beekeepers - who have been a great support for the school's beekeeping efforts. This is the sort of thing that the BBKA should be actively encouraging ... getting young people, at a very early age, involved with bees and beekeeping is a win win win situation - from every angle.

http://www.charltonmanorprimary.co.uk/showcase/bees-chickens
 
this is the role I have been doing since 2008 with a pupil referral unit in west sussex. But due to the nature of the pupils I work with we don't get the great and good to come along, they are to scared.

we have been running a scheme called cook and eat which is now on the verge of finishing due to the budget cuts. Where we would grow and then cook the food with the pupils for lunch which all the pupils and staff then sit down and eat.

I am in the process of getting beekeeping up and running, back permitting, as last year with the new heads request I brought in a hive for half the summer and worked with pupils. its amazing what they are happy to do when they see how it has a benefit.

I'm having to do this with no funding from the local authority so self funding the parts I haven't got sponsored by beekeeping companies.
 
....

I'm having to do this with no funding from the local authority so self funding the parts I haven't got sponsored by beekeeping companies.

There are major problems with education funding outside the big cities. My daughter, a teacher, tells me about a Teaching Assistant doing some training project but the school had no paper to print her worksheets - she had to buy the paper for the photocopier herself, from Tesco, to use in the school. Perhaps we should re-assign finance so that if the Royal Marines want to take out a hovercraft or landing craft for training, they have to run a 'bring and buy sale' or a 'coffee morning' to pay for the fuel. That's the equivalent of what happening in many schools.

The situation has been made worse because recent governments have reduced the influence of the local authorities. There are now far fewer LA education officers. so good practice is not now routinely shared between schools.

End of Rant!

CVB
 
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There are major problems with education funding outside the big cities. My daughter, a teacher, tells me about a Teaching Assistant doing some training project but the school had no paper to print her worksheets - she had to buy the paper for the photocopier herself, from Tesco, to use in the school. Perhaps we should re-assign finance so that if the Royal Marines want to take out a hovercraft or landing craft for training, they have to run a 'bring and buy sale' or a 'coffee morning' to pay for the fuel. That's the equivalent of what happening in many schools.

The situation has been made worse because recent governments have reduced the influence of the local authorities. There are now far fewer LA education officers. so good practice is not now routinely shared between schools.

End of Rant!

CVB

Our little school is an Academy... minimal funding from Government or Cornwall Council.
Without the PSA the children would not have any books... and now Call me Dave and his oiks are going to take away meals for the littlest of the little ones.
Far from encouraging growing their own or looking at bees or other animal husbandry.. we are actively discouraged by risk assessments and the onerous paper chase and time it takes....

Seems inner city schools are better provided for... BUT there are less well off living in the countryside too!

( Cornwall East now has ONE Social worker... and she has to cover mental health / child safety and Adult care!)

Nice to hear of a success story in these dark days of imposed recession.

Mytten da
 
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Far from encouraging growing their own or looking at bees or other animal husbandry.. we are actively discouraged by risk assessments and the onerous paper chase and time it takes....

Seems inner city schools are better provided for... BUT there are less well of living in the countryside too!

He was asked (amongst many questions from the audience) about risk assessments and he did say that everything they do has to be risk assessed but having been doing it for over 6 years they have the paper trail pretty much mastered - children do get stung, occasionally, but they have a plan for it.

The headteacher has used some of his curriculum budget to put the infrastructure for all this in place and I think he must be pretty visionary - it's cost a lot of money and I suspect that he would have had to justify what he was doing against the possible benefits in the early stages - now of course, with a success story behind him, it must be easier.

I thought school funding was primarily based on the number of pupils but it would seem that this is not the case ... the Local Authority dictates what individual schools get from the overall budget for education and there appears to be a degree of singularly unfair distribution.

I don't want this to turn into a political debate about the rights and wrongs of our educational system - this school has made an incredible effort to provide an edcuation for its pupils that goes well beyond a 'normal' commitment and it seems to be working.

I've just picked this press release on school funding from the Government and if their words are carried through to implementation then perhaps it will give other schools the opportunity to fund a different way of engaging children. It's going to take a while to reach their goals but I commend the principles behind the rhetoric .. we shall see.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fairer-school-funding-plan-revealed
 
They have a strong link with the local beekeeping association - Ruxley Beekeepers - who have been a great support for the school's beekeeping efforts. This is the sort of thing that the BBKA should be actively encouraging ... getting young people, at a very early age, involved with bees and beekeeping is a win win win situation - from every angle.
That's good news, and good for the association to have helped the school. We often get requests from schools to 'run' hives for them, but it is always better for the school to look after the bees, with local help until they're self-sufficient.

had to buy the paper for the photocopier herself
To be fair, this has often been the case, with staff putting their hands in their pockets. Not all schools give staff laptops out of capitation, but they do make sure the kids have them.
 
we have over 400 pupils in 7 sites across the county and our budget for each child is less that £100 for curriculum per annum, and that includes things like books, pens and paper.

that's not sustainable. and they are talking about cutting that.
 
IBRA were rolling out some books and posters and funding for schools under their BeeWorld Project.

I know of one school in a somewhat wealthier area in South Hams Devon that has a well attended honeybee club, but virtually totally funded by the caretaker who is a beekeeper.

I have great difficulty in aligning with a government that is happily spending nine billion pounds annually on a nuclear bomb, and sponsoring massive immigration... when our schools are underfunded, children going without books... NHS in meltdown... and public conveniences throughout Cornwall being locked.. or worse being sold off as second homes!


A touch of irony here!!

Yeghes da
 
Good read.

I think you may be pleasantly surprised by the number of schools keeping bees nowadays...

I would like to think so .. what was so interesting was the impact that the bees had on some previously very 'difficult' children .. they already had the garden set up when the swarm arrived but nobody thought (including me !) to ask the speaker whether it was solely the bees that really had an impact on these children or whether it was the global ethos in the school ... I felt at the end of the talk that he was the sort of bloke you could sit down with for a couple of hours and chat about what they were doing in the school - really good speaker and a very well put together presentation.
 
Great story. When I posted looking for an out-apiary I got a lot of local schools expressing interest. I'm not confident enough to do it but might be worth thinking about in the future.
 

That's all good news ... however, the thing that makes it a bit or a rarity is that Charlton Manor is a Primary School ... the kids leave at 11 to go on to Senior Schools. I think what is happening in the Farm Schools you mention is fantastic .. but think of the benefit if this was happening on a smaller scale in every primary school - getting to the children at a time when their behaviour can still be moulded and modified.

It would be interesting to see results compared between those schools where the curriculum is supported with rural activities and those that are just based on academic curricula.
 
That's all good news ... however, the thing that makes it a bit or a rarity is that Charlton Manor is a Primary School ... the kids leave at 11 to go on to Senior Schools. I think what is happening in the Farm Schools you mention is fantastic .. but think of the benefit if this was happening on a smaller scale in every primary school - getting to the children at a time when their behaviour can still be moulded and modified.

It would be interesting to see results compared between those schools where the curriculum is supported with rural activities and those that are just based on academic curricula.

if you dig deep you will find that it is mostly primarys that do this sort of stuff as when you get to secondary the schools get pushed into focusing on the core subjects as that's what the league tables are most interested in.

the annoying thing is that there are 10s of thousands of secondary pupils are better suited to this sort of education than the traditional standard 5gcses.

but that's governments for you and of all types not just tories. they are all as bad as each other. don't forget it was mr tony blair that set up acadamies and look at how many of them are in special measures due to the crap management of them.
 
but that's governments for you and of all types not just tories. they are all as bad as each other.

:iagree:

don't forget it was mr tony blair that set up acadamies

But he never was and never will be a socialist (not even the champagne supping type) just a tory with a red tie :D
 
It could be a slate tile and a piece of chalk for the kids in the future then, there are easy ways of getting free stuff if you are good at it. What I find with any governing body is they may be good managers, supervisors, directors and so on but rubbish businessmen, probably because money wasn't an option before.
 
It's reasonably easy to get free stuff if it's stuff that you want!
It's all but impossible to get funding for anything like this.
We struggled even to get timber to build our own hives.
It's been a totally positive experience for the school.
The children very quickly become educated about how to behave around the bees.
It only took a brief phone call to the insurance company to make sure everything was okay with them.
I forget the name of the organisation, but most of the health and safety stuff and info on anaphylaxis is already out there.
Educating the parents wasn't too much of a struggle either, especially after the first honey harvest and the apiary is in the prospectus now, so any new comers know what they're in for.
The benefits are immeasurable and although the overwhelming emphasis is on education, we were lucky enough to almost break even on our initial out lay with the first crop of honey.
 
It's reasonably easy to get free stuff if it's stuff that you want!
It's all but impossible to get funding for anything like this.
We struggled even to get timber to build our own hives.
It's been a totally positive experience for the school.
The children very quickly become educated about how to behave around the bees.
It only took a brief phone call to the insurance company to make sure everything was okay with them.
I forget the name of the organisation, but most of the health and safety stuff and info on anaphylaxis is already out there.
Educating the parents wasn't too much of a struggle either, especially after the first honey harvest and the apiary is in the prospectus now, so any new comers know what they're in for.
The benefits are immeasurable and although the overwhelming emphasis is on education, we were lucky enough to almost break even on our initial out lay with the first crop of honey.


http://www.cleapss.org.uk/attachmen...ry/Resources/Guidance Leaflets/#search="ps87"

this is a starting point. but make sure you do it for your site.
 

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