Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Project update

A project is 'an individual or collaborative enterprise planned and designed to achieve an aim.' Schools are full of projects. Pupils do them all the time to help develop their research skills and ability to work independently. Parents will be used to projects on Vikings or Romans or Egyptians and in the Senior departments, pupils often develop their IT skills by looking at a particular area of research, giving presentations at the end to enhance their speaking skills. Projects in the wider world often involve budgets and take a lot of planning and organisation. They're not for the faint-hearted!

Over the years, FHHS has been involved in a number of projects. We like fund-raising for projects because they give us a focus for fund-raising. People can see what we're aiming to do and when the project involves refurbishment of the building, it's easy to actually see the results. The Science Lab. at school was one of the first refurbishment projects we were involved in and that saw the laboratory expanded, refurnished and a preparation area transformed (the photcopier used to live there!)

The next refurbishment project we were involved in was the Sports Hall. That turned into a much bigger project (in terms of time and money!) than we had anticipated! We started off wanting to put a new floor down and redecorate. In the end, we had a lot of re-pointing and external building work to do before we could get round to the flooring. We also had new lights fitted and a storage cupboard built.

The old Sports Hall floor:

New storage cupboard:

New floor:

The reason I mention these projects is first of all to let people know (new parents and friends in particular) of all we have done over the years. Secondly, projects are hard work and often take much longer and cost much more than we expect. The Sports Hall refurbishment began on 21st September 2005. It was finally completed in March 2011 when we were able to repay the loan the church had given us for the last items. The total cost of the project was £19,533.65 - all raised ultimately through the generosity of parents, friends and the church. When you look at the size of the school and look at the total, I hope you can see the sacrificial giving of many people in this area and their total commitment to the school. People donated time, resources, energy and money to make this project happen and although you may now look at the Sports Hall and be unable to see all that went on behind the scenes, I can assure you it was a very long labour of love for those of us involved!

The refurbishment of the outdoor area from a wasteland to a beautiful area for outdoor play and learning is a similar project. At the start of it, we feel daunted. We have ideas. Children have been involved in drawing their ideal area. Staff have been consulted. Now it's time to make those ideas a reality. The collaborative enterprise is underway! It's already started: during summer, the school caretaker, Mr Parry, has been clearing the area and church members undertook a mini-project in itself to remove metalwork that used to belong to the factory which previously owned the building.

We are having a maintenance day on 28th September. We need muscle to move stuff! There is still a lot of rubble and debris which needs clearing out before we can start to make things look good. So, if you are able to give up a couple of hours of your time on that day, we'd love to see you! We will be working in two main shifts: morning (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.) and afternoon (1 p.m. - 5 p.m.) and will hire a skip so that we can get rid of stuff we don't need in order to be able to start the landscaping and refurbishment proper.

If you can help, please let us know via the School Office, preferably giving us an idea of how long you can stay and what you can do. I'll be manning the boiler, I expect, making sure people have drinks to keep them going! This is an opportunity to be involved in something that will really enhance the pupils' learning, so please do let us know if you can help. All the FHHS projects are collaborative! Without others, we can't possible hope to achieve our aims, but we live by the TEAM principle - 'together everyone achieves more.'

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