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Life Changing Libraries at Griffin Primary School

This morning, The Duchess of Cornwall joined Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell MBE at Griffin Primary School in Wandsworth, South London to formally open their newly built, bespoke ‘Life-changing Library’. 

Griffin Primary School is one of six pilot primary schools selected to take part in Cressida Cowell’s flagship project as Waterstones Children’s Laureate – ‘Life-changing Libraries’ – which is designed to showcase the transformative impact a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life.

On arrival, Her Royal Highness – who has been Patron of BookTrust since 2011 – was introduced to Cressida Cowell MBE, Waterstones Childrens’ Laureate 2019 – 2022; Karen Bastick-Styles, Executive Head Teacher of Griffin Primary School; Hugh Greenway, Trust CEO of Griffin Primary School; and Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity and custodians of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate role.

Together with Cressida Cowell and two pupils from Griffin Primary School, Her Royal Highness cut the ribbon to officially open the state-of-the-art library. Inside the beautiful new space, The Duchess read The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr to a class of Year 2 pupils, and then took part in a ‘draw-along’ session led by Cressida Cowell, the internationally bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series.

To mark the occasion, the pupils at Griffin Primary performed a specially written song about books and reading in their ‘Forest in the City’ outdoor space, where Her Royal Highness presented three of her favourite children’s books as gifts to the school: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy; Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome; and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Please read the full article here.

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Greenside Primary walk with 'Little Amal' at Glastonbury

Children at Greenside Primary School spent the day at Glastonbury in support of a very special cause for 'Little Amal'. They walked Little Amal through the Shangri-La field at the music festival, in a powerful display of child unity.

The Walk sees ‘Little Amal’, a 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young refugee girl, created by the acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company. Representing all displaced children, many separated from their families, Little Amal will travel over 8,000km embodying the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”.

At this time of unprecedented global change, The Walk is an extraordinary artistic response: a cultural odyssey transcending borders, politics and language to tell a new story of shared humanity – and to ensure the world doesn’t forget the millions of displaced children, each with their own story, who are more vulnerable than ever during the global pandemic.

Please follow this link to read this article in The Guardian which outlines Greenside's adventures with 'Little Amal'.

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Annual Report to Parent and Carers 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

This year has been tough for everyone, but through these times our school and the Elliot Foundation have pulled together to make learning accessible for all.

The education we expect means that we will be confident and we will learn about all subjects, not just Maths and English. We will be creative writers and good mathematicians, great scientists, amazing artists and history lovers. We will love what we do and we know that we can make a difference to the world.

The main reason that we are all striving in our learning is because we know that the Elliot Foundation cares about what we do. We are proud to be part of an organisation that puts children’s well-being before anything else. 

We are learning to be positive members of a wider society by being taught that bullying is mean and not right to do, that it doesn’t matter if we are different and learning that children have a right to make a positive difference in the world.

This piece was collaboratively written by:

Lewis Gray from Ramsey Junior School and Malk and Mariem Warda from Tiverton Academy

To read the full report click here

A Special Performance 


Year 6 at Cavalry Primary School performed a version of 'Memories' by Maroon 5 in honour of Geri Crooke. Geri was a well known figure amongst the students at Cavalry as she led numerous drama classes and weekend theatre clubs at the performing arts base. Her impact spread wide and far as she encouraged students to embrace the freedom and expression of theatre and music. Her passion was infectious and it is thanks to Geri that so many students at Cavalry are confident and keen performers. She was tragically killed in a road accident in June 2019 and The Geri Crooke Foundation was set up in her memory to fund scholarships in the performing arts. It has a very special place in the hearts of everyone at Cavalry. 


Have a look at this beautiful performance in memory of Geri Crooke. 

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The Elliot Foundation Winter Campaign - Community Box Appeal

The Elliot Foundation has launched a campaign to support its local communities this winter. By delivering “Community Boxes’” of essential foods, personal hygiene products and educational activities to vulnerable families, it seeks to ensure as many as possible are given a helping hand in what is likely to be a difficult winter.

Over the last 9 months 14% of UK families with children have experienced food insecurity. Recently, England footballer Marcus Rashford shed light on the importance of this issue with his Child Food Poverty Task Force successfully challenging government to extend free school meals to 1.4 million UK children throughout the school holidays.We have noted that whilst 52.9% of parents felt anxious or extremely anxious about their child returning to school, at the same time more than a third disclosed that their personal and financial circumstances had been adversely affected by Covid-19. Taking together the financial strain and concern over physical and mental wellbeing, the need to ensure that no family is left behind has never been higher. 

The ‘Community box’ programme sees our schools become distribution centres for weekly boxes made up of surplus food sourced from charities like FareShare and City Harvest together with donations from local businesses. School staff volunteer with the packing and delivering of boxes to scores of families in need. As of November, the scheme has provided over 314 families with essential support. Our aim is to reach all families in need of assistance within our schools in the following weeks. 

The Community Box programme is currently running in 7 Elliot Foundation schools. It was developed in partnership with Rackets Cubed, a sports educational charity who have also developed hubs in Roehampton, Hull, Leeds and Manchester.

A weekly community box provides a family with basic goods such as cereals, vegetables, protein sources, cleaning products, personal hygiene items, together with educational activities and some creative activities, such as tennis balls or art materials. Parents can sign up with their schools and collect their box every Friday. Each community box can make the difference between a family falling behind on weekly essentials.


https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/theelliotfoundationwintercampaign?invite=true

The Rime of The Ancient Mariner

"A few Y6 students listened with me to a wonderful new radio version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner spoken aloud by famous people who had some connection with the poem – however small. 

We were inspired, once more, by the power and control of the language, by the strong environmental theme that resonates loudly in our current climate crisis and by how beautiful the words and rhyme sounded when performed.

What better way to share and inspire our TEFAT community than to curate and create our own version!

Our Principals and Central Team signed up to perform quicker than we could have imagined and soon we had assigned our adults a few lines each (mirroring the BBC version!) to record. Simultaneously we commissioned students across the Trust to capture the scenes through Art using any mediums they wished. These amazingly poignant pieces were created during Lockdown.

We wanted to capture the diversity of voices and artistic imagination across our Regions and celebrate our connections. We discovered, hitherto, undiscovered talents and we had lots of fun!

Above all we tried to create a piece of multi-media Art to share with students, staff, families and our communities that they can enjoy for many years to come and will, we believe, remind everyone of peace, poetry and above all hope. "

Karen Bastick-Styles, Executive Head Teacher at Greenside Primary School

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Annual report to parents and carers 2020

Overall, this was another good year for the schools in the Elliot Foundation. The Trust was inspected as a whole by Ofsted and the report was a resounding endorsement of our vision and ambition for all children. Below are some key excerpts:

“Fourteen schools have improved their, ‘overall effectiveness’ judgements by at least one grade and five by two grades or more” 

“Leaders’ high expectations have helped promote significant and rapid improvement in most of the trust’s schools” 

“Wholeheartedly inclusive and deliberately non-hierarchical... Determined to improve the well-being and achievement of vulnerable pupils” 

“Open, responsive and sometimes inspirational... A culture of ‘reflection rather than recrimination’ when things go wrong” 

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Billesley Artsmark Platinum Award

We are extremely proud of achieving our Artsmark Platinum Award. We have worked hard to develop a rich, broad and balanced curriculum enriched by the quality of Arts provision.  This was achieved through working with high-quality Arts professionals and organisations both locally and nationally. They constantly challenge our thinking and help us to provide outstanding opportunities for all of our pupils. We would like to thank them for their continued support. At Billesley primary school we are committed to delivering the highest quality arts and cultural education for our pupils and look forward to continuing to grow our provision whilst support other local and national schools.

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George Betts Primary

The Music Mark 2019/20

We have been presented with 'The Music Mark 2019/20' for our commitment to providing high quality music education for all children!

Congratulations for achieving @musicmarkuk membership and being one of our ‘musical schools’!  Sandwell Music Education Hub

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Kings Rise has achieved the Artsmark Silver Award for bringing learning to life through arts and culture

Their statement of commitment, Case Study and Impact was assessed and the following comments were made by the Arts Council, England:

Great progress has been made in terms of arts opportunities and learning provision. For example, stronger relationships across the MAT, Arts Connect through projects such as ‘Infuse-Dance’ digital art project and the annual academy arts festival. These partnerships have enabled Kings Rise to produce high quality learning opportunities and showcase children’s work on a much larger scale than would be possible if working in isolation. Additionally strengthened existing partnerships with ‘Speight of the Art’, Good Hope Hospital and ‘Wild in Art’ by participating in existing and new ventures.   

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Greenside Film Factory is very proud to have achieved the ArtsMark Platinum Award (September 2019)

Their statement of commitment, Case Study and Impact was assessed and the following comments were made by the Arts Council, England:

Greenside Primary School has a rich arts based pedagogy delivered through your Breaking Boundaries model and the use of Film as the hook for your curriculum. The timetable is shaped to allow for cross year group Crews to focus on a creative project on Thursdays. Fridays are devoted to arts based coursed delivered by arts specialists. Partnerships with arts organisations including Into Film, Good Chance Theatre and the Schools Shakespeare Festival enable rich arts experiences for your pupils. You are supporting schools in your MAT with their arts curriculums. You have clearly demonstrated that senior leaders advocate for the impact of arts and culture through speaking at Federation events and at national conferences; and that children have continuous access to a wider range of challenging arts and cultural experiences that are stretching their knowledge, skills and understanding. 
Congratulations!

Greenside look forward to another year of developing their Arts work with TEFAT and the London community.

Greenside Primary School ArtsMark Platinum Award (September 2019)

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Ofsted praises Elliot Foundation as inspirational

The Elliot Foundation is pleased as Punch with its Ofsted Summary Evaluation released this week.  Eleven of our schools were inspected earlier this year and HMIs spent a further week assessing the Trust itself in June. Overall they have found that we have, "helped to promote significant and rapid improvement... in most of our schools" and that central to this success is our, "reflective, open minded approach".

Inspectors welcomed our, "wholeheartedly inclusive and deliberately non-hierarchical" set-up; recognising that many of our schools, "had a history of not doing well" and that despite these challenges we, "have an impressive record of developing leadership... so that improvements are made sustainable." 

You can read the full report here.

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Annual Report 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,
We’d like to welcome you to the Elliot Foundation’s Annual Report. We’ve had a great year! We’ve been inspired and motivated by our teachers and each other; we love being challenged, to fulfil our dreams.

We think that it is special to work together to improve our learning and make the world a better place. Throughout the year we have been given many fun, educational opportunities including: music events and the performing arts, sporting events, and residential trips. This enriches our education and supports us to make connections with our wider community.

As parents and carers, you want your children to be safe, happy, learning and prepared for the future. Don’t worry… we’re in the right place; our teachers definitely care about us! The Elliot Foundation only achieves when we achieve. This year, we have become stronger in mind, more independent, proud to be us and proud to be part of the MAT and we know that the Elliot Foundation is proud of us too!

This introduction was written by children from Kings Rise, Cavalry and Greenside Primary Schools

To read the full report click here

Hillingdon Children Present on Google stage at BETT

On Friday 26th January, the Digital Leaders of Hillingdon Primary School visited the British Educational Training and Technology Show (BETT) at the Excel Centre in East London. The show is an opportunity for technological businesses to share new ideas and information with educators. After an excellent presentation at the Elliot Foundation Digital Leader Event at Brunel University, Hillingdon’s Digital Leaders were excited to have been invited by Google to deliver a presentation at their Google Training Centre at BETT.

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David Shepherd Wildlife's Global Canvas



Very proud of George Betts children who have just won 1st prize for their work on bees at  David Shepherd Wildlife's Global Canvas  


David Shepherd Wildlife's Global Canvas

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In the weeks building up to the event, the eight Digital Leaders met with Mr Jacobs, Head of Computing at Hillingdon Primary School, to decide on exactly what they wanted to say. All children agreed they loved using Google both in the classroom and at home, and hoped for a future where such cloud technologies were a core part of everyday schooling. Together they decided to call their presentation: A Vision of the Future; Imagined by Children.

The children began writing, editing and redrafting what they wanted to say, and started  practicing how they wanted to say it. By performing their presentation at school assemblies, they gained confidence in talking to an audience, and by the morning of the 26th, they were ready.

The Digital Leaders met at Hillingdon train station and travelled up with staff from their school. The BETT show runs from Wednesday to Saturday, but Friday is known to be the busiest day. By the time the children went on at 11am a large crowd had gathered. In the audience were school leaders, business managers, Google employees, computing teachers and other members of the general public.

London Digital Leader Event

On Tuesday December 5th 2017, the Elliot Foundation held its first ever London Digital Leader event at Brunel University.

Digital Leaders are a special group of children within a school tasked with driving forward the use of technology. It’s an exciting time for education, with schools now using cloud technologies to provide a platform for collaboration between schools, and allow a link between the learning children complete at school and the learning they engage with at home. Now that information is freely available via the internet, we hope that by giving children more control over their learning will benefit their future.

The Elliot Foundation work with Google For Education. This provides each child with their own email account, and with this account comes a range of free apps such as Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Classroom. To help drive this forward, Digital Leaders have begun to be appointed in London-based schools, first at The Hyde in Hendon, and now at Hillingdon Primary School.

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The application process to become a Digital Leader is an excellent opportunity for children to develop real-life skills, as candidates first apply by completing an application form and, if selected for the next round, proceed with a formal interview. Whether candidates succeed or fail, they receive crucial experience which will benefit them when applying for roles in their adult lives.

To celebrate the growth of Digital Leaders in the Elliot Foundation, many of our London-based schools attended Brunel University in Uxbridge to enjoy an exciting day of activities. Six schools were present on the day: The Hyde, Parkfield Primary School, Claremont Primary School, John Locke Academy, Pinkwell Primary School and Hillingdon Primary School.

The day was opened by Mark House, Senior Product Manager at RM, who gave a keynote speech about the exciting possibilities now present to children at they move forward into the digital age. This was followed by a tour of the campus led by a range of Computer Science students, ranging from first year students developing their first real-world programs, to third year students working with artificial intelligence to develop drones that can enter fires to assess safety for firefighters.

Children enjoyed the opportunity to talk with such students and hear their thoughts on attending university and how technology is changing our future. They visited the on-campus student accommodation and the wide range of facilities available to students, such as the indoor 100m running track, frequented by Usain Bolt when training in London, and the Computer Labs which had been modelled on modern-day technology companies to promote collaboration between students and teacher.

After this, children from each school were invited to present their ideas and learning in a university lecture hall. It was exciting to see how each school had made use of Google to further their learning; The Hyde shared an interactive adventure story using Google Slides, John Locke showed how Google Sites can be used to present learning on foundation subjects, Pinkwell used the same app to create a Computing website to showcase each year group’s learning and Hillingdon Primary School presented an Online Portfolio for each child which showcased not only the learning in school, but also further learning and hobbies outside of school. For these children, the learning doesn’t stop when they leave the classroom.

After this Brunel University provided each child with a lunch voucher worth £6. The children were tasked to visit the university cafeteria and apply their mental maths skills to select a lunch that fell within the £6 limit. After lunch the Digital Leaders took part in a robotics workshop led by university students. Working with Ozobots, the children were challenged to think outside the box to solve a series of coding challenges in the fastest time possible.

The Elliot Foundation would like to thank Brunel University for being such hospitable hosts. We would also like to extend our thanks to Lesley Mortimer, Brunel’s Widening Participation Officer, and to Mr Jacobs, Head of Computing at Hillingdon Primary School, for their work in organising the event. We now look forward to further Digital Leader events later this academic year!

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A video for our Parents and Carers from the CEO Hugh Greenway