Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Supported by: A-Plan Insurance


I am applying for the Aviva Community Grant on behalf of Drybrook Primary School, a smaller than average, long standing primary school located in the heart of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.
Drybrook School has been established over 150 years. My late father attended here in the sixties, I was a pupil in the late eighties and now Freya, my five year old daughter is just entering year one (I have attached pictures of all three of us on our first day!). When Toby, my two year old son is of school age, I hope that I can also secure him a place at the school. It’s not very often in this day and age where three generations are fortunate enough to attend the same village school!
After a long standing Ofsted report of ‘Good’, it was devastating that the most recent Ofsted report earlier this year has put the school into special measures. I attended a parents meeting at the school and it was clear to see just how upset and truly devastated the teachers and head mistress were. As a parent and ex pupil I have every faith in this school. I have seen in just one year how much my own daughter has progressed not just academically but also in her confidence- it is a joy to see how much she is flourishing. In true what we might call ‘forester’ style, the head mistress and teachers have dusted themselves off and already lots of positive changes have been actioned, with a great sense of determination and hard work to turn this school around, and to make It better than it has ever been.
Many parents have since put themselves forward to become involved in the PTFA (myself included) eager to help raise much needed funds for the school. It’s been a great success but we are still a very long way from reaching our target.
A lot of the positive comments relating to the Ofsted were about the brilliant relationships that pupils have with their teachers and how pupils were made to feel safe, including ‘pupils appreciate and respect their teachers’ and ‘staff develop caring and trusting relationships with their pupils’.
However, some of the negative comments referred to reading, making several references to the reading standard being below average.
At present, the school library is a rather unloved space, in desperate need of updating in both it’s books, decor and furniture. The books there have certainly seen better days (some of them date back to when I was a pupil there in the late eighties/ early nineties!). Unfortunately, funding is low and doesn’t stretch to replace or improve it at this time. Therefore, the reason I am applying for this grant is to create a new, welcoming, educational yet fun library.
Books are very often taken for granted but yet are so important because of their ability to not only help children develop their language skills and to provide knowledge but to expand the mind and develop imagination. In addition to this, it has been proven that reading a book can help reduce stress, improve not just memory but also focus and concentration and provide you with better writing skills. As quoted by the famous playwright and poet Joseph Addison ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’ and ‘Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life’ - What more could anybody wish for?
It would be a dream come true to see this space reinvented and brought back to life with new up to date books, shelving units, a comfortable ‘chill out’ zone and an I.T section consisting of I-Pads with separate tables and chairs to assist with further learning and education. A place that is bright and cheerful and welcoming with a wide variety of books aimed from reception class right up until they leave for secondary school. A place for the current children and the future children of this school to both discover and rediscover a love of reading.
I truly believe that a new library would make such a huge difference. Please vote for our school, the heart of our village, a school that has the whole community behind it and supporting it.

Friends of Drybrook School Parent Teacher Association

Moment of Pride

This school has always been close to my heart with three generations of my family attending here. I am proud to be involved with the school and PTFA - everyone is so determined and working so hard that with just that little bit of help, together we can make this little school fantastic again.

Location: Drybrook, Gloucestershire, UK