Really wild celebrations for school thanks to funding boost

A £4,000 grant is helping Ellesmere Primary School make the great outdoors an exciting learning environment for pupils.

Staff at the school, off Elson Road, launched a campaign to win special funding through the Tesco Bags of Help initiative – and it has been a roaring success.

They have been awarded the maximum £4,000 grant to help pay for new ways to get children in touch with nature while they learn.

Now a scheme to redevelop school grounds to create habitats for animals, a new allotment and areas to stage outdoor classrooms is under way.

Deputy headteacher Kelsey Mort said: “We’re absolutely delighted, and we’re already seeing that a brilliant new dimension is being opened up to our pupils in their learning journey.

It allows us to use the outdoor environment to deliver our PSHE and science curriculum in a much more engaging way.

Creating an allotment will increase their knowledge and understanding of where fruit and vegetables come from. We hope it will encourage teamwork and boost self-esteem – especially when their produce is served up in the school canteen!

Creating habitats like bird boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog houses, as well as engaging in pond dipping, will encourage appreciation and passion for the natural environment.

We’ve started tidying up a memorial garden – helped by parents and grandparents – and we’d love to expand links with the wider community by developing more areas on the school grounds.

It’s very exciting and we can’t wait to see more of our plans become a reality.”

Ellesmere Primary is part of North West Academies Trust, which manages schools in Cheshire and Shropshire.

CEO Steve Docking said: “I’d like to thank all the parents and friends of the school who voted for Ellesmere in Tesco’s initiative.

We have lots of plans to improve facilities and learning opportunities at Ellesmere, and winning funding like this really helps us to implement our vision.”

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants raised from the 5p bag levy awarded to local community projects.

For two months earlier this year, customers voted for the project closest to their hearts at their local store – and those connected to Ellesmere Primary rallied to the cause.

The school’s own ‘eco-committee’ formulated the plans, which also include an idea to create a mini natural sciences laboratory.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered more than £28.5m to over 4,000 projects up and down the UK