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Update from the Outward Bound Trust

In September 2017, The Jo Walters Trust gave a donation of £5,220 to The Outward Bound Trust. This enabled five young people from Girvan Youth Trust – an organisation that aims to engage with local young people with a view to supporting them to make positive and healthy life choices – to attend a three-day Outward Bound course at our Loch Eil centre from 23rd – 25th July 2018. Girvan is an isolated rural community in South Ayrshire and is in the 10% most deprived communities in Scotland.

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During their course, they had the opportunity to develop their confidence, self- awareness, resilience, problem-solving and team working skills.

The Outward Bound Trust have provided us with an update describing how the funding was put to use.  You can download a copy of it here.

A gallery of photographs from their activities is shown below.

 

Some of the comments from individuals in the group are below (note names have been changed): 

  • “I really enjoyed the gorge walking as I have never done anything like it before and it really
    pushed me outside of my comfort zone.” Briony, 14
  • “I learnt that not everything is as easy as we want and that we have to fight against it to
    get where we want.” Natasha, 15
  • “One of my challenges was taking a step back from trying to lead and listening more. I gave
    myself space and thought about what I was doing. I learnt the importance of working
    together and what listening to others can do.” Nathan, 18
  • “I learnt that it was easier to do something with other people encouraging you and
    supporting you.” Briony, 14
  • “My biggest challenge was helping others. When I got ahead a bit, I’d wait and lend a hand
    to others and I felt proud. I learned how to contain my inner chimp and to listen to others.”
    Tina, 15

2018 Aberdeenshire Grants

 
In 2018, the Jo Walters Trust again welcomed applications to fund projects which provide education in the outdoors in Aberdeenshire. We received some really interesting applications and after the successful fundraising and generous donations in the last year or so were able to increase the total budget from £6,000 to a record £11,000, meaning there were 8 recipients rather than 3. These were:
  • Banchory Academy: £500 to create an outdoor space at the school to bring the classroom outdoors and create a wildlife garden, an area for outdoor cooking, growing and cooking our own produce and forest schools activities. The work the pupils will undertake as part of this project will help them achieve the John Muir Award and RSPB Wild Challenge.

  • Outdoor Woodland Learning School CIC: £2,000 to train staff in using horses to support therapeutic input for children in Aberdeenshire with additional support needs (ASN). The children with whom they work display abusive behaviours towards school staff, their peers and their parents. These children benefit from time in the outdoors to relax and develop skills. Using horses in this way will enable the children to decrease their levels of anxiety and increase their life long skills to manage their anxiety.

  • Transition Extreme Sports Ltd (SC036358): We have awarded this charity £2,000 to provide an alternative for young people at risk of taking part in risk-taking and anti-social behaviour while providing positive community engagement in regeneration areas of Aberdeen. They are doing this through running skatepark coaching sessions in local communities and making use of local facilities which are often underused.

  • Aboyne Canoe Club SCIO (SC047329): £1,500 to pay for suitably sized equipment (wetsuits, drysuits, buoyancy aids etc) for the young people in their club and summer camps. With suitable kit they will be able to take more young people out on the water, the equipment will be safer and they will be able to be out for longer, learning more as a result.

  • 1st Kemnay Scouts (Charity Number SC039162): We have awarded this scount group £2,000 to go towards the £4,000 of a new marquee to replace their second hand aging army marquee that has served the Scout group well since 1947! They tell us that it is (understandably!) starting to show signs of wear and tear now that it is 70 years old and has reached the stage where it is more costly to repair than replace. We have to commend them heartily in their make do and mend attitude in keeping the 1940s one going for so long!

  • Mucky Boots: £1,000 to pay for NESOLG Forest School Level 3 training for a member of staff. The training covers both child development and forest skills, and it will enable their teachers to lead outdoor education sessions independently, thereby enhancing and expanding the opportunities provided to Aberdeenshire children and schools.

  • Gordon Schools, Huntly: we have awarded £1,000 to help the school to replace necessary safety equipment to re-open their climbing wall and make it accessible to a wider range of physical abilities, with the goal of using this teaching environment as a gateway to outdoor excursions, visiting local destinations for adventure activities. The re-opened climbing wall will create a safe, challenging and open facility for the school and wider community.

  • Aboyne Academy Alternative Curriculum Group:  £1,000 to introduce an alternative curriculum project for groups of pupils that would benefit from learning new skills in cycle maintenance & riding skills. The project would aim to develop pupils confidence in problem solving, leadership & team skills. It would allow pupils to enjoy the local outdoor environment & learn skills in map reading, discovering local flora & fauna and the history of the area. Ultimately they hope to increase the team members' confidence so that they may help others in local outdoor groups & increase their prospects in getting a job they will enjoy in the future.

All the groups have undertaken to provide us with updates as the projects get underway so we hope to be able to share news of these very soon.

2018 Maths Grants

 

In 2018, after the success of the 2017 round of Maths grants, the Jo Walters Trust again called for applications from people who felt they had a project that could help more people understand maths more easily. We ran this in conjunction with the Association of Maths Teachers, to whom we are very grateful for their expertise and experience providing invaluable support in helping us to choose the applications that were mostly likely to have the biggest impact. We are delighted to have been able to award more grants than we iniially thought possible, thanks to generous donations and fundraising efforts during the year. The list of successful recipients are as follows:

  • Wath CofE Primary School: £600 to spend on helping all children at the school become time experts. All classes have 2 watches so that they can allocate 2 children per day to be time experts. Children will wear a time experts badge so that adults and other children know that they can ask them the time. The grant also bought outdoor clocks for the playground. 

  • Littlemead PTA: we awarded the PTA of Littlemead in Bristol £1,000 to introduce Maths themed playground markings in this area which has a high level of deprivation and social problems. They are installing a variety of games and educational markings which would help improve the children's numeracy.  The children are in desperate need of a more stimulating play area and we hope adding these bright & colourful playground markings will improve fitness and encourage friendships as the children play together.  These markings will also provide teachers with a great opportunity to use them as an outside teaching aid. 
  • Troon Primary: we awarded £500 to help this Scottish primary school create an engaging and stimulating outdoor numeracy base, engaging their learners by using the natural resources they have from the nearby beach and woods to collect and make some of the learning resources. Having already invested in outdoor learning resources and committed to outdoor learning in the School Improvement Plan the grant from the Jo Walters Trust will help drive attainment and engagement, particularly with learners who have barriers to maths or struggle in the closed environment of a classroom.
  • Liberton High School: £350 to pay for 2 visualisers to be used to improve their students ability to hold mathematical conversations. This should improve their ability in problem solving, analysis and critical evaluation of information. The visualisers will allow them to hold classroom discussions about examples of work instantly and to show examples of excellent work as well as common mistakes, and also help the pupils to evaluate each other’s solutions and discuss the merits and problems with different methods. 

     

  • St Werburghs: £994.13 to provide  'FUN'  mathematics workshops for parents at the school so that they feel more confident playing games with their children at home. They told us that the parents want to be able to enjoy maths with their children but often lack the confidence, skills and equipment (dice, spinners, items for counting etc)  to be able to do so. This donation will be used to buy and make family mathematics packs that our parents can borrow (and a little basic pack to keep) containing the equipment that would be needed to play the games we play in the sessions. Eg. multiplication bingo, times table grid games and also eequipment to show parents how to make simple, but effective games at home out of fairly accessible equipment such as drainpipes, water bottles, car tyres, bin lids, buckets, pipe insulation etc

     

  • Elmwood School: this SEMH (Social, emotional and mental health) school where most of their students are diagnosed with ADHD and autism are creating an interactive Maths area where the students can physically tackle problems and puzzles in a dedicated area, with hands on resources for them to explore. Magnetic marble runs on a metal plated wall and cube designs to tackle problems around shape and visualising concepts.

    The grant will be used to buy resources for the area to promote a love of the subject and encourage exploration and discovery in a safe environment.

All of the recipients are busy spending the money and putting the projects in place, and we will update you here on our website as reports come back to us as to how they have gone. 

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