Projects Delivered

These are completed projects which were organised with local
people with the aim to make Northwood a great place to live.

Northwood in Bloom - Community Planting Event

On Saturday 7th April 2018 members of Northwood Partnership Board and volunteers took part in a Community Planting event.

The weather was terrible but we still managed to plant out a number of tree squares in Gilescroft Road.

We also planted some herbs and Marigolds that are currently propigating in Northwood Community Centre.  Once the Marigolds have grown we will plant them in Northwood.

 

Financial Education Centres of Excellence

Northwood Together identified early on that a local need was for support on financial issues. The Board began looking for ways to commission suitable programme providers for helping our children to have the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their money well, now and in the future. After much research and a tendering process we have commisioned pfeg, the UK's leading financial education charity and trusted and experienced provider, to support our local primary schools in teaching our children about money.

Northwood Community Primary School is the first school to benefit from £18k of Northwood Together's support for pfeg's Centre of Excellence programme. The programme will start in September 2015 and Kerry Croxford, a senior teacher at the school, will be "Financial Education Champion".

Meetings have already taken place (see photo) with Sally Thomas, pfeg's Centres of Excellence project manager, Kerry Croxford, teacher and Financial Education Champion for the school and Mr Hollywood, Headteacher, to begin planning for September. Mr Hollywood is particularly keen about the way the programme will be taylored to the needs of the children and will apply mathematical and social skills in real-life, meaningful contexts.

In September there was an exciting launch for the project with some special drama presentations by the children, to parents with the help of Altru Drama, again funded by Northwood Together.
SEE BELOW for an up to date report on progress.
pfeg project manager, Headteacher NCPrimary and financial Champion discuss programme

Latest progress report from Northwood Primary School

Financial Education Report: Spring 2016.
 
When we first learnt of our successful application to join the Centre of Excellence programme, we, as a staff, were delighted.  We felt this would allow us to not only provide our students and local community members with valuable life skills, but also support our teaching staff as they developed the necessary professional attitudes, knowledge and skills to successfully deliver a programme in financial education that has the potential to deliver lasting, long-term benefits. The partnership between ourselves, pfeg, (Personal Finance Education Group), the Centre of Excellence and Northwood Together Big Local provides a springboard of support which will allow the project to flourish. 
 
The decision of Northwood Together Big Local to allocate additional funding enabled the partnership to include Altru drama.  This meant that the project could really begin with a big bang in school.
The Altru Project involved every class across school, both DSP and mainstream setting, and allowed all the children to access high quality drama and role-play scenarios that really developed their curiosity and understanding of Financial Education at their own, age appropriate level.  Some examples of this are Nursery dancing away to rhymes and songs, Y3 producing a cool rap, Y5 developing their own play related to Traditional Tales about the possibilities of character relationships with money, whilst Y6 developed ‘All the Fun of the Fair.’  Every class invited their parents/carers in to celebrate and showcase their work.
All the fun of the fair event
In addition to overseeing our work with Altru, I have:
  • held meetings with Margaret Atherton (our pfeg consultant and Grahame, Northwood Together Chairperson);
  • developed the CPD of the teachers by holding staff meetings to share our vision and plan for the year;
  • met with the teachers in year groups to look at the developmental needs of the children;
  • provided advice on support resources and age appropriate activities;
  • examined our Curriculum to ascertain opportunities to enable Financial Education activities to take place within the classroom;
  • ordered resources that will support the children’s learning;
  • collated a baseline from sample groups of children and
  • attended the Centres of Excellence Conference in London.
Towards the end of the Autumn Term, all the children were involved in Our Enterprise (similar to a Christmas) Fair.  This is essentially a whole school project with each class being given a small budget and then making their own decisions with regards to how we could use this investment as a springboard to purchase products that we then resell at the Enterprise Fair.  The children had full responsibility for researching products, prices, ‘marketing’ strategies, making the products and then running the stalls with minimal adult help.  Products ranged from hot chocolate reindeers, which the children put together as part of Maths lessons on measurement, Christmas tattoos (for a serious mark-up!), competitions, personalised plates and baubles, through to the running of Santa’s Grotto with the children as Elves.  Lots of preparation was involved with the children keeping guided accounts of their expenditure, possible profit margins for different prices, plus final accounts.  The overall total for the school was almost £3,000, which is quite incredible.  The children felt a real sense of achievement as they were involved in every step of the decision-making process and they have a real ownership of the money that they have earned through their hard work.
In classes, we continue to find opportunities in the children’s everyday learning that will enhance their understanding of money, encouraging dialogues involving the choices they have to make. Class displays reflect this heightened awareness and the children are becoming much more aware of choices they make that involve money around school.
Despite the barriers to teaching personal finance education, including pressures on curriculum time, no statutory mandate and lack of awareness of suitable resources, we are committed to the belief that financial education is a viable, long-term solution to the national problem of irresponsible borrowing and personal insolvency.  We believe that discretely teaching our children about budgeting and personal finance will help equip them as our future workforce with the necessary skills to succeed in business and drive forward economic growth.   In addition, the CPD opportunities for our teachers to develop the confidence and skills to teach the subject from an early age across all aspects of the curriculum, is essential as we seek to embed the necessary skills and attitudes. 
 
Our children are increasingly exposed to money issues at a very young age, which implies a need to manage and control money from an early age.  Current research, by pfeg, shows that by the time children reach the age of 17 more than half of them are, or have been, in debt.  In an online survey of over 1,000 individuals between the ages of 16-25 years by YouthNet this year, 66% were worried about being in debt. To overcome the disadvantages many children face it is essential to teach personal finance education in our school. I firmly believe that managing money is probably the fairest of all starts you can get, and that even if you do not have much money, if you can manage what you do have and budget well, you have a much more effective, happy, contented life and it is essential to economic wellbeing.
 
If you have any further questions, feel free to email me at kcroxford@ncps.co.uk.