Kent School Exchanges Shorter School Day for Longer School Holidays

Chiddingstone Primary School near Tonbridge in Kent is creating a way for pupils to spend a little longer in school each day, in exchange for two weeks extra holiday over the course of the school year. The change has been brought about as a way of helping parents to afford cheaper holidays.

Both staff and parents have agreed on the new term structure – which sees pupils spending an extra 20 minutes in school each day – so that pupils will be able to take two weeks off instead of just one, during the May and October half-term holiday breaks.

Holidays are getting more and more expensive, particularly during school holidays, and parents are facing increasingly strict rules about when they can and cannot take their children on holiday.

According to the law, children can only be taken out of school during term time in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and could face a £60 fine otherwise, which doubles if not paid within three weeks.

When factored into the average school week, 20 minutes extra a day will not seem like a major change, however, that extra week of holiday could give both parents and children some much needed time off. This seems like a recipe for success, particularly when you consider the fact that the cost of such holidays will not be as high in the second week.

New Primary School on its way to Littlehampton


A free school is due to be built in Littlehampton and is scheduled to open (if all goes well) in September 2018. The school, known as Schoolsworks Community Primary School, is one of 31 approved projects across the country that serves to help more children get a well-balanced and free education. The projects were approved as one of David Cameron’s final acts as Prime Minister earlier this month.

480 Spaces in all for Children

The school has been set to cater for 60 reception children plus 30 places for nursery children, eventually rising to a total of 480 places by the mid-2020s when the school would eventually be full. Nearby established primary and secondary schools have already sent dozens of letters to Schoolsworks, showing their support for the new school which is expected to be built towards the north of the town.Lmspic

Local Schools Welcome the New Addition

The applications process for setting up a free school is often long-winded and rigorous, so this comes as a joyous surprise for locals to find out that a local school has been approved and is now in the works. It should make a welcome addition to the growing education industry across Littlehampton and the surrounding area.

Primary School Student Raises £600 in Sponsored Walk

children-28770_960_720A year three student from Eastbrook Primary Academy in Southwick has raised over £600 for their indoor swimming pool after discovering that her school was having trouble finding the funds.

It is not often that you encounter a seven-year-old with a determination to make a difference, but that is what Kayleigh Jukes set out to do.

A Good Old Fundraiser

Seven-year-old Kayleigh decided it was time to make an effort once she discovered that the school was struggling to maintain their indoor swimming pool and took to the Devil’s Dyke for a sponsored walk. She completed the full three-mile walk with her father and the family dog; Ollie.


 030789_c657e39dOne Good Deed Inspires another

The walk was sponsored by family members, friends and staff members and has kick-started a new effort into making more long-term improvements on the school. Eastbrook Primary School is now looking into other ways of gathering funding, with a long-term goal of replacing the swimming pool roof.

Banksy Thanks Bristol Primary School in the Best Way he Knows How

When the teachers at Bridge Farm Primary School held a competition amongst the students to change their house names, they never ever dreamt of what might happen next. The children decided to rename their school houses after well-known Bristol legends and eventually settled on Brunel, Blackbeard, Cabot and Banksy.

Pen Pals

As Banksy was the only name of the four houses still currently ‘alive’ the school decided to write a letter to Banksy’s PR team, informing them of the school’s decision. Lo and behold, after the artwork appeared, the School also received a letter from Banksy in response. In the letter, he writes;


“Dear Bridge Farm School, thanks for your letter and naming a house after me. Please have a picture, and if you don’t like it, feel free to add stuff. I’m sure the teachers won’t mind. Remember, it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.

                Much love, Banksy”

Is it Real?

If we are to believe the signature, a letter from the supposed man himself and a confirmation from an official spokesman for Banksy, then, yes. There is always the odd chance that some practical joker decided to play an elaborate trick on the school, but those chances are slim. It looks as if Bridge Farm Primary School is home to one of the first verified and signed Banksy paintings; all because they decided to pay tribute to the artist himself.

Apply for your Primary School Now

The time has arrived for parents to apply for places to schools for next September. Children born between the 1st September 2011 and the 31st August 2012 need to fill out an application form for the school of their choice before mid-January 2016 or face potentially losing out on a place.

Applications Must Be In By January 15 2016

Parents will need to list five schools they hope to attend, including the family’s nearest priority school in order to be considered for a place in good time. It has been shown in previous years that if you apply late you have a 30% less chance of getting into any of the preferred choices for your child, so punctuality is important.


Population Rise = Less Places to Go Around

Every year, teachers and teaching assistants see a spike in the population of young children and that only serves to make the school place situation worse, with many children missing out on their top five choices due to overcrowding and late applications. Last year in Leeds alone, 159 late applicants were unable to be given any of their preferences because the places had been filled, so if you are serious about a certain school, make sure to get your application in sooner rather than later!

Increase of Primary School Pupils in Recent Years

Recent statistics have shown that the Primary School population in England has reached its highest level ever since the 1970s. With around 94,000 pupils attending Primary Schools across the country this year, this is putting increasing strain on finding teachers for these pupils and creating more places in local schools.

There has been an estimated increase of about 200,000 children to Primary Schools in two years, which is showing as a result of the rising population over the past few years. This has presented a fairly large challenge to Primary Schools as they try to adapt to the growing number of pupils in their classes. Around 87 Primary Schools throughout England now have over 800 pupils.

If this doesn’t slow down within the next few years, there could be a serious placement shortage for Primary School children from all walks of life. A further 460,000 extra pupils have been predicted within the next five years, which is a staggering number when compared to the last few years.

Soon enough, this population boom will also reach Secondary Schools, which is a major cause for concern when it comes to understaffed teachers. Now more than ever, it is essential that more students are encouraged to study degrees in teaching, and there is a higher demand for teachers, substitute teachers and teaching assistants than ever before, nationwide.


Mud Challenge in aid of Essex Primary School

Both teachers and parents from Lavenham Primary School took part in the 12k challenge, otherwise known as ‘The Gauntlet’ located at Spains Hall Estate in Essex, in order to raise money for their school. The event; which took place in April earlier this year, includes deep mud, obstacles and swimming through water in a gruelling endurance challenge.

racingIt tells a good tale of parents and teacher united together towards a good cause. When it comes to educating their children, parents and teachers don’t always see eye to eye, so to see them competing together for charity is a sight for sore eyes.

‘The Gauntlet’ was hosted by Mucky Races, who strive to produce challenging obstacle courses that tests your strengths and weaknesses while keeping a fun and light-hearted atmosphere.

They host events throughout the country, with a number of upcoming events including the Muddy 5 & 10 in Colchester this July, and Mucky Mayhem in Suffolk in September.

Teachers and parents banded together to raise a total of £1174 for school equipment for Lavenham Primary School, with company Knight Developments promising to match fund the team’s JustGiving original online target of £500. It was certainly a successful day for everyone involved.

70% of Schools Have Children Learning on Tablets

tablet-275x300Modern technology is storming the way we look at everyday life. With more and more children becoming tech-savvy with the latest gadgets, according to recent research around 70% of UK primary and secondary schools use tablet computers in lessons.

In some cases – around 9% – there are schools where each individual has their own tablet with which they can learn.

Although this trend has vastly grown in popularity with the recent boom of tablets and smart phones in the past few years, there is no physical evidence to suggest that the use of these tablets have improved learning capabilities.

However this is not necessarily a bad thing, as pupils can often access the internet through mobile devices which is widely known as the ‘world’s best procrastination device’ so with a little focus and a push in the right direction, tablets can easily be integrated into day to day teaching.

Children use the internet to connect socially with their friends and relatives, and many young children know well enough how to operate a tablet and how to perform a search on Google, so it is widely considered important for teachers and substitute teachers to incorporate these aspects of society into their teachings.

After all, the internet is a vast wealth of knowledge just waiting to be tapped into, so to deny future generations the ability to access it may be more damaging in the long run than having to figure out creative ways of preventing access to Facebook on the schools intranet system.

Training Teacher Shortage Expected

homework-300x300A teacher training shortage this term may lead to schools looking outside the UK for qualified primary teachers. It has been reported that around 32,500 people have started or plan to start teacher training courses at the start of this term in comparison to the target of 34,800 people expected to start.

This shortage of over 2000 places of well-qualified staff across the country can become a major issue if not resolved soon.

Schools will have to rely on utilising supply teachers, teaching assistants or part time teachers who do not yet have the full qualifications in this new recruitment crisis. Another solution is to increase class sizes; however this has had a negative effect on students’ learning in the past.

Despite offering bursaries worth up to £25,000 tax free to graduates training in priority subjects such as maths, sciences and languages, students training to become teachers have decreased steadily in the past few years, leaving schools with a worrying shortage.

With the possibility of a teacher shortage in store for the future, we are constantly looking for qualified supply teachers, teaching assistants and teaching support staff. Why not submit your CV with RedBox teachers today for great teaching opportunities throughout primary schools in London and the surrounding areas?

Wayne Rooney Returns

W_Rooney-188x300Earlier in November, Wayne Rooney took a trip down memory lane by visiting his old primary school before his Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia.

The famous footballer paid a visit to Our Lady and St Swithin’s primary school in Liverpool for a special photo shoot, where he spoke to a captivated young audience about playing for Manchester United and England.

The Pupils of Our Lady and St Swithin’s primary wore replica England kits for the picture, where Rooney is seen grinning in the centre of kids in the main hall of his old primary. The school was well prepared for his visit with a replica World Cup on display and 99 lucky pupils took time out of class to talk to the star and ask him questions about his career.

The current Headteacher, Sandra Hamilton stated that she always talks to the children about Wayne Rooney, giving the young pupils hope that one day he might come back to the school for a visit. After all their waiting, the children finally saw that dream come true and Rooney even signed the replica shirts, giving them the perfect souvenir to take home.

It is always heart-warming to see a successful student return to a school after they have achieved their dreams. Redbox Teachers focuses on bringing teachers with a passion for bringing out the creativity and individuality in children, so why not submit your CV today for a fantastic teaching opportunity?