Rock Ferry Primary School Lets Get Walking Campaign

Rock Ferry

Your story

A school with a vision to make the local community safer so that pupils and parents can safely walk to school

Group introduction

We are Rock Ferry Primary School, a larger than average size urban primary school, formed in 1911 and situated on the banks of the River Mersey near to the old ship building factory Camell Lairds. The school is situated in a highly urbanized area with little access to outdoor garden areas. Our Headteacher Ms Sara Radley, took up post at the school in 2014 and has worked tirelessly to create a school which provides a sanctuary for the pupils. We would like to improve the health and wellbieng of our pupils and their families by creating a safer community so that they can walk to and from school safetly and thus their health and wellbeing would benefit from the exercise and fresh air.

The following information is provided to give an insight into just some of the issues / problems facing our school. Our school population of 347 is predominantly White British and are recognized as living within the highest 20% of social deprivation in the country and 41% of pupils are entitled to Free School Meals.

The proportion of children with additional learning and emotional needs is well above the national average and currently stands at 32.8%. This is reflected in the number of children and families who engage with our Family Support Worker and receive support through Team Around Family and other external agencies, including Social Care.

At writing the school had 12 pupils on child protection plans, 6 children at CIN, 1 family supported by the Catholic Children’s Society, and 12 children accessing the school’s volunteer counselor service.

The school has significantly higher than average SEN pupils with 95 pupils currently on the register, with only 20% schools nationally having a higher % of SA+ (RoL table 1.1.1).

Children enter the school with low Starting Points in all areas, but particularly in Personal and Social Development (PSD) language and communication.

Home circumstances for many of the children result in experiential disadvantage, emotional needs and some lack of parental confidence and engagement.

Increasingly we are getting more children receiving a diagnosis for ASD.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

Anyone who takes children outside regularly sees the enjoyment, sense of wonder and excitement that is generated when children actively engage with their environment. For many children, playing outdoors at their school setting maybe the only opportunity they have to spend time safely and freely outdoors. We would like to be able to create a safe environment around the school so that we can encourage more children and parents to walk to school.

In recent years there has been a cultural shift in our society that has reduced the number of pupils who walk to and from school or indeed play outside. Many children are transported to and from school by car; this becomes a vicious circle as the more cars there are around school the less likely parents are to walk their children as they are concerned for their safety; they therefore begin to bring their children by car which just compounds the problem. Contributory factors include increased fear amongst adults about children’s safety and technological advances leading to an overwhelming prominence of more sedentary indoor activities.

We are a larger than average urban primary school, its population of 347. Is recognised as living within the highest 20% of social deprivation in the country. Many pupils live in social housing; mainly flats or small terraced houses with no gardens. There is limited open green space for parents to spend time outdoors with their children. As a school we understand the importance of young children getting fresh air and physical exercise.

By having funding to purchase pavement Road Safety signage that would be placed outside of the school it would make the community around the school a safer place; this in turn would allow the school to encourage parents and child to walk to school. Not only would this have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the children but it would also have a positive impact on the environment.

Walking to and from school would develop the children’s resilience, and provides rich opportunities for developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.

Having robust, permanent road safety signage would allow children and parents to experience all of the above in a safe environment.

"Skipton Building Society Grassroots Funding would allow Rock Ferry Primary to realise its vision for a safe walking environment around the school; where children and parents can walk safely to and from school - Ms Radley, Headteacher"

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