What a year 2020 turned out to be! And these last few months have been no less challenging for everyone. Here at Tockwith Church of England Primary Academy, we have had to re-think the way we do almost everything – from teaching our children safely, moving to online learning where necessary, to keeping in touch with you and our wonderful community.
So, with a third lockdown upon us, I want to take this chance to write to you about something that is extremely important to us at this time – your support. Today, I am asking if you can help – we desperately need to replace the school’s ageing fleet of Chromebooks – the mini laptop computers that the children rely on to learn from home during lockdown and to engage with their lessons in school. Five years ago, we began an ambitious programme of investment to improve our technology provision. Beginning at Easter in 2016 we purchased 30 Chrome books and then an additional 60 were bought in September 2016. When we began this project, we were well ahead of the curve and we now have over 160 Chromebooks available for our pupils to use. As I am sure you can imagine however, after 5 years of daily use both in and out of school, not to mention advances in technology, many are now in urgent need of replacement.
As part of their commitment to helping the most disadvantaged pupils access remote learning, the government has allocated an additional £200 million to schools for the purchase of new laptops/Chromebooks. Whilst we are making the most of this scheme, our allocation from the Department for Education for additional devices is just six. We want to continue to equip our learners with the best technology we can as we prepare them for their future. To do this we need to replace the devices bought in 2016 at a cost of £15,000.
There are no two ways about it – our Chromebooks have been invaluable to us in school and are now providing a solid foundation to support our remote learning programmes. Tockwith school would not be the thought provoking, stimulating and inspirational place it is without the engagement, collaboration, integration and challenge that our technology has provided. I am very proud that the team here at Tockwith have stepped up to support our children
through all of the periods of lockdown and the children’s learning is and will always be our first priority. But this becomes increasingly difficult with outdated and slow technology that is no longer fit for purpose. Please will you give a gift today that will help fund a set of new Chromebooks that will transform our pupils’ education?
I am sure you will agree, the global pandemic has been confusing, frightening and punishing for everyone, particularly children. The first lockdown took away their daily routine of school and learning. They spent weeks without seeing or playing with their friends. And here we are again – never has the provision and protection of the education and mental health and wellbeing of our children been so crucial and I am not alone in thinking so. A group of very generous supporters have already stepped forward and pledged to double the first £2500 we raise.
This will make your gift worth twice as much.
Charity is a large part of our school – from the fundraising of our fantastic PTFA to the children’s own efforts to help others, and this is a wonderful opportunity for you to make a difference by helping to fund our IT provision.
I know that not everyone will have money to spare in this current climate, so any gift you can give will be enormously appreciated. Fundraising events such as the Christmas fayre and sports day would, in normal times, generate significant income for the school. In the absence of these events we need your support now more than ever.
You can make your donation by bank transfer (details available on request to firstname.lastname@example.org), by cheque (payable to ‘Ebor Academy Trust’) or by cash direct to the school office. We also have a Go Fund Me page which can be found here – gf.me/u/zifqr3
And if you are a UK taxpayer we can claim Gift Aid on your behalf to make your donation worth 25% more at no extra cost to you!. Please use the form below to Gift Aid your donation. The first £2,500 we raise will automatically be doubled which means a gift of £10 would be worth £25 to the school, without any extra cost to you! You may even be able to claim tax back on your donation*
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank you. Your patience and support during these difficult times has been incredible. We know that home schooling alongside your daily responsibilities is challenging – please remember we are here to support you and the children in any way we can. Together we can get through this and ensure our children continue to learn and grow.
The link to the gift aid document can be found here: Gift Aid Form – Chromebooks