Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Sir Francis Drake Primary School is a school on a journey! We are growing and looking to build even stronger ties with the local community from our small site at the heart of Deptford. We don’t doubt the strength of our welcome or ability to engage with more than 200 extra pupils and their families; but we do doubt the strength of our playground equipment to handle the load!

Deptford is a diverse and changing community and this great school draws children and families in from all backgrounds and builds them into a strong community. The school makes all its pupils feel valued and encourages them to attain high, which is particularly impressive when you consider that the percentage of children for whom English is a second language and the percentage with Special Educational Needs are both three times the national average. And half the school qualifies for the pupil premium too. Historically the Friends of Sir Francis Drake (parent-teacher organisation) have played our part with bake sales, fetes, discos, coffee mornings, quizzes and more. These events are always low cost to be accessible to school families and the wider community, though we also aim to raise funds. Monies raised subsidise life enhancing experiences for pupils and their families including trips to the theatre and a whole-school beach trip each year (without which many children might not experience the seaside!).

Our schools namesake Sir Francis Drake brought pride to Deptford upon his illustrious return from sailing around the world and his ship the Golden Hinde was displayed here for 100 years! The Friends of Sir Francis Drake (with support from the governors and head teacher) have a more modest but equally significant goal of bringing pride to this corner of Deptford with some ship-shape play equipment ready for the opening of our new school building. The new building, doubling capacity, is currently being erected on the old playground using a £6M grant from the Education Funding Agency, and is set to open in September 2017. At that time the existing school will be torn down and turned into the new playground. The budget is extremely tight. Whilst the contract stipulates that the two old climbing frames and trim trail will be retained (or replaced like-for-like if not salvageable) other equipment such as the beloved but increasingly dilapidated wendy house will not. So there could be less equipment to share between more children. Instead, we want to celebrate our nautical heritage by purchasing a Ship’s Bow (with a plank to walk and broad platform for imaginative role play) and a Ship’s Stern (with lower deck that will provide a covered house-like play space, and an upper deck that can be accessed via ropes, nets and ladders and exited by a slide). We hope to place these at either end of the trim trail (which alludes to rigging and masts) to create a long ship feature in the playground, with blue wet pour surface making waves around the edges. It would be terrific to provide our own “Golden Hinde” to launch the school into its next phase of the journey with real celebration.

The school has a real heart to increase engagement with the wider community and come up with new ways to meet local needs. The caretaker’s residence has just become available to the school again and the governors and head teacher are developing options for this building. We hope to create a community facility, with access to the playground, which can also serve as a studio space during teaching hours. This would open the “Golden Hinde” for the wider community to enjoy more frequently with after school groups, children’s parties, and toddler clubs all being considered.

A grant of £14,000 will buy Sir Francis Drake a bow, a stern and 90sqm of wet pour surface to build a ship! Help us celebrate our local heritage and serve the diverse community that resides here. Vote for us to give the gift of play; to the pupils, their families and beyond.

Friends of Sir Francis Drake

Moment of Pride

We’re proud of our school’s history of building strong community in vibrant Deptford, and the part The Friends have played in that. A playground ship would landmark our contribution, our heritage and provide years of fun for Deptford’s children in and out of school!

Location: London