Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


We seek funding for the improvement of our Key Stage 1 (KS1) playground which accommodates some 210 children. It's currently in a pretty poor state. Our vision for its improvement, as well as the whole of the school's outdoor facilities, is sadly stifled by a limited state budget which leaves very little to spend on nice-to-have's like playground equipment in a school of our size (432 full roll).

The KS1 playground sits at the front of the school and is highly visible in the local community. We would like it to be a statement about who we are and what we want for our children. St James has an old school feel, both literally and figuratively but it's something we are proud of. Walk around our school and you will notice it's not new and shiny, far from it. That said, it's a happy and enthusiastic place of learning with a committed community of governors, senior leaders, teachers, children and parents. The walls are lined with bold and colourful learning; you can feel the goodwill in the fabric of our building, despite the ageing facilities. We believe that outdoor learning and play is an equally important area of a child's development and we aspire to providing our children with bold and exciting places to learn, explore, take risks and play.

There has been some piecemeal improvement in the KS1 area in recent years thanks to our dedicated parent support group, both through traditional fund raising and our "Ground Force Days" where parents volunteer their time and hard toil to improve our outdoor spaces. Our most recent Ground Force Day sought to remove an ageing and dilapidated pergola from the KS1 playground, as well as rotten decking which had long been out of bounds for the children.

We seek funding of £25,000 to inject some vigour and new opportunity for learning in our KS1 playground. This investment would buy us the first 4 big ticket items on a wish list of 33 items for the overhaul of the area, representing 44% of the total cost. It would buy:

1 X bespoke Polycarbonate Pergola from Hand Made Places at cost £16,995

3 X Playdens from Hand Made Places at total cost £7,485

Total budget requested £24,480

Hand Made Places is an established and reputable supplier to schools and nurseries throughout the UK producing high quality products. Their ethos is to provide spaces to captivate children's imaginations and nurture their social and physical development.

These four items would have significant visual impact on the KS1 playground area and bring much delight to our 260 KS1 children at play time and lunch time as well as for other family members at pick up and drop off and during the numerous family events we hold throughout the year.

The Pergola would provide a fun and colourful shelter (14M long x 3M wide) for our children to play and take shade under as well as a fantastic outdoor classroom area for teaching.

The three Playdens (2.9M long x 2.7M wide x 2M high) would replace existing play houses which, although much loved, are in a poor state, providing a wonderful platform for the children to engage in imaginative play.

We are truly excited at the possibility of securing funds through Aviva to kick start our KS1 playground improvement. We urge and encourage people to vote for our project because we are a truly wonderful state school, moulding great citizens and learners of the future, but sadly strapped for cash. County Council funding for the expansion of primary school places in Surrey has gone to other local schools in recent years and we find ourselves a "poor relation" to the other redeveloped schools in the area. Weybridge town centre, where we are located, has been designated a "Super Output" of high need recognising that there are pockets of deprivation and a large number of disadvantaged families in close proximity to the school. Please help us to make St James the school it deserves to be for the children in our community.

Project Video

St James C of E Primary School Fund

Moment of Pride

Despite our ageing building and facilities, every member of the St James school community is dedicated to the improvement of our school for the benefit of our children; from governors, senior leaders and staff to children and parents. This is what makes St James a great place to be part of.

Location: Weybridge