Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


At Cradlehall Primary everyone is included and respected as a valued member of the school community. We learn in ways which develop both our independence and our ability to cooperate with others. We carefully plan interventions to increase the support and opportunities available to pupils and as part of this, a Nurture Room has been created in our school. This is a base where pupils can develop life skills in a safe, nurturing environment. We have supported pupils in this setting through a breakfast club, homework club, lunchtime club and in groups throughout the day focusing on engaging pupils, building self-esteem and raising attainment in Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing.

Although the children have responded well to these interventions, we have been limited due to the lack of any available space in our school building. The Nurture Room is currently a very small space which can only accommodate up to 6 children and has little storage space. It does not lend itself to the type of creative learning experiences that we aim to offer pupils.

The project that we wish funding for is the development of a learning bus in our school grounds which would replace our existing Nurture Room and also be a flexible space that would benefit the whole school community. We already have the bus in position and have recently had electricity and heating installed. Most of the seats have been removed by volunteers from Life Scan Inverness. A decked area has been built around the bus so pupils can take their learning outside and this links the bus to the main playground.

As well as creating additional space for learning and teaching, we plan for the lower level of the bus to have an area for healthy food preparation and dining, allowing us to increase family involvement by inviting parents and carers to come for breakfast and share pupils’ achievements. We would also like to involve the wider school community and further develop pupils’ life skills through planning and hosting events for other community groups.

On the upper level we wish to develop a flexible space which can be used by all our school community and where pupils of all ages can be involved in cooperative learning with their peers. The upper level also benefits from fantastic views over our school playground, the Moray Firth and mountains beyond and would be a stimulating environment in which our School Eco Committee, Pupil Council and wider community groups could meet. We hope to use some of the seats which have been removed from the bus to create a corner seating area for this purpose. The proximity of the bus to the main playground would also make it an ideal calming ‘drop in’ area for pupils who find the playground challenging during break times.

In addition, we plan to create a shelter adjoining the bus which will function as a workshop area where pupils can cooperate to develop skills such as bike maintenance and build links with other community groups through inviting stakeholders to share their expertise. We already have a teacher and a parent volunteer trained and ready to participate in the bike maintenance initiative.

We wish to apply for funding to develop these areas and to purchase resources which will engage and motivate pupils. We will need to hire tradespeople to install the kitchen area, workshop and upper seating area and create storage to make the bus functional as a learning space. Financial support from the Aviva Community Fund would enable us to complete our project and have the Learning Bus in full use by the end of this academic year.

We believe that when complete the bus will provide an invaluable, stimulating and enriching environment which will benefit our school community for years to come.

Project Video

Cradlehall Primary School

Moment of Pride

At Cradlehall Primary we think creatively to overcome barriers and provide the best opportunities for our children, of whom we are always proud. Our Learning Bus is an example of our determination to overcome the lack of space in our building to create an exciting new environment for our community.

Location: Cradlehall Park, Westhill, Inverness, UK