The Vital Role of Male Teachers in Primary Education

On November 19, International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. So, it was a perfect opportunity to say thank you to the 365 men in our Trust who are underrepresented in the primary sector.

In the dynamic landscape of primary education, fostering an inclusive environment is key to the holistic development of young minds. While the majority of primary school teachers are female, recognising and championing the importance of male teachers in this setting is crucial for a well-rounded educational experience.

1. Diverse Perspectives:

Having a mix of male and female educators brings diverse perspectives to the classroom. Children benefit from exposure to different teaching styles, approaches, and role models. A balance of male and female teachers helps create a rich tapestry of influences, enhancing the learning environment.

2. Role Modelling:

Male teachers serve as valuable role models, especially for boys who may be searching for positive male figures in their lives. The presence of male educators can inspire young boys, providing them with someone to look up to and emulate, fostering a sense of identity and self-worth.

3. Varied Teaching Styles:

Every teacher brings a unique teaching style to the classroom. Male teachers may offer different approaches to instruction, assessment, and classroom management. This diversity enriches the educational experience, catering to the varied learning styles of a diverse group of students.

A PE teacher with children.

4. Breaking Gender Stereotypes:

Incorporating male teachers into primary education challenges traditional gender stereotypes. It sends a powerful message that teaching is a profession for both men and women. This, in turn, contributes to breaking down societal norms and encouraging diversity in career choices.

5. Social and Emotional Development:

Male teachers contribute significantly to the social and emotional development of students. They provide a different emotional support system, fostering a nurturing environment where children feel safe expressing themselves and developing positive social skills.

6. Bridging the Gender Gap:

Having male teachers in primary education can help address the gender gap in academic achievement. Research suggests that boys often benefit from the presence of male teachers, who may connect with them in ways that positively impact their academic performance.

A photo of a sports coach with children on a playground.

7. Fostering Inclusivity:

The presence of male teachers promotes inclusivity in the teaching profession. It encourages men to consider teaching as a viable and rewarding career option, contributing to a more balanced representation of genders in education.

8. Enhancing Collaboration:

A diverse teaching staff encourages collaboration and teamwork. Male and female educators working together bring a wealth of ideas, strategies, and experiences, ultimately benefiting the entire school community.

9. Real-world Preparation:

Exposure to both male and female teachers better prepares students for the real world, where they will interact with individuals of various genders in different professional and personal contexts.

A teacher talking with two children.

10. Parental Engagement:

Male teachers play a crucial role in engaging with parents and caregivers. They bring a unique perspective to parent-teacher interactions, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of students' needs and progress.

The importance of male teachers in primary education cannot be overstated. Embracing diversity in the teaching profession enriches the educational experience for all students, fostering a nurturing environment where everyone can thrive.

A photo of a teacher writing on a board while children watch.

Have you ever thought of a career in the classroom? Explore the power of the possible and join us at one of our Get Into Teaching events up and down the country and also online.

Book via Eventbrite here 👉

Ofsted judges Chigwell Primary Academy continues to offer a good education at school where “staff are proud to work here”

Chigwell Primary Academy is basking in the glow of a recent Ofsted report, celebrating the school's unwavering commitment to delivering a good standard of education. The report commends the academy for consistently providing high-quality education, with inspectors noting that "pupils enjoy coming to this school" and proudly showcase their values. 

 Ofsted highlighted the positive atmosphere at Chigwell Primary Academy, emphasising the students' caring nature, strong work ethic, and their enthusiasm for helping others. The report recognizes the effectiveness of REAch2's support, citing ongoing training for staff to ensure they are well-equipped, particularly in subject knowledge. 



Key highlights from the report include the academy's ambitious curriculum designed in collaboration with the Academy Trust, placing a strong emphasis on important knowledge and concepts. Reading is rightfully positioned at the core of the curriculum, with carefully selected texts fostering a love for literature among pupils. 

 The school and Trust's high expectations create a culture where pupils strive to reach their full potential, fostering rapid progress and development. Diversity and respect for differences are celebrated, with students enjoying learning about cultures worldwide and embracing various religions. 

Chigwell Primary Academy excels in providing an excellent start to education, especially in the Reception class, where thoughtful language and play-based learning contribute to vocabulary development. The report commends the school's understanding of how best to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), ensuring inclusivity in the learning process. 


Leadership at both the school and Trust level is acknowledged for understanding the strengths and areas for improvement, maintaining a manageable workload for staff, and offering effective training. Staff pride in their work is evident, creating a positive and supportive working environment. 

 Elaine Brook, Executive Headteacher at Chigwell Primary Academy, expressed her joy at the Ofsted report, particularly emphasising the school's commitment to placing reading at the heart of the curriculum. Cathie Paine, Chief Executive Officer at REAch2, extended her congratulations to Elaine and the entire team at Chigwell, recognising the positive impact of their work on providing children with the best possible start to their education. 

 Ofsted’s findings stand as a testament to Chigwell Primary Academy's dedication to the Trust’s ‘Great Schools’ strategy and the nurturing of well-rounded, engaged learners - we wholeheartedly congratulate Elaine and her team on the impressive report. 

Congratulations! Phoenix St Peter wins Black History Month Visual Arts Award

November 3rd 2023, marked the awards ceremony for the Black History Month Creative Writing and Visual Arts Competition organised by Lowestoft Town Council.

This year's event, the largest in the three years of the Council's celebration of Black History Month, received an impressive 740 submissions from young talents in Lowestoft.

The Visual Arts Competition showcased incredible collages, scratch art, and clay sculptures portraying important inspirational figures like Muhammed Ali, Ruby Bridges, and Beyonce. The creative styles of Ruth Asawa and Augusta Savage served as inspiration for these masterpieces.

A photo of the sculptures created by the children Phoenix St Peter Academy.

Judges were thrilled by the quantity and quality of submissions and awarded the Visual Arts Shield to REAch2 school Phoenix St Peter’s for their diverse art styles and impressive whole school display.

Expressing her joy at the awards, Cllr Sonia Barker, Mayor of Lowestoft, remarked, "It was wonderful to have such a great response to our Black History Month competition this year and such a high quality of entries. Thank you to everyone who took part, from the students to the teachers and parents. Congratulations to all the winners!"

A photo of the staff and children at Phoenix St Peter Academy with representatives from the local community to celebrate Black History Month

Mrs. Terri Freeman, Deputy Head of Phoenix St Peter’s, shared her excitement on receiving the Visual Arts Award, saying, "We are thrilled to receive the first-ever Visual Arts School Award on behalf of the remarkable artists at Phoenix St Peter Academy. This acknowledgement extends beyond artistic talent—it reflects the values embedded in our school and resonates across our academy trust. At Phoenix St Peter, our commitment to inclusion and diversity is a living principle helped by our shared definition: 'realising the greatness in our differences.'"

Pedalling Towards a Sustainable Future: The ‘Bike Library’ Initiative at Phoenix St Peter Academy

In the seaside town of Lowestoft, a new cycling ethos is taking root, thanks to an innovative and groundbreaking initiative known as the 'Bike Library.' This transformative project, initiated by REAch2 school Phoenix St Peter Academy, is not just about cycling but fostering active travel, empowering pupils, and creating valuable partnerships. As a trust dedicated to educational excellence and community well-being, we are thrilled to see Phoenix St Peter Academy introduce this pilot scheme aimed at promoting active travel.

Fostering Active Travel

Lowestoft has a rich legacy when it comes to cycling, with the Tour of Britain having graced its streets. The 'Bike Library' initiative builds upon this legacy, inspiring all pupils to embrace the spirit of "Get on your bike!" Encouraging active travel, this project promotes healthier, eco-friendly transportation options for our young learners.

Empowering Our Pupils

At the heart of this endeavour are the Year 5 and Year 6 students at Phoenix St Peter Academy, who have enthusiastically embraced the innovative 'Bike Library' scheme. They now have newfound freedom and mobility, thanks to the "amazing opportunity" to access bikes free of charge. This not only provides them with a safe means of exploring their surroundings but also instils in them a sense of independence and responsibility.

To inaugurate this transformative project, a thrilling bike ride along the scenic Lowestoft seafront was organised. This experience marks the beginning of an exciting journey towards a more active and sustainable future.

A picture of two children in high visibility clothing cycling on their bike on a cycling path.
A picture of volunteers from ASDA community who supported the cycling event at the school.
A picture of a child in high visibility clothing cycling on their bike on a cycling path.

Partnerships that Matter

The success of the 'Bike Library' scheme would not have been possible without valuable partnerships. Suffolk County Council played a pivotal role by securing free loan bikes, thanks to funding from Active Travel England's capability and ambition fund. We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to ScottishPower Renewables, the supporting partner of the Suffolk stage of the Tour of Britain, for their additional funding and support.

To ensure pupil safety, we are proud to announce that pupils and their parents or carers will be offered a comprehensive Bikeability training course. This course equips them with essential skills, confidence, and knowledge required to safely navigate the roads with their bicycles. It also imparts the basics of bike maintenance and the principles of safe cycling.

Additionally, the Rotary Club of Lowestoft East Point and Lowestoft Rising have made valuable contributions by providing bike locks and helmets. These additions ensure that our pupils can embark on their cycling adventures with the utmost security and peace of mind.

A Legacy of Collaboration

Richard Smith MVO, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for economic development, transport strategy, and waste, expressed his gratitude for the partnership with ScottishPower Renewables, stating that this initiative is a positive legacy from the company's support of the Suffolk stage of the Tour of Britain.

Ed Rees, ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia THREE community liaison officer, shares in the excitement, saying, "We're really excited to be working with Suffolk County Council to deliver the pilot Bikeability program for local school pupils."

Phoenix Headteacher, Matthew Jordan, emphasises the significance of this project, noting that "learning to safely ride a bike is a life skill that will give our children great independence in life."

As a trust committed to empowering young minds and contributing to a sustainable future, we are overjoyed to witness the impact of the 'Bike Library' scheme at Phoenix St Peter Academy. This initiative not only encourages active travel but also paves the way for a greener, more independent, and healthier future for our pupils. We look forward to the positive changes this initiative will bring to our community and the inspiration it will provide for other schools and towns to follow suit in promoting active travel. Pedalling towards a sustainable future has never looked more promising.

Celebrating Success in One of Our Birmingham Schools

Springfield Primary Academy Achieves 'Good' Rating Across All Categories earning praise from Ofsted in their first-ever inspection.

In a momentous achievement, Springfield Primary Academy, a proud member of our Reach2 Academy Trust, has received high praise from Ofsted inspectors in its first official inspection. The Birmingham-based school has been rated 'Good' in all categories, marking a significant milestone for the dedicated staff and wonderful pupil and parent community.

Ofsted inspectors commended Springfield Primary Academy for fostering a "kind and caring community," where pupils are not only happy but also actively enjoy attending school. The report highlights the school's commitment to providing an engaging and supportive environment, noting that lessons are interesting, and pupils learn effectively.

A key factor contributing to the school's success has been the leadership of Reach2 Academy Trust. Ofsted recognised Trust leaders' dedication to the school's continued success, emphasising their commitment to ensuring the best for every pupil.

Among the standout features highlighted in the inspection report are:

High Expectations and Ambitious Curriculum: School leaders at Springfield Primary Academy set high expectations and are ambitious for all pupils. The school boasts an ambitious curriculum designed to offer comprehensive support for effective learning.

Teacher Training and Well-Being: Teachers receive necessary training to teach the curriculum effectively, with leaders prioritising staff well-being. The report commends leaders for mindful engagement with staff and a thoughtful approach to addressing any concerns raised.

A photo of the children and staff at Springfield Academy holding a banner with a quote from the recent Ofsted Inspection which states "Springfield Primary Academy provides a kind and caring community. Leaders have high expectations and are ambitious for all pupils."

Early Years Excellence: The school's efforts to ensure the youngest pupils get off to a good start were acknowledged. In-depth knowledge of pupils and careful planning contribute to the success of early years education, ensuring most children can read and write words and simple sentences by the end of Reception.

Promoting Reading: Springfield Primary Academy has prioritised reading, investing in a broad and diverse range of books. Various reading schemes, including 'read ten before you leave each class' and 'pyjama reading days,' aim to instil a love of reading in pupils.

Inclusive Support: The school is praised for swiftly identifying pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Collaborating effectively with external agencies ensures appropriate support is in place, leading to the success and achievement of these students.

Community Engagement: Springfield Primary Academy actively engages with its local community. Pupils participate in fundraising for local and international causes, gaining insights into different cultures and religions, and preparing them well for life in modern Britain.

Parental Satisfaction: Parents express positivity about the quality of education their children receive, echoing the sentiment that pupils are happy at school. The report highlights calm and orderly classrooms where pupils can enjoy focused learning.

Sasha Taylor, the Headteacher at Springfield Primary Academy, expressed delight at the positive feedback, emphasizing the school's dedication to providing a high-quality education. She particularly highlighted the recognition of efforts to establish reading as a priority.

We wholeheartedly congratulate Sasha and her team on the impressive Ofsted report, expressing immense pride in the entire Springfield community for this well-deserved achievement.

Celebrating Teaching Assistant Appreciation Day 2023

On Friday the 29th September, schools across the United Kingdom unite in celebration for National Teaching Assistants' Day, and why not? Amid the many rewarding roles in education, each playing a crucial part in the growth and development of pupils, one role often stands as the unsung hero - the Teaching Assistant (TA).

The Essential Role of Teaching Assistants

Children thrive in safe, nurturing, and joyful learning environments, and TAs play a pivotal part in creating and maintaining such an atmosphere. They serve as the linchpin in building meaningful and purposeful relationships with pupils, parents, teachers, and fellow staff members. They form an integral part of the team, contributing their skills to help pupils grow, learn, and develop.

Teaching Assistants are instrumental in ensuring that pupils receive the best possible education. Managing a classroom full of eager learners, often numbering up to 30 or more, is a monumental task for any teacher. This responsibility encompasses a wide range of activities, and here is where the Teaching Assistant (TA) emerges as a classroom hero.

Ten Reasons Why Teaching Assistants Are Essential

  • Offering One-on-One Support: Teaching Assistants provide crucial one-on-one sessions, helping children overcome anxieties and challenges, especially in packed classrooms.
  • Access for All: TAs are highly trained in supporting children with disabilities, ensuring that education is accessible to all.
  • An Extra Set of Eyes: TAs provide an extra set of eyes in the classroom, offering valuable support to teachers.
  • Eureka Moments: Teaching Assistants often play a role in those exciting "Eureka" moments when a child grasps a new concept.
  • Reducing Teacher Workload: They ease the teacher's workload, allowing them to focus on effective teaching.
  • Learning Behaviour: TAs help maintain good learning behaviours in the classroom and identify pupils who need extra support.
  • Collaboration with Teachers: TAs and teachers collaborate to identify groups of pupils requiring intervention, ensuring no child is left behind.
  • Friendly and Approachable: They contribute to a warm and comfortable environment in the classroom.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Work: TAs arrive early and stay late, helping with lesson planning, classroom preparation, and various school tasks.
  • Team Teaching: Interactive lessons become engaging when TAs and teachers join forces, making learning exciting and dynamic.
"They are the Mrs Doubtfire table leaping heroes "Help i on the way dear". No matter what the situation is!... The school would simply not function without them" - REAch2 Headteacher.

Our Headteachers Speak: The Value of Teaching Assistants

We reached out to Headteachers across our Trust to understand what Teaching Assistants mean to their schools, and their responses resonate with the immense importance of TAs:

"They are the glue that hold us together" - REAch2 Headteacher
"Our unsung heroes, let's sing about them"
"TAs are the heartbeat of our school." - REAch2 Headteacher

These heartfelt tributes underscore the invaluable contributions of Teaching Assistants in the world of education. They are more than just a face in the classroom; they are mentors, friends, and pillars of support for children, helping to shape their futures.

As we celebrate Teaching Assistant Appreciation Day, let's raise our voices and give three cheers to these unsung heroes:

Hip Hip Hooray!, Hip Hip Hooray!, Hip Hip Hooray!

Their dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment deserve our heartfelt appreciation, not just today but every day.

Pupil Voice Week 2023: Making Voices Count in Education

Pupil Voice Week 2023 is back for its 8th year. Celebrated from September 25th to the 29th, this annual event has been a resounding success, with last year's theme of 'Solving Problems' bringing together over 600 schools and engaging 320,000 pupils in meaningful conversations. This year’s theme "Make your voice count" resonates deeply with us as a Trust and emphasises the incredible power that children and young people hold to shape the world around them.

Empowering Young Voices at the House of Lords

Recently, REAch2 Academy Trust's pupils had a remarkable opportunity to showcase the significance of their voices. They visited the House of Lords and engaged with Diana Barran, where they expressed their perspectives on a wide range of topics. For many of these children, it was their first trip to London, adding a layer of excitement to their adventure.

Guided by Baroness Barran, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education, these pupils actively participated in a thought-provoking debate. The discussion centred on the essence of effective leadership in education, with our pupil parliamentarians eloquently expressing the importance of having a voice in their educational journey and the substantial role their input should play in shaping decisions within schools.

A picture of a group of children from REAch2 Academy Trust at the House of Lords representing their School in our new School Council initiative.

Nurturing Aspirations Through Pupil Voice

At REAch2 Academy Trust, there is a wholehearted commitment to nurturing the aspirations of all our pupils across our family of 60 schools. Experiences like these ignite inspiration in young minds. Our newly launched Pupil Parliament initiative stands as a crucial stepping-stone in the journey for students to realise the power of their voices. Olivia from Camulos Academy in Colchester beautifully summed up the sentiment, stating, "A pupil parliament for REAch2 is important because REAch2 has thousands of children, and that's a lot of voices that haven't been heard." Their voices matter, and the Trust is devoted to ensuring they are heard.

Why Pupil Voice Matters

Pupil voice is not merely a concept; it's a right enshrined in Article 12 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It emphasises that every child has the right to express their views, feelings, and wishes in all matters affecting them, and that these views should be taken seriously. In primary education, this right is central to the moral purpose of educators, who seek to ensure that every child's voice is heard and valued.

Pupil voice not only gives children responsibility but also nurtures collaboration, leadership, and negotiation skills. While it guides the curriculum in the early years, it remains equally important as children progress through school. It's crucial to create spaces where pupils feel comfortable voicing their opinions and where their interests can shape the learning experience.

A photo of two childre and two teachers outside of the House's of Parliament.

The Power of Pupil Voice Recognised by Ofsted

Pupil voice is not only valued by educators and students but also by education authorities. Ofsted recognizes its importance and has incorporated it into their inspection framework, particularly under the "Personal Development" aspect. They expect schools to provide opportunities for pupils to have their say on matters affecting them, evaluate the extent to which pupils are engaged in their own learning, and consider their views when making decisions.

Promoting Pupil Voice: Key Strategies

To ensure the continuous promotion of pupil voice, schools can consider implementing the following strategies:

Establish a culture of pupil leadership: Encourage pupils to take on leadership roles and responsibilities within the school community, fostering an environment where their voices matter.

Create opportunities for pupil input and feedback: Regularly gather pupil opinions, ideas, and feedback through surveys, focus groups, and other channels.

Promote inclusive practices: Ensure that all pupils, regardless of background or ability, can participate in pupil voice initiatives.

Empowering Young Voices for a Sustainable Future

We eagerly anticipate the continued development of our REAch2 Pupil Parliament throughout this year, as we embark on an exciting journey of continuing to foster genuine pupil voice across our schools. Our plans extend beyond individual schools to encompass entire clusters, where our schools are grouped geographically and ultimately, we aim to take our pupils' voices back to the heart of democracy, the Houses of Parliament, in June 2024.

One of the driving forces behind this endeavour is our Sustainability strategic goal, which is driven by the motivation of our children. Our pupils are eager to become more actively involved in shaping the future, and they will do so through a series of engaging debates and discussions, focussing on crucial topics such as:

"How can I help the planet to survive?"

"What should be included in a sustainability curriculum?"

"What should transportation look like in 20 years' time?"

A photo of Baroness Barron with our newly formed Student Council within the House of Lords.

The culmination of these pupil voice discussions will be a powerful debate led by Baroness Barran, titled "The Earth is Angry." This final debate will serve as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for collective action and the vital role that young voices play in addressing the challenges our planet faces.

In essence, the importance of pupil voice cannot be overstated. It is the driving force behind positive change in our schools, our communities, and our world. It empowers pupils, nurtures their leadership skills, and instils in them a sense of responsibility for shaping the future. Through initiatives like the REAch2 Pupil Parliament and events like Pupil Voice Week, we amplify the voices of our young learners, ensuring that their perspectives are not only heard but also acted upon.

Their voices are not just the voices of tomorrow; they are the voices that can and will change the world today.

Shaping a Sustainable Future: Empowering REAch2 Pupils to Drive Positive Change

In a world where environmental concerns and sustainable practices have taken centre stage, it is crucial to engage our future generation in shaping a sustainable future. The REAch2 pupils have proven to be at the forefront of this movement, expressing their desires for a better world through a unique initiative. Instead of asking what they want to be, these young voices articulate what they want to see in a sustainable future. This approach empowers the pupils, fosters critical thinking, and allows them to become active participants in our Trust strategic goals.

Fostering Sustainable Mindsets: Empowering Children to Envision a Sustainable Future

Children possess an innate curiosity and passion for the world around them. By encouraging them to envision a sustainable future, we tap into their imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Rather than limiting their aspirations to individual careers, we invite them to share what they want to see in a sustainable future, empowering them to think beyond themselves. This collective impact they can have on the world is crucial for building a sustainable society.

Empowering the Next Generation: Validating Their Voices for Change

Empowering children with a voice in shaping a sustainable future is essential. By giving them a platform to express their ideas, we validate their opinions and show them that their voices matter. Actively listening to children's perspectives boosts their confidence, encourages self-expression, and instils a sense of responsibility for the planet. By involving young minds in decision-making processes, we harness their creativity and enthusiasm to find innovative solutions to environmental challenges

A picture of two children holding a Globe in a classroom.

Building Awareness and Action: Inspiring Change Through REAch2 Pupils' Desires

The initiative taken by REAch2 pupils allows them to record their desires for a sustainable future, encouraging self-reflection and raising awareness among their peers and adults. Through their recordings, these young advocates inspire others to reflect on their own aspirations and ignite conversations about sustainable practices. By sharing their visions, they become ambassadors for change, encouraging others to adopt environmentally responsible behaviours and embrace sustainable lifestyles.

Driving Positive Change: Young Minds as Catalysts for a Sustainable Future

Engaging children in conversations about a sustainable future contributes to the formation of environmentally conscious citizens. Their fresh perspectives and unbridled enthusiasm often spark transformative change. When pupils record their visions, they become catalysts for action. Their ideas have the potential to influence policies, shape educational curricula, and inspire community initiatives. By amplifying the voices of these young leaders, we empower them to drive positive change towards a sustainable future.

The REAch2 pupils' initiative to voice their desires for a sustainable future showcases their potential and passion for creating positive change. By allowing them to express what they want to see, rather than what they want to be, we are empowering these young minds to envision a world where sustainability and environmental stewardship are the norm. Their recorded visions foster critical thinking, raise awareness, and serve as a powerful call to action for individuals, communities, and policymakers. By actively involving our youth in shaping a sustainable future, we inspire a generation of eco-conscious citizens who will lead the transformation needed to build a sustainable world. Together, let us embrace the power of their voices and work towards a brighter, greener future.

Aerodrome Primary Academy Joins ‘Banji’s Class’ and Shines on Britain’s Got Talent

In a bid to bring creativity and inspiration to young minds, author Banji Alexander visited Aerodrome Primary Academy earlier this year. During his visit, Banji shared his plans to turn his book into a musical. Excited about the possibilities, he invited children from five schools in the local area to audition for 'Banji's Class.'

This unique opportunity gave pupils the chance to audition to become part of 'Banji's Class,' an exclusive group who would perform at the London Palladium and audition for Britain's Got Talent. The group would perform a song from the musical that Banji had written.

Aerodrome Primary Academy was thrilled to be one of the schools chosen to participate in 'Banji's Class.' Pupils from Year 5 and 6 were given the chance to audition for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The children worked tirelessly, rehearsing for many weekends alongside the pupils from the other schools. The goal was to create a fantastic performance that would stand out and impress the judges at Britain's Got Talent – and impress them they did!

The song that the group performed is called 'New King.' The children have poured their hearts and souls into the song and this together with the King Charles III’s Coronation also resulted in the project gaining attention from the BBC. Over the past few weeks, they have been featured on various media channels. Check them all out here!

Watch the music video

and their brilliant BGT performance

St Margaret’s Receives ‘Highly Commended’ Award

St. Margaret's Primary Academy in Lowestoft has received a "highly commended" in recognition for its submission to the Greenest County Awards 2023. The awards showcase the efforts of individuals, communities, businesses, schools, and third sector organizations in Suffolk who are at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis and preserving our ecosystem.

These are just some of the activities that St. Margaret's 'Eco Council' and its students have undertaken in the past year.

Growing their own food

The school allotment has been used by students to cultivate and harvest strawberries, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes. The tomatoes were then donated to the school kitchen to be transformed into nutritious snacks for break time.

Biodiversity In the school grounds

St. Margaret's Primary Academy participated in The Queen's Green Canopy initiative by planting more than 60 trees on the school grounds. Additionally, the students have designated a wild area named 'The Secret Garden' where a pond with newts, a small meadow of wildflowers, and a bug hotel have been set up to promote the growth of wildlife, encouraging nature to thrive.

Educating each other about plastic

The school 'eco council' lead an assembly to highlight the massive Issues surrounding the amount of plastic that ends up in our seas.

The school pledges to stop single use plastics in the school kitchen, ordered re-fillable glue sticks and all children use re-usable water bottles. The school eco council also regularly litter pick in the playground to stop plastic waste ending up in the local river and then into the ocean.

St Margarets' Forest School Leader Ben Heffernan is very impressed:

“I feel the greatest success has been how much engagement it has created from students who want to help with all things eco at break and lunch. We have actually had to order more green jackets due to so many children wanting to be part of this movement.”

The school's commitment to being eco-friendly remains strong as they gear up for the next academic year with new initiatives. The addition of a composting bin and a polytunnel is a significant step towards creating a sustainable environment, and the school is excited to continue their eco-school journey at full speed ahead motivating its students to become responsible global citizens and contribute to a better tomorrow.

Read about the REAch2 response to the environment in our Five Year Strategy.