Red Arrows are helping pupils at Kinderley School in Tydd St Giles to fulfil their challenges
Children at a Fenland school are reaching for the sky and beyond in a new initiative that aims to motivate and encourage.
‘The sky is not the limit’ scheme was introduced at Kinderley School in Tydd St Giles last October after teaching assistant Lara Gourley attended an evening with The Typhoon Pilots which was fronted by Mike Bowden of the Red Arrows display team.
Lara said: “Each one of the pilots was exceptionally motivational and I found their can-do attitude, no matter what you are faced with, was something the children could benefit from.”
As a result all the pilots sent motivational videos which Lara played to the children in assembly and Squadron Leader Ian Smith gave the school ‘The sky is not a limit’ tag-line for the scheme.
Once the scheme was launched whichever pupil was found to have gone over and above each day was allowed to wear the special Red Arrows cap for the day and their picture goes on the wall in the hall.
Lara said: “It can be learning based, or it can be based on perseverance, kindness and the can-do attitude.
“When you start something like this you do wonder if it will really have any effect at all, especially with their learning – but it really has. It’s been phenomenal.”
In January the school took the scheme a step further with every child setting their own goal to achieve by the summer term.
Many set learning targets, others based theirs on clubs and activities like football and music.
Lara added: “At Kinderley we are great believers that if you are going to challenge the children and ask them to step out of their comfort zone then us adults should, too.
“All the teaching staff have set themselves a challenge including our headteacher, Jenny Atkins, who has challenged herself to run 100 park runs – and I’ve challenged myself to fly a plane.”
The school recently held a ‘The sky is not a limit’ bake off with parents and grandparents getting involved.
Lara said: “The whole scheme has been brilliant as it’s really challenged the children.
“We have seen an improvement in attitude in that they are saying I can do this and children are trying when they wouldn’t have before.”
She concluded: “I’m a great believer that children should work hard but play hard, too.
“School should be fun and this has been a fun way of engaging everyone and, to quote the Typhoon Display Team, ‘bringing the noise but with pride and laughter, rather than the roar of a jet’.”
More by this authorKeith Drayton