FRIENDS OF THE HIGHWAY (FOTH)
Our school community is enriched by the support of the Friends of The Highway association.
There has been an active PTA at the school since 1970 which, over the years, has helped to raise a huge amount of money for the benefit of our pupils.
The FOTH is made up of a group of parents who kindly donate their time and energy to organise lots of fun events throughout the school calendar, including the annual Christmas and Summer Fairs and Firework Display in November. In addition, for the children there are regular Disco's and Movie Nights and for the adults, the Quiz Nights, Race Nights and Fashion Shows always make for a great night out.
The biggest event in recent years has been The Highway 10K, with runners from all over the South East taking to the streets of Chelsfield. For those with smaller legs, there is a 2K Fun Run, along with bouncy castles, food stalls and entertainment to make for a truly memorable day.
Our 7th annual races took place on Sunday 22nd September 2019, raising a total of £4000!
FOTH members also help in the school, providing refreshments at the Christmas and Summer productions.
If you can give even the smallest amount of your time or you have a fund-raising idea for the school, we would love to hear from you!
Friends of the Highway Newsletters
Issue 1: Autumn 2019
The Tesco Bags of Help Scheme gave us new staging areas!
In January 2017 the FOTH put forward a bid to gain funding for new outdoor stage areas for both KS1 and KS2 via the Tesco Bags of Help scheme and received a enough votes for us to win this funding! We are grateful for everyone's support and the children are now enjoying these new facilities..
Aviva Community Fund Scheme
To further our aim of inspiring our pupils to develop a love of reading, the FOTH would like to install a reading cabin on the school site, for the children to access at playtime and during their lunch break.
The impact on literacy and academic ability is well documented, however our aspirations focus on how this influences communication, self-esteem and mental health.
Establishing a culture of reading for pleasure among children will have a positive impact on their health and well-being. Research has indicated that reading fiction is associated with higher levels of empathy, improved relationships with others and a reduction in symptoms of depression.
The desire for the reading cabin follows the establishment of a reading group at The Highway called the Bookworm Club. Children are selected to join this club to help them develop their self-esteem and access books where they are not available at home. Our reading cabin will be accessible to everyone and will provide children a nurturing space to develop their reading skills and a quiet space away from the noise of play times. Friends of the Highway see the value in establishing an area that encourages children to slow down from the speed and busy nature of many young lives. It will be stocked with both fiction and non-fiction books to provide a variety of interests and enable children from more deprived backgrounds to access a wider variety of books.
The School Council and representatives from KS1 and KS2 will be selected to help establish the reading cabin, including assisting with the layout, decoration and selection of books, a project which in itself facilitates empowerment and develops organisational skills. Volunteers will be recruited from the older year groups to act as role models for reading and to help promote and look after the reading cabin. These role models will be trained on how to run a storytelling session with the younger pupils at school.
If successful, the funding from Aviva Community Fund will be used to purchase a 5 by 2.5 meter reading cabin. It will be fully heated and have an electricity supply so it can be utilised year round and situated to be accessible to both KS1 and KS2 children. Any remaining funds will be used to decorate and set up the reading cabin. If successful, our project will be delivered over the winter, ready for a launch in spring 2018.
The FOTH are proud that our school are focusing not just on the academic attributes of reading, but also instilling the simple pleasure of reading for nothing more than to enjoy a book. This project will give our children the gift of being able to lose themselves and their imaginations in stories as well as facilitating storytelling and discussing literature to develop communication skills - in particular around talking about emotions. It supports peer to peer learning and support and will be a safe place for our children to begin their own development.
Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in our bid to win funding from the 2018 Aviva Community Fund project but we will be trying again when the project relaunches
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