The Duchess’s High School Trust is raising funds to provide additional learning resources in 2021.
This includes providing laptops and digital devices for home learners and will also provide stationery, maths supplies, journals and pens as well as equipping teachers and classrooms with up-to-date technology to enable virtual teaching during the pandemic.
Katherine Williams, chairman of the Trust and a parent at Duchess’s Community High School (DCHS), said “Lockdown is an extremely challenging time for all of us, whether our children are learning from home or at school.
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"We don’t know how long the current lockdown will last but it is important we think beyond this. This is why we are launching a new appeal, 21k for 2021, to raise funds to support students’ learning throughout this extraordinary year.”
Every penny raised will be spent directly on resources and activities which will remove barriers to learning and enhance educational experiences at home and in school.
The Trust, which has been dormant for many years, started to rebuild its profile last year.
Working closely with the school, they have already been able to support a range of activity in 2020, including setting up a breakfast club and purchasing digital visualisers to support remote teaching in the classroom.
In the latest lockdown, the trust and DCHS have been working together to understand what support families need. The breakfast club has been extended so that every student accessing school during lockdown is benefitting and 40 laptops have already been ordered thanks to donations from Northumberland Estates, Alnwick Town Council and other local benefactors.
This is in addition to the many devices which have been donated and restored.
However, there is still a need for more devices, particularly for households with more than one child. Other resources such as stationery, pens and equipment are
Alan Rogers, DCHS co-headteacher, said “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have already received and we would like to thank every single person and organisation who has chosen to help our school during these difficult times.
“We are working closely with our charitable trust to ensure all the money raised is directed where it is needed most. All donations, big or small, will have a direct impact. With the support of our community, we can get through these difficult times and come out stronger on the other side.”
Northumberland Estates’ community engagement and education officer, Vanessa Proudlock, added: “Northumberland Estates is delighted to be able to help the Duchess’s High School Trust kick start their appeal with a donation of £6,000 which the school plans to use to purchase Chromebooks for students’ use.
"We are reliably informed that this will enable staff to support the online learning of a full class of children, not only during lockdown, but also when the school returns to face-to-face learning.”
You can support the £21k by 2021 appeal at https://localgiving.org/appeal/21for21/ or Text DUCHESS to 70470 to donate £3 (texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message). To find out more, email [email protected].