Category Archives: Education

Layton library gifts books to Blackpool youngsters to encourage excitement for reading

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Layton library held virtual assemblies for resort primary school children in a bid to get them reading more during the summer holidays.

 

Youngsters in Years Two and Five at Devonshire Primary Academy in Devonshire Road and Year Five at Layton Primary School in Meyler Avenue took part in the library’s first virtual assemblies.

They were given books paid for by Layton ward grant funding by councillors Kath Benson and Martin Mitchell, in a bid to encourage a love of reading and improvement in literacy skills.

Coun Benson and Layton library manager Jane Berry spoke to the youngsters about the library, in hopes it would spark a keen interest in delving deeper into the world of storytelling.

Year Five at Layton Primary School with their gifted books. Pic: Blackpool CouncilYear Five at Layton Primary School with their gifted books. Pic: Blackpool Council

Coun Benson said: “It was tremendous and an absolute pleasure to virtually visit the children. We were asked some amazing questions about the number and types of books that the library has, most popular authors, when the library was built and so much more. It was fantastic to see their curiosity and I hope that it will inspire them to read more.”

Coun Mitchell added: “It was terrific to be part of this project and to encourage the gift of reading amongst the new generation. Of course when a child opens a book it reveals a pathway to a hitherto unseen world, a world where imagination and the senses can triumph.”

The project is part of a wider initiative among all Blackpool libraries – the summer reading challenge “Wild World Heroes,” which encourages children to keep up with their reading over the holidays.

Layton library will continue working with Layton and Devonshire schools, to encourage pupils to become members and nurture a love of reading.

Jane Berry, library manager, said: “It was lovely to be asked by a child about when I had joined a library myself. It was a joy to share my memory that I had joined at the age of around seven and used to visit the library on Saturday mornings on my bike with my dad once a fortnight.”

Natalie Dean, a teacher at Devonshire Primary Academy, added: “In 2020 we set ourselves a reading goal to ensure that all of our pupils had a chance to not only visit Layton library, but also become lifelong members, so they could access the wonderful opportunities that the library brings.

“Before Covid temporarily closed the library, we had managed to bring several year groups on a trip to see the library and it was amazing to watch the children in awe and wonder, marvelling at the limitless choices on the bookshelves. For some pupils, it was their first time inside a library outside of our school library.

“We are thrilled to have been asked to be a part of the local literacy campaign being led by our local councillors and we have been lucky enough to be visited ‘virtually’ for story time. We look forward to being able to continue our work with the library.”

 

The Blackpool Sixth Form College wins national award for promoting Latin and Classical History in Fylde coast schools

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Blackpool Sixth is celebrating recognition for teaching classics subjects to youngsters at Fylde coast schools, and four of its students have been given special bursaries to study classics at university.

 

The college won acclaim from London-based charity Classics for All, which has a mission to increase the study of Latin and Ancient Greek, plus other aspects of the classical world.

Staff and students across the country were recognised by the charity in celebration of its 10th birthday, and Blackpool Sixth A-level Ancient History teacher Peter Wright was among the recipients of a teaching award.

Mr Wright, who is also the coordinator of the Fylde Coast Classics Network, received the award for the work he has spearheaded not only within the college, but also in nine Fylde coast primary and secondary schools.

A Latin assembly at St. John’s Catholic Primary School in Poulton, part of the Fylde Coast Classics network. Pic: Blackpool SixthA Latin assembly at St. John’s Catholic Primary School in Poulton, part of the Fylde Coast Classics network. Pic: Blackpool Sixth

He has trained six local primary schools to teach Latin bringing the language to over 400 primary pupils in the resort, and introduced classics to three secondary schools and a Pupil Referral Unit.

Mr Wright has worked with Classics for All to train teachers to deliver Latin lessons as an additional part of the curriculum, and the work with schools has had a major impact on literacy scores for pupils.

“The results have been really impressive,” he said.

“73 per cent of the boys involved in the project improved their literacy scores, around 65 per cent of the girls and 55 per cent of children from low income households.”

Mr Wright was also informed that the charity would be providing a £2,000 bursary to four of the college’s students who will be studying classics at university level.

Students Callum Jones, Kane Barnish, Thomas Owen and Matt Mitchell were the lucky recipients of the bursaries.

Matt, who has.a conditional offer from York University to study archaeology, said, “My passion for history, classics and archaeology was furthered by my time at Blackpool Sixth where I have been able to study ancient history at A-level which would not be an option at many other colleges.

“This has been further supported by the passion for the subject from the tutors that I have witnessed over my two years there which has again furthered my interest in the subject.”

Fellow ancient history student Kane Barnish said: “It was a really enjoyable course with interesting and unique modules which covered a wide time period and

themes. It was also taught in a very dynamic and fun way, keeping the course fresh over the two years.”

Kane, who plans to go to Swansea University to study Egyptology and ancient history, added: “The bursary will help me as it will help cover living costs and make the first year at university less stressful, allowing me to focus on my studies.”

Mr Wright added: “It is wonderful to lead the partnership between Blackpool Sixth and Classics for All. I’m incredibly proud that our work in Blackpool has been recognised nationally. The enthusiasm of teachers and teaching assistants in the schools involved has been inspiring. It is fantastic to see Latin being used effectively to boost English vocabulary, aid literacy, improve oracy and public speaking, and promote language learning.

Blackpool pupils condemn racist abuse towards England players after Euro 2020 final

Youngsters at a resort school penned messages of support for three England footballers racially abused after missing penalties during the Euro 2020 defeat to Italy.

 

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were subjected to vile remarks online after Sunday’s loss – but have been swamped by messages of kindness, love, and tolerance in the days since.

Pupils at Westcliff Primary Academy, in Crawford Avenue, Bispham, were among those spending time writing cards and well-wishes.

“I’m sorry people are being unkind,” Year One youngster Libby said. “I think you are all amazing.”

Year Five pupils Ben, Jaxson, Oliver, Lily and Ella with their letters of support to England players who were racially abused after the Euro 2020 final.Year Five pupils Ben, Jaxson, Oliver, Lily and Ella with their letters of support to England players who were racially abused after the Euro 2020 final.

Her classmate Flynn Wright added: “Well done for playing your best and getting into the final. Thank you for everything you have done for our country.”

Year Six children Eszme and Daniel wrote to Arsenal’s Saka: “You had trained hard for getting this far and you don’t deserve all this abuse, all for your skin colour. The Euros have brought this country together and people should stop trying to break your spirits and make you quit football.

“To be only 19 years old and get into the Euros is a massive achievement and you should be proud.”

Yesterday, Sean Bullen, former headteacher at Millfield in Thornton and now director of education at the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs schools across the Fylde coast, said: “As a teacher of 31 years I can categorically state that racism in schools is much less of an issue than it was previously.

Year Six pupils Niamh, Jess and Amber.Year Six pupils Niamh, Jess and Amber.

“Equally I also recognise there will always be more we can do.”

A petition to permanently ban racists from football matches passed a million signatures in just two days.

A trio of campaigners, who call themselves The Three Hijabis due to their heritage and dress, have seen their petition go viral.

“We feel validated in our resistance to racism and that what we have been able to articulate is the sentiment that is held nationwide,” one, Huda Jaward, said.

Year One pupils Libby and Flynn with their letters of support for England players.Year One pupils Libby and Flynn with their letters of support for England players.

Blackpool Gateway Academy pupils all scream for ice cream after a challenging academic year during Covid pandemic

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A Blackpool academy treated its pupils to an on-site ice cream van this week as a reward for their achievements and tolerance during a difficult year for schools.

 

Blackpool Gateway Academy in Seymour Road was granted a £400 sponsorship from Preston-based education recruitment firm Vision for Education, which saw an ice cream van park up in the playground.

Children across all year groups were given the opportunity to spend time in the sun with their favourite ice creams as recognition of their achievements working remotely and in school during the pandemic.

Emma Frankland, deputy headteacher, said: “Gateway has not only also undergone the challenges faced by the pandemic with bubble closures and isolation periods – as every school has – but has also undergone a rapid and rigorous school improvement journey.

Pupils with Lewis Smillie from Vision for Education with their ice creams. Pic: Fylde Coast Academy Trust.Pupils with Lewis Smillie from Vision for Education with their ice creams. Pic: Fylde Coast Academy Trust.

“The team here at Gateway has been fantastic, everyone has pulled together to ensure the best possible learning and wellbeing experiences for all children, whether via remote learning or being physically in the classroom despite these difficult times.

“Everyone in the Gateway community was greatly appreciative of the kind gesture donated by Vision for Education. It was a lovely way to round off a very challenging but positive year.”

Lewis Smillie, from Vision for Education’s Preston branch, added: “We’re passionate about making a difference in education – proudly putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.

“We actively work with local schools to offer educational and creative incentives and competitions which encourage and motivate pupils to read more and develop their skills, help improve attendance and promote positive behaviour.”

Pupils and teachers with Lewis Smillie from Vision for Education, which funded the ice cream van, enjoying ice creams. Pic: Fylde Coast Academy Trust.Pupils and teachers with Lewis Smillie from Vision for Education, which funded the ice cream van, enjoying ice creams. Pic: Fylde Coast Academy Trust.

Pupils and teachers with Lewis Smillie from Vision for Education, which funded the ice cream van, enjoying ice creams. Pic: Fylde Coast Academy Trust.Pupils and teachers with Lewis Smillie from Vision for Education, which funded the ice cream van, enjoying ice creams. Pic: Fylde Coast Academy Trust.

 

Creative Blackpool students shine in virtual art exhibition

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Graduating students at Blackpool and the Fylde College have launched a virtual exhibition to showcase their artistic talents.

 

REMOTE, the exhibition, is a collection of work from students leaving college this year, who were unable to show their art in person to the public due to Covid restrictions.

Their art is available to view online via a makeshift virtual tour of an art gallery, whereby viewers can move around “buildings” featuring work from further and higher education students.

The exhibition was launched in conjunction with Creative Lancashire to spotlight some of the most outstanding entries, and was curated by Blackpool School of Arts coordinator Aaron Tonks.

One of the virtual "rooms" showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students' work. Pic: Aaron TonksOne of the virtual “rooms” showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students’ work. Pic: Aaron Tonks

Aaron said: “I have seen a huge variety of students work during the planning, curation and building of this exhibition and I am enormously impressed by the creativity and quality on show, especially after the disruption caused by Covid-19 over the last year.

“Our students have shown us that creativity and the arts shine brighter in times of crisis.”

This year, the college and Creative Lancashire joined up to host the Industry Award event.

Nominees are highlighted throughout the exhibition with the Creative Lancashire logo, and the three categories of awards are based on Blackpool School of Arts’ values of community, connectivity and process, as well as winners for the overall further education Student of the Year and higher education Student of the Year.

One of the virtual "rooms" showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students' work. Pic: Aaron TonksOne of the virtual “rooms” showcasing graduating Blackpool and the Fylde College students’ work. Pic: Aaron Tonks

Ed Matthews-Gentle from Creative Lancashire, and judge for the college’s Industry Awards, added: “It was a pleasure to be associated with the Blackpool School of Art Awards. Our panel of industry peers were incredibly impressed by all nominated students.

“Well done to the winners, and congratulations to all staff and students for navigating such a difficult year and still delivering such staggeringly impressive work.”

The REMOTE art exhibition can be viewed here.

 

Blackpool schools opt out of ‘One Britain One Nation’ singing amid Covid guidance confusion

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Blackpool school leaders have said their resort pupils won’t be joining in with the Government’s call for children to sing a patriotic song tomorrow, because singing “still isn’t allowed” in schools.

The Government is encouraging school children to sing a patriotic song which celebrates a “strong Britain great nation.”

The move is part of One Britain One Nation Day on Friday, June 25 – which is a government-backed campaign that aims to instil pride in Britain.

In a post on social media, the Department for Education said: “We’re encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect.”

The OBON website describes its vision as to “create a strong, fair, harmonious and a proud British Nation, celebrating patriotism and respect for all our people”.

But leaders in schools across the resort said their pupils will not be participating in the event, largely due to guidance set out by the Government itself about singing.

A spokesman for Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), one of the resort’s biggest trusts which runs schools including Montgomery Academy, Gateway Academy and Westcliff Primary Academy, said: “The answer is going to be no, largely because [they’ve] only just heard about it, and the other thing is, singing still isn’t allowed in schools.

“Assemblies haven’t been held for ages, so it’s not been approved as yet.”

One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won't be participating in OBON Day tomorrow - because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren't lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won’t be participating in OBON Day tomorrow – because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren’t lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Government guidance around singing in schools during the pandemic outlines the “additional risk” of singing in schools – but allows for music lessons to continue to take place.

It says: “There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments, dance or drama takes place. Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as choirs and ensembles, or assemblies unless significant space, natural airflow and strict social distancing and mitigation can be maintained.

“You should take particular care in music, dance and drama lessons to observe social distancing where possible. Additionally, you should keep any background or accompanying music to levels which do not encourage teachers or other performers to raise their voices unduly.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The department has not asked people to sing songs or endorsed any specific materials for One Britain One Nation day.”

But on June 3, it shared a Twitter post from One Britain One Nation, which said: “Inspiring a generation. Urging all schools to join us on 25th June for #OBONDAY2021 campaign supported by @educationgovuk to spread the message of #Pride #Unity #Love #Respect for all through a song composed by @StJohnsCE.”

The Musicians Union also advises music teachers to “avoiding singing, wind and brass playing in larger groups unless there is sufficient space and ventilation, or the activity can take place outdoors.”

Despite this, a promotional video for OBON Day showed children waving flags and singing the lyrics: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team.

“Our nation survived through many storms and many wars.”

The campaign was founded by retired police inspector Kash Singh, who said the concept was “born from my dream as a police officer” after coming to the UK as a six-year-old boy who “couldn’t speak a word of English”.

He said he set up the campaign in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 2013 after retiring from the police force in 2012.

But Anchorsholme Academy headteacher Graeme Dow said although the One Britain One Nation song was a “jolly little tune,” he was not aware of the campaign being promoted locally.

He added that despite calls for singing nationally, the Government still had not fully permitted the activity in schools.

Mr Dow said: “It has certainly not been promoted to schools locally, not that I am aware of. It is a jolly little tune and it is always lovely to hear children singing.

“As this is the first I have really heard about it, that would not be enough time for us to prepare the children to sing it. As such, we would not be able to take part, even if we were asked to do so (and nobody has asked us).

“I’m not sure how the government is expecting schools to sing when they haven’t as yet fully lifted the restrictions that have been placed on singing in schools.”

Moor Park Primary School pupils fundraising for special garden in memory of school worker

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Pupils and staff at a Bispham primary school are fundraising to create a memorial garden for a teaching support worker who lost her life to Covid.

 

Moor Park Primary School in Moor Park Avenue hopes to raise at least £4,000 for a new school garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood.

Mrs Strangwood, who was a one-to-one support worker and teaching assistant at Moor Park, died on November 28 last year at the age of 57, in Blackpool Victoria Hospital after a battle with coronavirus.

Her family described her as a “loving and devoted wife, mother and grandma who lit up the room with her contagious laugh.”

Moor Park Primary School in Bispham is raising money for a memorial garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood, who died of Covid last year.Moor Park Primary School in Bispham is raising money for a memorial garden in tribute to Cath Strangwood, who died of Covid last year.

Pupils are set to take part in a sponsored fun-run next week, to raise money for a new garden and outdoor reading area in Cath’s name.

Joanne Magson, headteacher at the school, said: “We’ve identified an area in our junior garden which we’d like to transform into a memorial garden for Mrs Strangwood.

“We got a few donations on the day of her funeral, so we’re going to put any money we received towards the garden.

“The children are currently working on designs for the garden, and we’re going to include Cath’s favourite plants and flowers.
Moor Park Primary School teaching assistant and support worker Cath Strangwood died after contracting Covid last year. Pupils hope to raise money to transform a section of their playground into a memorial garden in tribute to her.Moor Park Primary School teaching assistant and support worker Cath Strangwood died after contracting Covid last year. Pupils hope to raise money to transform a section of their playground into a memorial garden in tribute to her.

“One of the pupils came up with the idea of incorporating an outdoor reading area, and we’d like to put different plants in to attract insects as well.

“We’d like to get a garden designer involved with the process, and we’re hoping it can all be finished by next spring.”

The school is looking for someone to help them with the design of the garden – email them if you can help.Around £1200 has been raised through internal school funding so far – but you can donate towards the school’s next target of £1,000 here.

Blackpool schools opt out of ‘One Britain One Nation’ singing amid Covid guidance confusion

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool school leaders have said their resort pupils won’t be joining in with the Government’s call for children to sing a patriotic song tomorrow, because singing “still isn’t allowed” in schools.

 

The Government is encouraging school children to sing a patriotic song which celebrates a “strong Britain great nation.”

The move is part of One Britain One Nation Day on Friday, June 25 – which is a government-backed campaign that aims to instil pride in Britain.

In a post on social media, the Department for Education said: “We’re encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about our shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect.”

The OBON website describes its vision as to “create a strong, fair, harmonious and a proud British Nation, celebrating patriotism and respect for all our people”.

But leaders in schools across the resort said their pupils will not be participating in the event, largely due to guidance set out by the Government itself about singing.

A spokesman for Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), one of the resort’s biggest trusts which runs schools including Montgomery Academy, Gateway Academy and Westcliff Primary Academy, said: “The answer is going to be no, largely because [they’ve] only just heard about it, and the other thing is, singing still isn’t allowed in schools.

“Assemblies haven’t been held for ages, so it’s not been approved as yet.”

One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won't be participating in OBON Day tomorrow - because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren't lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)One Britain One Nation 2021: Blackpool school leaders say they won’t be participating in OBON Day tomorrow – because they were not told about it soon enough by the Department of Education, and singing restrictions still aren’t lifted in schools. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Government guidance around singing in schools during the pandemic outlines the “additional risk” of singing in schools – but allows for music lessons to continue to take place.

It says: “There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments, dance or drama takes place. Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as choirs and ensembles, or assemblies unless significant space, natural airflow and strict social distancing and mitigation can be maintained.

“You should take particular care in music, dance and drama lessons to observe social distancing where possible. Additionally, you should keep any background or accompanying music to levels which do not encourage teachers or other performers to raise their voices unduly.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The department has not asked people to sing songs or endorsed any specific materials for One Britain One Nation day.”

But on June 3, it shared a Twitter post from One Britain One Nation, which said: “Inspiring a generation. Urging all schools to join us on 25th June for #OBONDAY2021 campaign supported by @educationgovuk to spread the message of #Pride #Unity #Love #Respect for all through a song composed by @StJohnsCE.”

The Musicians Union also advises music teachers to “avoiding singing, wind and brass playing in larger groups unless there is sufficient space and ventilation, or the activity can take place outdoors.”

Despite this, a promotional video for OBON Day showed children waving flags and singing the lyrics: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team.

“Our nation survived through many storms and many wars.”

The campaign was founded by retired police inspector Kash Singh, who said the concept was “born from my dream as a police officer” after coming to the UK as a six-year-old boy who “couldn’t speak a word of English”.

He said he set up the campaign in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 2013 after retiring from the police force in 2012.

But Anchorsholme Academy headteacher Graeme Dow said although the One Britain One Nation song was a “jolly little tune,” he was not aware of the campaign being promoted locally.

He added that despite calls for singing nationally, the Government still had not fully permitted the activity in schools.

Mr Dow said: “It has certainly not been promoted to schools locally, not that I am aware of. It is a jolly little tune and it is always lovely to hear children singing.

“As this is the first I have really heard about it, that would not be enough time for us to prepare the children to sing it. As such, we would not be able to take part, even if we were asked to do so (and nobody has asked us).

“I’m not sure how the government is expecting schools to sing when they haven’t as yet fully lifted the restrictions that have been placed on singing in schools.”

Latest data indicates boost for Blackpool education

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The latest government figures show more than 80 per cent of pupils in Blackpool attend a school rated as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors.

 

The data from the Department of Education (DfE) shows 15,695 pupils attend one of these schools out of a total of 19,180 who attend a school which has been rated.

But 2,758 attend a school rated as ‘requires improvement’ and 727 a school deemed ‘inadequate’.

Blackpool is ranked in 117th place in a performance table, with the worst performing local authorities at the top of the table.

Most pupils in Blackpool attend highly rated schools

Most pupils in Blackpool attend highly rated schools

Education leaders say the figures reflect progress made by Blackpool’s Education Vision and Strategy 2020-30.

Frank Norris, chairman of Blackpool Education Improvement Board, said: “In the past we would have expected Blackpool to be near the top of a table showing the lowest proportion of children attending a good or outstanding school, but our 10-year strategy is beginning to have an impact.

“The town has benefited greatly from external intervention from the DfE and has been well supported by the Opportunity Area that has pumped in around £10m over a five-year period.

“We are seeing the schools collaborating and co-operating well and working together to improve the education outcomes for all the children of Blackpool.”

The research is intended to highlight areas with the low proportions of pupils attending Ofsted rated ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools so additional support can be offered, but Blackpool is not deemed to fall into this category.

The Education Vision is the result of a joint effort from Blackpool Council and the partners within the Blackpool Education Improvement Board (BEIB) with priorities including improving standards of literacy and promoting inclusive practice.

The Blackpool School Improvement Board (now the Blackpool Education Improvement Board), was developed in 2015 to improve outcomes for all children and young people.

Coun Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council cabinet member for children’s social care and schools, said: “The results from this update from DfE illustrate just how hard everyone in our schools’ community is working to bring about long-lasting change to the education system.

“The perceptions of Blackpool schools and the quality of the education that they receive are changing.”

Government school performance data shows Blackpool currently has six schools or colleges rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – Blackpool and the Fylde College, Blackpool Sixth Form, St Nicholas Primary School, Highfurlong School, Layton Primary School and Park Community Academy, plus 32 rated as ‘good’.

Blackpool Aspire Academy pupils work on new conservation projects to restore wildlife

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Pupils at a Blackpool secondary school have been taking part in conservation workshops to help wildlife thrive in the community.

 

The first workshop held at Aspire Academy in Blackpool Old Road taught pupils how to make bird boxes, in a bid to attract more feathered friends to the school grounds.

Working in conjunction with The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the activity was the first time some of the younger pupils had used DIY tools, and they were responsible for installing the boxes around the grounds.

Peggy Plancke, science and languages teacher, said: “The aim of the first conservation project is to restore and recreate a wildlife-rich space on the vast school grounds on Blackpool Old Road by working in partnership with neighbouring communities, wildlife and conservation organisations.

Teacher Peggy Plancke with Murray Woodward from BASC, helping year eight pupils from Aspire Academy to build bird boxes. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Pupils have also been invited to support Lancashire Wildlife Trust with its Fylde Sand Dunes Project.

The project, a partnership between The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, Fylde Council and Blackpool Council, aims to preserve the dunes, improve them as a sea defence feature, and safeguard the UK’s rarest sand lizard species.

Miss Plancke continued: “Blackpool Aspire Academy has been offered a chance to participate in the project and will start the work at the beginning of July.

aspire Academy pupils Natasha Dyson and Jennifer Crombie work on building bird boxes for the school grounds. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

aspire Academy pupils Natasha Dyson and Jennifer Crombie work on building bird boxes for the school grounds. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

“At this time of year, the pupils will be undertaking two main conservation tasks – creating dune slacks and planting dune grasses.

“Vegetation is essential on our dunes as it reduces the amount of bare sand that can be lost from the system. Vegetation roots trap and anchor sand particles in place to encourage dune growth.”

John Topping from Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs the school, said: “It is very pleasing to see groups of Aspire Academy students and staff actively enjoying projects that support conservation and environmental learning.

“We are grateful for the after-school support of Murray Woodward from BASC who has brought to Aspire a high level of conservation-related expertise and knowledge.

Murray Woodward from BASC helps pupils at Aspire Academy make bird boxes to encourage birds to visit the school grounds. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaMurray Woodward from BASC helps pupils at Aspire Academy make bird boxes to encourage birds to visit the school grounds. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

“These creative bird box projects connect our youngsters to the world around us, that is made up of both natural and built environments. I am hoping that we can have more creative workshops such as this across our Fylde Coast Academy Trust.”