I am pleased to announce that Sholing Junior School have won a new Mini-Bus worth over £30,000! Two boys’ vivid imaginations have won their school a Transit minibus in a national design competition run by the Ford of Britain Trust.
Fabian and Jacob at Sholing Junior School in Southampton trumped many other schools’ artistic endeavours with their colourful winged car, in a contest which encouraged children to explore ‘transport for the future’.
Their design drawing of ‘The Experience FJ’, along with their headteacher’s account of how the bus would benefit his pupils, won the judges’ hearts – and won their school a brand-new 17-seater bus. The two young artists, now in year 5, were invited to choose the bus’s colour: Moondust Silver.
The bus, presented to the school in September, was immediately pressed into service for two consecutive weeks on residential trips, one in Dorset and one in France. It is fitted with a tow bar and tachograph – compulsory for travel in many European nations – making foreign trips much easier for the school.
Extra-curricular activities are key to the school’s vision and Headteacher Marc Parnell is delighted that the bus will broaden the range of activities on offer to the 240 children in his care.
“A lot of our children wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to explore the local area,” says Marc. “We try to get the children out and about as much as possible because I believe learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. It’s all very well showing things on an interactive whiteboard, but it’s not the same as seeing or touching it for yourself.”
The bus will also be made available to several other local schools in its ‘cluster’, including the infant and senior schools nearby.
The school heard about the competition through Steve Hartnell-Parker, Senior Engineer in Paint at the Southampton assembly plant, whose daughter, Ellie, attended Sholing Junior until recently.
“As soon as you go into the school, you feel the enthusiasm of the teachers – it just grabs you,” says Steve, whose wife, Joanne, works at Sholing Infant School. “I saw the email about the competition at work and just passed it on to Marc. I signed the school’s application form and the next I heard was when the Trust phoned me up to say they’d won. It’s a brilliant school and the children absolutely love it.”
To be published in the Ford magazine