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Posted on: November 27th 2020

CGS Outstanding Outdoors Localgiving Appeal

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As you will be aware, we have had to make significant changes to how we operate the school on a day to day basis in order to ensure that we keep everyone in the school community as safe as possible. One of the changes we have had to make is to zone our social spaces at break and lunchtimes in order to keep year groups in separate ‘bubbles’ as far as possible. Over the summer, in preparation for this, we were able to make an initial investment and pave new areas to provide more space for students, as well as buying some outdoor seating through the Development Fund.

However, now in November and having spoken recently with groups of students, it’s clear that in order to meet their needs we require much more all-weather, covered seating. Unless it is raining heavily, students are outside at break and lunchtime. We know that at present, this is the safest place for them to be and we would dearly love to be able to offer them nice places to sit, eat their lunch and talk to friends.

Our main school budget, already tight, has been further stretched by the significant additional costs associated with making the changes and implementing the measures necessary to ensure the school is Covid safe, none of which have been funded by the government. We are, therefore, simply unable to fund the additional covered seating our students want so I am writing to ask parents if you are willing to help in any way. Conversations with students have helped us to create a wish list:

  • 20 additional picnic tables (£160 each) and 10 benches (£120 each)
  • Canopy cover over the newly paved area outside maths
  • 3 large free-standing ‘sail’ umbrellas to cover other seating areas
  • A second food servery pod, between maths and tennis courts
  • Flexible additional seating for Sixth Formers

Additional canopy costs range from £8,000 for each large ‘sail’ umbrella to £27,000 for a full canopy. The canopy we installed in the quad last year, paid for by the Friends of CGS and the Development Fund, has been a real ‘hit’ with the students and is always a very busy place; it has become a focal point of the school. A second food servery pod is our longer-term aim at a cost of around £50,000. This will help to further ease congestion in the dining room which was built at a time when the school had around 850 students; it now has over 1300! The Friends of CGS are supporting this appeal with a matching donation of £6,250 and fundraising through their events.

Our appeal has launched and you can donate now via https://localgiving.org/CGS_Outside. If you would prefer to set up a regular monthly donation to support this appeal and longer-term projects, please visit https://bit.ly/3lZ5WYK on our website. For any further information, please contact martha.ware@cheshamgrammar.org.

I would like to thank all our parents for your support in so many ways especially during the pandemic. I would also like to emphasise particularly in the current circumstances that we understand that financial support may not be possible for many families and that any donation is entirely voluntary. Lastly, I would also like to thank our fantastic Friends of CGS for fundraising for this wish list which will make such a huge difference to CGS students throughout the rest of the year and in years to come.

Best wishes,

Annmarie McNaney
Headteacher

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