Sgoil an Rubha has been awarded a grant of £5,000 a year for five years from Point and Sandwick Trust to help with the cost of their primary seven class trip – to boost social inclusion by removing the affordability barriers faced by some families.
The new grant award has also meant that families were able to receive a partial refund on their contributions for this year’s primary seven class trip to Fairbairn Activity Centre in Muir of Ord.
The class trip to Fairbairn took place from May 8 to 10, with children able to choose from a range of outdoor activities including paintball, mountain biking, aerial runway, lazertag and raft building.
Sgoil an Rubha have been going to Fairbairn for their annual P7 trip for a number of years, and always finish off with a few hours in Inverness.
Principal teacher Anne Macphail said it was fantastic to be able to give the parents some of their money back on this year’s trip – and that the annual grant would be a massive help in the future.
She said: “We do still want the parents to make a contribution and we will still be fundraising for the trip, with our Soup and Puddings, our triathlon and other events. But this grant will take a lot of pressure off the bills that we have to pay and parents will be asked to contribute a lot less.
“It’s amazing that we are able to give some money back to parents as it can be costly, so we wanted to call all the parents in to a meeting to tell them. I think it’s really important that the parents know that Point and Sandwick Trust have done this for the children of Sgoil an Rubha, Point.
“The grant will have a huge impact, as it takes the pressure off parents of P7 pupils who spend a lot on fundraising. The parents are the ones baking and buying the raffle tickets – it all adds up.”
Anne said the Fairbairn trip was a great experience for the pupils and helped them develop the ‘Four Capacities’, the aspiration under Curriculum for Excellence that all young people should become effective contributors, successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens.
“We want our pupils to reach these four capacities and on this trip they’re learning new skills all the time. They are learning social and life skills, like team building, and building their own self-esteem and confidence. Plus, it’s outdoor learning which the pupils loved and they fully engaged in all the activities.
“The trip underpins positive memories of their school time in Point and contributes to their own lifelong understanding of school, local identity and sense of community.”
Anne added the grant was “a huge partnership” between Point and Sandwick Trust and the parents of Sgoil an Rubha.
“They are doing this to help the pupils and they’re helping the parents and they’re helping the school. I’m absolutely over the moon for parents because, as costs rise, this is a fantastic opportunity for the pupils. It means they all have the chance to take part.
“This fund will help to defray costs. It’s promoting equality and facilitating community cohesion – because sometimes barriers are not obvious.”
Donald John MacSween, General Manager of Point and Sandwick Trust, said: “This grant is to boost social inclusion because there could be an issue with some parents struggling with the costs of these trips, especially one-parent families or parents with several children. This is designed to level it all out and make it much cheaper for them.
“Point and Sandwick Trust have supported Sgoil an Rubha on a number of occasions, from grants for Lego Play Therapy to helping raise the money for a disability bike. We are very pleased to again help the teachers in the school who provide a great service to all their pupils and are pleased to have been able to make this grant for five years, which will help the school to plan ahead.
“The Sgoil an Rubha P7 trips sounds like a very enjoyable and formative experience and we are happy to help with the costs of it, so that families don’t come under too much pressure in having to find the money for it. Point and Sandwick Trust is happy to plug gaps like this wherever we can and will continue to support Sgoil an Rubha, our young people and their families.”