Pupils at county school given music boost thanks to Star's Cash For Schools competition

Our Cash For Schools competition is back for 2023 with pupils and teachers across Shropshire being given the chance to win a share of £12,000

Last year one of the winners of our competition was Clunbury Church of England (Aided) Primary School, which spent their money on a music amplifier for concerts and other performances.

The school was presented with £1,000 and lead teacher Kathryn Jones said they decided to use the money to invest in the arts.

“We work closely with Ian Bennett who is part of the Shropshire Music Service and so our children are very musical and enjoy performing,” she said.

“I wanted to buy an amp as we struggle to perform in our local community because there is never a good enough sound system! The children’s confidence had been affected during Covid due to the fact we had to stop all performances. We wanted to get that community feeling back and the amp has helped us do that – it has been amazing.”

“Thanks to the amp we were able to take over 60 children from Clunbury and our Federation schools Newcastle and Bucknell, to perform at the Bishop’s Castle lights switch-on. We also took part in the Jubilee celebrations in the summer when the children sang to over 200 people. We’ve also used the amp at Ludlow Food Centre, St Swithun’s Church in Clunbury and the Clunbury Village Hall café. Instead of the children having to shout, they can now be heard clearly – it closes the gap between us and the audience. The feedback we’ve had from our audiences have been fabulous.”

The sponsors of this year’s Cash For Schools competition are Enterprise-Flex-E-Rent who are keen to hear what schools would spend the money on.

Kathryn said: “At Clunbury CE Primary School we have 54 pupils on roll and we don’t usually enter competitions as we can’t compete with the larger schools. However, with Cash For Schools everyone is given a chance and the children were so excited when they found out we had won a prize.

“The money has made a phenomenal difference by giving us the money for the amp. It’s lovely to hear the children singing solos and coming out of their comfort zone. It’s been great for their mental health hearing people tell them how great they are and being able to use music creatively.”

Martin Wright, editor-in-chief at the Shropshire Star, said it was great to hear the schools had benefited so much from their Cash For Schools win. “We were thrilled to hear that Clunbury CE Primary School had used the money to buy a music amplifier. Because the school is now able to take its music out to groups and local venues it shows how a whole community can benefit from our Cash For Schools competition," he said.

“The Cash For Schools competition is a brilliant way for schools to have an injection of cash that allows them to buy items, and fund initiatives and projects that make a big difference. Our competition is popular with a range of schools because it’s based on the schools that have collected the most tokens per pupil – so smaller schools have the same chance as larger ones. It’s fantastic to

hear about how pupils, teachers and the community in Clunbury are now enjoying musical performances thanks to the school’s win.”

To be in with a chance of winning don’t forget to register your school by Friday, February 10.

All participating schools will be featured in the Shropshire Star on Wednesday, March 1, along with the first token.

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