Monday 11th July 2022

Reception and year one children at a Rugby primary school are able to explore the world in books, thanks to a generous donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

The £850 has helped pay for hundreds of new books for youngsters at St Matthew’s Bloxam C of E Primary School in Webb Ellis Road.

Lisa Beniston, Early Years Leader at the school, said the donation, which was put together with more money from school funds, enabled her to enhance the quality of reading lessons, bringing them more in line with modern-day teaching methods.

She said: “The way we teach reading has changed and the new books will enable children to use their phonics skills and decode by themselves.

“There is a real range including non fiction and Alien Adventure books, but they are all high quality and attractive. The children love them and are very engaged with them. They all arrived in one big box and the children were there at the time – I think they thought it was Christmas!”

The children are studying the books on a one-to-one basis with Lisa, as well as with a partner and in small groups.

Lisa added: “We have 30 children in each class and the books will be used by some 60 children a year for many years to come. The donation was excellent as it meant we could choose a whole chunk of books in one go rather than just a handful at a time.

“We’d like to say thank you to the Society as it’s made such a difference with us buying the books a lot sooner than we thought we’d be able to.”

The school was one of eight worthy causes in and around Rugby to receive a share of £2,800 in the latest round of donations from the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Helping Hearts Awards Scheme.

Other charities and worthy causes in the area to receive a share of the cash include the 1st Rugby Boys Brigade, who received £500 to help towards its summer camps, the Friends of Dunchurch Society, which was awarded £350 for the purchase of wheelbarrows for its gardening project, and St Matthew and St Oswald’s Church, which received £250 towards the running of its Connections Club.

HEART Community Group was awarded £250 towards sports sessions, Art In Dunchurch received £250 towards its summer art weeks, Guardians of Winswick was pledged £250 towards a time capsule for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and Abacus Pre-School received £100 towards its Easter egg hunt.