Primary pupils’ playground improvements earn them a Changemaker award

News Page 17th November 2015

​​Pupils at Thorplands Primary School have been recognised for making a positive change with a prestigious Changemaker award.

The school was the first in Northamptonshire to successfully be assessed for the University of Northampton’s Changemaker Student Awards.

The Changemaker Student Awards form part of the University’s commitment as an Askoka U Changemaker Campus to work with, celebrate and actively engage local schoolchildren in social change. The award aims to recognise, celebrate and build children’s skills as Changemakers through innovative self-designed projects in their schools and the wider community.

The programme consists of three progressive levels; Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, which lead to a Changemaker Student Award.

Last year the school was handed the Ruby award for raising funds and organising events to celebrate its 40thanniversary.

And now the pupils are the proud recipients of an Emerald Award, after fundraising for a play tower in the school grounds.

Members of the school’s forum were presented with the award by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Nick Petford, at a special ceremony on Friday 13 November.

Sophie Moore, Assistant Headteacher at Thorplands, said: “The children managed to raise around £4,000 to pay for the play tower by holding a series of fundraising events, including jumble and craft sales, a 2p trail and also writing letters appealing for donations.

“The school forum also selected a number of designs for the tower, before asking each class to vote for their favourite, which gave them real experience of the democratic process.”

Jane Badger, Head of Schools Engagement (UCEE) at the University of Northampton said: “It has been a real privilege to see the children at Thorplands being active Changemakers. To raise such an amazing amount of money, and co-ordinate the transformation of their playground, is an incredible feat and they should be very proud of what they have achieved.”

The pupils’ fundraising effort was boosted by donations from Weston Favell Shopping Centre and Cllr Dennis Meredith, from Northampton Borough Council.

The Changemaker Student Awards are open to all schools and colleges. For further information please email:

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