How The Project Began
The long endured closure of schools, courtesy of COVID-19, has had a detrimental effect on pupils' education. Our immediate response was to launch our Free Online 6 Week Summer School which was highly subscribed and successful in keeping students occupied. However, discussions with local parents, teachers, and community members after this, regarding new damage that would be caused in the first term back at school, prompted us to launch a new project with the intention to now help students continue to catch up alongside their peers. As this is such an important issue that needs to be addressed, we needed to have access to as many resources and as much manpower as possible. We started to look and apply for the right grant to support the project, and the right one we found indeed. The Community Catch Up Scheme, was kindly made possible by funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, and gave us the much needed and greatly appreciated help to tackle and supplement some education lost due to the Covid-19 Lockdown.
After this checkpoint, granted by National Lottery, we began to put the project into action. Contacting volunteers to teach all curriculum and core subjects, specifying and creating sessions catered to different age groups, and also planning these in conjunction with school times; to say the least, has and continues to be demanding, but the rewards for the students are immediately visible. The incredible work from volunteers and teachers got this project off to a promising start.
Up until September 2020, schools in the UK were shut for over 5 months due to the pandemic, if you do the math, it’s nearly half of their school year (190 days) lost. This created an immense gap in education. With not only learning time halted but teaching methods, support and exam grades and results being calculated by teachers in place of formal exams, and
there will be a continued effect on children's learning
Right now, what children need is support and aid in their academic education. Even though this loss affects all students, there is a percentage of student’s who will not have access to resources and additional education to help reverse this effect of the pandemic or limit it.. This was especially important to us, as we truly believe in supporting our community as a whole and making sure every child, whatever their situation, have their chance, their right to an education and a chance to progress with their peers. To support the students who are facing the hardest impact, all sessions were FREE, with the age ranging for students 3-18, and took place daily after school hours and online as we had no access to in-person settings
All children need support and aid in their academic education, but there are not enough materials which are easily accessible and available, which leaves a lot of uncertainty and anxiety surrounding for students and families regarding their future. And so, not only do grades often suffer, their mental wellness will too.
This is equally as important, if not more important of an issue at hand.
The project, which went live on the 14th of September, saw a warm welcome from students both from our Summer School continuing on and from new arrivals. With subjects including English, Maths, Science, History, Business and Spanish and more, for all various age groups, receiving friendly and thankful audiences. We knew that the project is incredibly needed more than ever to increase attainment and so this immediate take up was inspiring.
The sessions have been so enjoyable to watch, particularly so that students were now more adapted to online learning and had learnt how to become more confident with this method of learning.
See pictures of the sessions in action below.
Statistics, Socials and Press
Through all of our Covid-19 educational support and the projects we do, our goal is to create community integration and increase community support. And so, we were delighted to be featured in Ealing Nub news about the ongoing work and to share the details of the Community Catch Up Scheme - which helped us reach many more families.
An Ealing charity has been able to support over 2,300 children with supplementary education to counter the negative impact of school closures as a result of the coronavirus. The Znaniye Foundation, a charity that was originally set up in Ealing, but now covers all of London’s boroughs was set up in 2003.
Serena Butler, Logistics Co-Ordinator for the Znaniye Foundation spoke to Nub News and described their work as: “We work to support young people to reach their potential, to encourage their self-expression, and to build social interaction and community integration in safe, friendly and stimulating environments.”
Over a period of six weeks during the summer holidays, the charity was able to carry out a total of 166 classes via Zoom on a variety of lessons, life skills and creative masterclasses, as part of its online summer school, with the vast majority of teachers also being from Ealing.
Following on from its tremendous success and overwhelming response, the Foundation has also launched the ‘Community Catch Up Scheme’ that runs until December, which supports students learning in their first term back at school following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Open to children from as young as three, all the way up to 18, the Znaniye Foundation focuses primarily on families from low-income backgrounds.
“We describe our work as ‘For the Community, By the Community’ with our volunteers being from the local area, with experience of the issues we are trying to tackle,” added Butler.
Want to Get Involved?
With the effects of the pandemic due to have long term consequences, we have made sure that the Community Catch Up Scheme will run for a substantial amount of time, in order to have the most beneficial effect on the educational attainment of students, but there will need to be more next year.
This will mean that we will constantly be in need of volunteers and help from people within our community - if this is something you are interested in, please click here to find out how you can get involved!
If you cannot get involved this way or you do not have the time, you are more than welcome to donate a little towards the charity and the constant work we will be doing, in order to combat the education gap that the pandemic has worsened. See below the link and details of ways to contribute:
ZNANIYE FOUNDATION CHARITY BANK DETAILS:
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 30049691
SORT CODE: 23-05-80