Five lucky local primary schools are celebrating a cash boost of £3000 each thanks to being selected as winners of the M6toll Midland Expressway Schools Foundation awards for 2016/17.

The scheme, now in its third year, invites primary schools within a five-mile radius of the M6toll road to submit applications for the funding of a school project or initiative. The entrants are then judged by the Schools Foundation Panel which chooses five winners.

Colin Mabey, IT and Systems Director at Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) who visited each of the schools to present their cheques, said: “The entrants this year were of an especially high standard and a variety of fascinating projects. Our five winners have great plans for the money which will undoubtedly enrich the school experience for many children”.

Millfield Primary School, in Brownhills, has earmarked its £3000 grant towards the purchase of camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags and cooking utensils. Head Teacher, Michelle Sheehy, said: “We use land and water-based residential experiences to give the children new perspectives and a real sense of adventure.”

Whittington Primary School is also experiencing the great outdoors with a Mongolian Yurt for their Woodland Adventure Base - part of their ‘Forest School Initiative’. Head Teacher, Sally Wilmot, said: “Our pupils want to say a very big thank you to Midland Expressway for helping us to provide a Mongolian yurt in our nature area in the school grounds. It is an awe inspiring learning space which all our pupils will be able to use throughout the year. It will also be the centre for our forest school activities and will be used as the base for our ‘HMS Heroes’ Club. This club will meet regularly to provide support and activities for the children of service personnel. Our pupils can’t wait to start using this fantastic facility.”

Chase Terrace Primary School in Burntwood will see its money transformed into a large, imaginative, wooden play ship which will become the centrepiece of the school playground. “Since receiving the news that we have won the Midland Expressway Primary School Scheme everyone here at Chase Terrace Primary School has been ecstatic. The funding will enable us to have a custom-built ship in our outdoor area which will focus upon the key areas of learning and allow the children to learn through play. The ship will enable topics and themes to come to life outside the classroom. We are all so grateful for this great opportunity and can’t wait for the children to start their journey to success with the new equipment.” said Head Teacher, Gordon McBurnie.

Two schools in Great Wyrley are also grant recipients. Landywood Primary School, which will be able to invest in ipads for their ‘digital discovery’ lessons and St Thomas More Catholic School where a healthy eating initiative has been rewarded with money to spend on three mobile kitchen units, complete with equipment.

Landywood Head Teacher, Mr Clewer, commented: “"The funding from the M6toll will make a huge difference at Landywood to our pupils.  I-Pads will enable ICT to be integrated into lessons and into the children's learning to make our curriculum even more exciting and engaging.  On behalf of everyone at the school I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for this funding and for creating this opportunity."

Trish Johnson, Head Teacher at St Thomas More, added: “We are thrilled and delighted that we were successful in our bid for funding from the M6toll foundation. The year 4/5 class (The Dolphins) were the driving force behind the bid as they had the original idea. We will be using the money as part of our Healthy Lifestyles initiative, where the children are taught about all the elements that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Currently the children take part in the 1k a day challenge, where every class, every day completes the challenge on a marked out track on the playground.”

Andy Pearson, CEO of Midland Expressway Limited, said: “Each year our Schools Foundation Scheme goes from strength-to-strength as we are able to invest in the futures of local, young people. Visiting each of the schools shows us that every penny is being well spent on things to which the children simply would not have access. The energy of the children is inspiring because we can see how much they are embracing the school projects and indeed how much input they have given to the ideas.”