LUMINOUS space hoppers helped children at Brookwood Primary School scoop a cash prize worth £1,500 after their innovative use of the bouncing blobs caught the judges’ attention in a nationwide competition.
More than 22,000 schools in the UK were invited by Jaffa Fruit to incorporate the brightly-coloured balls into their learning experience in a manner that encouraged healthy living.
But it was Class G’s unique Jumping Jaffas Fun Club – a lunchtime club that helps minimise bullying by encouraging younger pupils to join in the space hopper-powered games – that wowed the judging panel which included representatives from Tesco, MMUK and MTEX.
The panel explained it was the multiple facets of Brookwood’s entry that set them apart from the rest of the field.
A giant cheque was presented to the school by Marius du Plessis, general manager of Mehadrin, which owns the Jaffa brand, at a special assembly last Thursday.
Teacher Rob Turner, who submitted the entry, said encouraging children to work together in projects such as this ‘help build self-esteem and community togetherness’.
He added: “We’ve done a great deal to our outside play area lately and we’ve been doing lots of things to help raise money to maximise our active learning.
“It all feeds back to the notion of living healthily and getting children more active but mainly in our school it’s about helping kids interact in fun ways.
“All of our projects have been about children from different backgrounds being able to play together – lots of things have come out of the space hoppers.
“I didn’t know there were 22,000 schools invited – it makes it even more brilliant.”
Headteacher Jo Green revealed the prize money would be used to reapply the playground’s tired markings.
The award is just the latest coup for the Connaught Road school after it received funding to revamp an ageing playground with an adventure zone, climbing equipment, a peace-and-quiet area and an ampitheatre.