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Early in the 1900s, ‘Ferndale’ was originally a separate infant and junior school. Due to the expansion and development of Swindon, the school combined as an infant school in a new site on Ferndale Road. Just before the Second World War new buildings were added to the school, and in 1946 the school was reorganised once again as separate infants and junior schools. The junior school was extended in 2005 and in 2008 the schools merged to form Ferndale Community Primary School.

Ferndale is now a 2 form entry primary school with a capacity to take up to 420 children, 60 in each year group. The school has 14 classes, 2 in the Foundation Stage, 4 in KS1 and 8 in KS2. The school offers a rich and diverse curriculum where children get opportunities to explore exciting topics.

A key feature of the school is having a wooded area in its ‘backyard’, in which the school runs its own ‘Forest School’ program. Here staff run survival days where the children are ’shipwrecked’ in our school grounds and had to spend the day collecting wood for the fire, building their shelters and cooking their own food.

The Requirement

Over the years, the school’s infrastructure has had to keep pace with increases in establishment. One important area of basic school administration is ensuing that areas for children’s personal belongings are provided and that these are kept clean and tidy, free from trip hazards, compliant with health & safety and fire regulations. Like many primary schools, Ferndale used a system of pegs and shelving to accommodate their children’s belongings. Inevitably, with a large number of active children, their coats, shoes, boots and lunch boxes are routinely left on the floor within designated storage areas. As the school has the advantage of its ForestSchool within the grounds, the muddy ‘welly-boot’ problem from ‘forest’ to school corridors is a constant issue in respect of cleanliness and boot storage.

Alongside the general untidiness and chaos of the current ‘peg and shelf’ areas, this system of storage led to a large lost property collection and disgruntled parents having to replace their children’s lost personal items. Additionally, the amount of time teaching staff are required to spend searching for missing personal items and clearing up areas was misspent and could have be directed more productively elsewhere.

Pegs v Lockers Competition

Keen to tidy up the corridors and reduce the issues that coat peg storage was presenting, the school’s teaching staff researched locker manufacturers online to find a way of financing a number of lockers. Whilst doing so they came across the company’s Pegs v Lockers Competition viathe school lockers Twitter feed: @SchoolLockersUK on the Link 51 Lockers website. With nothing to lose, Liz Horrobin, Assistant Headteacher, entered the school into the competition; to their delight the school won £2000 towards a locker installation. ”Ferndale Primary School was thrilled to have won the Pegs v Lockers school competition. Like many other schools we struggle with the amount of coats, scarfs, boots etc., that we need to accommodate and using pegs and shelves is insufficient for a large school such as ours,” said Liz.

“We spend a great deal of time trying to find children’s belongings when teaching staff could be concentrating on other important issues. We have also become increasingly concerned about health & safety, so being able to provide lockers is wonderful news!

“Having lockers will also mean that pupils are able to utilise our fantastic Forest School more often as we will have tidy storage for their wellies. Having the woodland just outside is a real asset to Ferndale Primary and we would be thrilled to see the pupils enjoying it more,” she added.

The Solution

Link 51 Lockers visited the school ahead of the summer holidays to conduct an initial  survey and plan out the locker arrangement to ensure the available space is maximised. During the summer break 60 half-height two door lockers, featuring an oval hasp and staple lock were installed by Link 51 Lockers, providing lockers for two Year 5 classes and one Year 4 class. The ongoing benefits of the lockers have included:

  • An overall reduction in trip hazards throughout the corridors and improvements to general health and fire safety.
  • An overall reduction in lost property. Parents are reassured that the child’s possession are being safeguarded.
  • Quicker, smoother and more efficient to get children from A to B.
  • The lockers improve the visual impact of the school, i.e. much smarter.
  • Children take pride in their lockers and look after them.
  • Muddy wellingtons from the Forest School can be stored in the lockers rather than left in corridors.
  • All lockers come with Biocote® anti-microbial powder coating as standard which reduces the levels of harmful bacteria on contact surfaces by 99.9%.

“Having the lockers has made a huge difference to the way we operate as a school. Without having the unsightly mass of items of clothing and bags everywhere, we are able to function with more efficiency and spend less time trying to locate personal possessions, or picking things up! When the budget allows, we intend to have lockers for all our children.” –  Liz Horrobin, Assistant Headteacher, Ferndale Community Primary School

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