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The 120 Challenge

The 120 Challenge – June 2020

When the John Roan School opened its doors to the first 16 boys in 1677, its mission was to provide an education for the children of Greenwich. Over almost 350 years, the school has moved site several times, seen its students fight in two World Wars, welcomed girls, expanded to over 1100 students, and is now withstanding the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.

Throughout all this, the mission of John Roan has remained steadfast. The John Roan School is, as it always has been, committed to the welfare of all in our local community and to providing a great education to the children of this area.

This central ethos is why we have launched the 120 Challenge, a large-scale fundraiser that is helping our local community by providing laptops to households struggling to access remote online learning. Having launched just over two weeks ago, we have been able to reach over 65% of our target: £9,350 of our ambitious £14,400 target.

With this money, we have already purchased and are rolling out 80 laptops to our students to help them get the most out of their education at this difficult time. These laptops will enable students to take full advantage of the online resources that are available to them, and to the online teaching that we hope will form a core part of our teaching over the coming months. 

Longer term, these laptops will make such a huge contribution to our school provision: there will be enough that whole classes might be able to use them for particular lessons, for individuals who need to use a laptop in lessons, for access arrangements during exams and for short term loans to students for project work or course work.

We have, of course, applied for computers through the government scheme for those students who fit that criteria. However, it is clear that there are many students across all years in the school who would benefit from having a laptop at home. The fundraiser has also crucially allowed us to act quickly, and to purchase and provide IT equipment now, at the time when agility and adaptability is most critical.

We are incredibly fortunate to be supported by both United Learning and The John Roan Foundation in our endeavour. United Learning are match funding the purchase of Chromebooks, allowing us to purchase a new device for every £120 of money fundraised. Furthermore, the Foundation has agreed to match our fundraising, which will provide us with a possible 120 further laptops on top of those already purchased by the school.

It says a great deal about our community that at a time of immense challenge, our staff and families have come together to support our young people with such dynamism and enthusiasm. From composing new pieces on the piano, to hula hooping 120 rotations consecutively, letting your teenage daughter cut your hair, running 120 km as a department over 12 days, running 120 miles in a month singlehandedly and painting 120 portraits in a month, the 120 Challenge has made us enormously proud of our community. This challenge has opened all of our eyes to the talent and passion that surrounds us and brought us together in a virtual way for a common purpose at a time when we are physically dispersed and isolated.

If you feel able to support this campaign – the 120 Challenge – please get in touch with us. For just £120 we can currently secure one Chromebook for the students.  We would love to have enough to ensure that every student has good access to the technology they need, both in this time of crisis, and once back in school, to go forward in life as proud, independent learners.

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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