Jamie's now a BBC Radio Star

Written by Terry Kemp on .

This week you will be able to hear an interview with Jamie and his Mum on the BBC Wiltshire The Graham Seaman Show.

Graham had heard of the fundraising work that Jamie had set himself and wanted the opportunity to interview him. It was prerecorded to suit all our timetables but it was a great experience for everyone ! 

IMG 6792 Jamie got to choose his favourite record too ! AND introduced it like a true professional.



Two Rowdeford Supporters and Fundraisers meet

Written by Terry Kemp on .

IMG 6741Today saw the meeting of two Rowdeford Outdoor Learning Centre Supporters and Fundraisers. Gareth John, Chairman of the Wiltshire Branch of The Wooden Spoon Trust met  Jamie Rowcliffe who is busy leading up his own appeal for the Centre.

During the course of 2015 and 2016 the Wooden Spoon Trust has been activally fundraising for the project. Gareth was on a visit to the school, to talk about progress. Whilst there he was introduced to Jamie who proudly informed him that he had reached his target of £1000 and was now going for £10,000.

Two positive fundraisers from two different generations but with one objective - Who could refuse them?

A Rowdeford fundraiser's review of 2015

Written by Terry Kemp on .

It’s this time of year that we get around to writing our thankyou letters (or maybe emails) This Blog post is, in some way, a big thankyou letter to so many people who have been involved with the Outdoor Learning Centre Project during 2015. We have still a way to go in raising the funds we want but the start has been encouraging, thanks to so many people.

Sale of Books brings generous donation

Written by Terry Kemp on .

The Trustees are all busy in working to achieve the substantual target of raising £420,000 for the Outdoor Learning Centre Project.  They are therefore very grateful for the very generous gift of £5110 that was received this week from the Addington family from the sale of books. We are so lucky that the school has such generous friends. 

With this gift, grants already received as well as pledges to date we are 25% there. A tremendous start! 

The children add their voices to our appeal

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Our Outdoor Learning Centre Project is for the school, the children and the many others we wish to share it with. We wanted so much for the children to tell the everyone what we want and thought a video could do that.

I think you will agree they put it across a lot better than you or I could!

 JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

A day in the life as a Rowdeford film director ?

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Behind the scenes of any fundraising campaign there is a lot of planning, networking, decision making, research, form filling in, letter writing and especially positive thinking. The Rowdeford Outdoor Learning Centre Fundraising strategy is no different.

Within our plans there were a variety of actions including the updating of our website as well undertaking the production of a short video letting our Rowdeford children show us the benefits of learning outside the classroom. This week we did this and I had the job of being the Rowdeford School film director. A tough task, for our players were the pupils and once they knew what was going on they were all stars! 

So what was required?

First and foremost a professional producer and cameraman . We can all take photos and home movies but for quality we needed a professional producer and cameraman.

Wattle and Dorb

 Step forward Alan Shellard and Nigel Butler. Great and patient  guys bearing in mind the demands of the director (me) and our huge cast of a Rowdeford actors.  Next requirement was a script. This was down to us. The film is to sell our project and what we want to raise money for and how much, so that was how the script was written.  Next there was the need for music and narrator. You will know from our previous blog that the latter was achieved with the recruitment of Jamie.

Finally we needed the sun to shine. Alan our producer was firm in his view, "We need sunshine!" 

Getting the right ingredients

Thursday this week it all came together.Throughout the day we worked around the woodlands observing and filming the lessons and the children. The sun shone for us and we were able to capture an enormous amount of of material. However there was another important 'ingredient' that really made it all happen. Rowdeford School's Shelly Meadows who was always there when I as a petulant amateur film director demanded so much and so often!  Actually she was always one step ahead of me so I never had to demand anything. (if a dared too that is !)

Let there be music!

 The issue of music and what to use was to me the biggest problem to address. There are a lot of copyright free recordings you can use over this type of film. However I did not think any would work for us.


To our surprise though we discovered that at the end of the school day the school choir were to practice their harvest festival song and we were welcome to use it!  So we set up our camera and microphone and frankly we were 'blown away'!  The song is really terrific and the children really enjoyed singing it and I have to confess I broke out into a little bit of 'dad dancing!

The final studio editing will take a few weeks.

Jamie presents our case for fundraising

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Soon to be included on the home pages of this website will be a short video about the Outdoor Learning Centre Project. After the presentations and chat by adults at the launch of the project it seemed appropriate that we needed to tell the story with moving images and sounds of the pupils in lessons.

Thanks to the introduction by Mark and Cynthia Wilkinson, our Patrons, we had the help of Alan Shellard Director of Artisan Productions and Nigel Butler as cameraman this week to work, inbetween the showers, in recording the lessons and activities of our pupils in the woodlands.

But first we needed to recruit someone to be our presentor. Step forward Jamie! 


With little time for rehearsal and some long words it was a challenge but like a true professional he winged it ! Today the Rowdeford Charity Trust Website, tomorrow Channel 4 News?

Next Thursday the team is back to film some more - So watch this space for the finished article.

Outdoor Learning for Guests at Project Launch

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Group small The many invited guests who attended the launch party for the Rowdeford Outdoor Learning Centre on the 25th September 2015 not only learnt about the exciting project but also experienced the delights of 'Learning Outside the Classroom'  

The Rowdeford Charity Trust Trustees, Patrons  and School staff welcomed some eighty guests to the Arts Centre at the School for an update on the project, its fundraising and a chance to see the site on which the works will take place. What they did not expect though was the fact that they could have some 'fun' doing a typical lesson. Ingrid Sidmouth Head of the School and John Craze the tutor responsible for Outdoor Learning at the school made a short presentation, followed by John ushering everyone outside for the surprise session. 

Back to School

Game small

As John said a typical class would not be as big as the many guests that where there, however despite a lot of chatter and laughter everyone had three short lessons in numeracy, literacy and communication. It was observed that many tried to cheat, break the rules or even rewrite the rules but in the end many got the hang of it !  

After the lesson before it got too dark everyone took a a stroll down to the Project site. There too there was more surprises! The new school Yurt had been erected and everyone was able to see the completed access road and cleared surroundings.

John and Clare

      John Craze LOtC Tutor shows Claire Perry MP the derelict building that will be restored.

Sharing Plans for our Outdoor Learning Centre

Written by Terry Kemp on .

On the evening of Friday 25th September at Rowdeford School the Trustees will be sharing their new Outdoor Learning Centre Project plans with their supporters, friends and VIP guests at the School.
The project already has planning approval, listed building consent and pledges or grants for some 25% of the total costs. A new access roadway was constructed during the school holidays thanks in part to a generous contribution by the Hills Group, and a grant from the Big Lottery Awards For All enabled the purchase of a Yurt as a temporary classroom.
Rosie Berry the Trust Secretary said, “Rowdeford Charity Trust is very proud of its past successes having raised over £1 million pounds over the years. We recognise that the new Outdoor Learning Centre project is ambitious, but we have succeeded in the past and are hopeful we will do it again.”
The launch guests will include over seventy VIP’s, supporters and friends including Sir Andrew & Lady Gooch, High Sheriff, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Madeleine Wilks, Claire Perry MP, the Mayor & Mayoress of Devizes, Patrons of the Trust Mark & Cynthia Wilkinson and many others will be there to see the proposed site and plans.

Yurt being constructed in newly cleared area

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Part of the overall project included an objective of including and fundraising for a Yurt as a 'Roaming Classroom' Thanks to a grant from The Big Lottery Awards for All it was possible to purchase one.  Now with the site cleared and leveled it can be erected. A challenge perhaps but the foundations are down ! Watch this space for more.................


Yurt in construction

Our roadway to our future

Written by Admin on .

Diggers on site!

On August 5th diggers and contractors moved in! After the receipt and assessment of three tenders the final contractors were chosen.

IMG 6560

IMG 6561

 The site hand dug by volunteers to comply with the site conservation plan the contractors were able to make a good start. These volunteers came from Royal Wootton Bassett School , Lloyds  Bank and Trustees and supporters. The hand digging ensured that small mammals would escape should they had used the area as their habitat.

No mean task for the volunteers. The work included hacking down nettles and other weeds, then digging and removing stones and rubbish. 

One tick in the box for conservation, another tick in the box for saving the project some £9,000! So a big thankyou to these hardy volunteers.



Our volunteers save money

Written by Terry Kemp on .

The Outdoor Learning Centre Project took yet another another step forward this month with volunteers clearing and hand digging the Centre grounds.

Thanks to the £15,000 funding boost from The Hills Group Limited and Touchstone Residential and other funds raised access roadways and levelling has been contracted to begin during the school holidays. However Local Government Planning Conditions required hand digging and vegetation clearance in case of slow worms or other small mammals in the area. This work could have potentially cost the project some nine thousand pounds but has been saved thanks to volunteers from Lloyds Bank, Royal Wootton Bassett School and the local community.

Rosie Berry Secretary of the Rowdeford Charity Trust and one of the volunteers said, ‘We still have to raise in excess of £300,000 to enable the full works of creating our Outdoor Learning Centre but these works will open up the area for the children to use. The Trust is extremely grateful to everyone who turned out to help, we all had a great time and in the process began transforming the site !”

Funding Boost heralds start for Project

Written by Terry Kemp on .

Rowdeford School and the community of Rowde, Wiltshire is today celebrating the news that The Rowdeford Charity Trust has received a £15,000 funding boost from The Hills Group Limited and Touchstone Residential for our Outdoor Learning Project. This money was made available through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) which is administered for Hills by Community First, the Rural Community Council for Wiltshire.

 ‘This generous funding from the Hills Group allows us to start work in providing access into the woodland where we want to build our Outdoor Learning Centre. This will complete the first stage works that will open up the area. Once this initial work is complete this will allow the land to be used by the children even before the building works start.’ Jonathan Grew Chairman of the Rowdeford Charity Trust

Rowdeford School in Rowde near Devizes, is a school for pupils with complex learning difficulties, and the Rowdeford Charity Trust is to restore and extend the old kennels within the woodland adjoining the school providing an innovative outdoor learning space. Additional to the new funding other fundraising has already started, building on the annual activities of the Trust, and planning permissions have already been granted.

Boost from Wooden Spoon Trust

Written by Terry Kemp on .

This week the plans for a Rowdeford Outdoor Learning Centre received a boost through a new fundraising partnership with the Wiltshire Wooden Spoon Trust.

The Wooden Spoon Trust is the children’s charity of rugby which, throughout the UK, raises significant monies with a view to making a positive impact on the lives of children and young people who are disadvantaged by way of physical, mental and social issues. Gareth John Chairman of the Wiltshire Region of the Wooden Spoon Trust said, ’We are really keen to work with Rowdeford School and the Trust as we can see the great opportunities this new Centre will provide.’

Already Wiltshire Region has started work by advertising its Regional Golf day at South Cerney Golf Club offering spaces and the chance to sponsor a hole.

Jonathan Grew Chairman of the Rowdeford Charity Trust said, ‘The support of the Wooden Spoon Trust is really welcome. We recognise that the new Outdoor Learning Centre project is ambitious but what we also know is that it will bring tremendous benefits to our children, visiting schools and other organisations that will use it. We have already made good progress with our fundraising and this new partnership will greatly enhance our success.’

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We have done it !

Thanks to so many who have given time, money and pledges we have built our Outdoor Learning Centre !


We want to share traditional outdoor skills and learning whilst breaking down those barriers between people with special needs, the wider community and workplaces.

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The Rowdeford Charity Trust
Rowdeford School,
Rowde, Devizes,
Wiltshire SN10 2QQ.

Telephone: 07584 778151

Registered Charity - 1088605

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