With the cold weather now upon us, it’s starting to feel decidedly more Christmassy in Chichester. As you may have seen, I announced the winning design for my annual Christmas Card Competition last week. It was harder than ever to pick a winner, however after much deliberation, I settled on a wonderful snowman design by a five-year old pupil at St Joseph's Primary school – you can check out the lovely artwork and runners up on my Facebook page.
It’s always a joy to visit our local schools, to see the children’s enthusiasm for everything from Christmas to climate and to thank our dedicated teaching staff that make it all possible in the classroom. Recently I was invited to drop by Conifers School to join the children for assembly, and to learn more about the ways in which our schools are engaging and growing young minds. Like a large number of schools in the country, Conifers place a great emphasis on bringing students closer to nature through their Forest School, and it was fantastic to see them make the most of our beautiful outdoors as part of their studies. It’s a really innovative approach, and something you never saw in schools when I was growing up. It’s just one of the ways that our schools are providing more experiences for their pupils.
In spite of all of the amazing work I see on a daily basis, I know that there are still some real challenges for schools in the current climate, particularly around the cost of energy. For that reason, last week we announced an additional £500 million for energy efficiency measures in schools and colleges across the country and I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact that will make on the ground in the weeks and months ahead.
In the meantime, if you’re in need of some extra help as this colder weather sets in, please do check out the ‘Cost of Living Support’ page available on my website: https://www.gilliankeegan.com/campaigns/cost-living-support