James’ tireless work to help youngsters

James Havbro
James Havbro

A teaching assistant is giving up his free time to build a greenhouse to help pupils with challenging behaviour.

James Havbro, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy teaching assistant, has been thanked by the Ark network for his tireless and innovative work in helping to engage pupils who struggle at school.

He has a special talent for working with children, some of whom are at risk of exclusion, through the school’s outdoor learning unit. The unit, which has been running for a number of years, is soon to be accompanied by a greenhouse, which will not only give pupils experience of growing plants, but also provide fresh produce for the school’s kitchen.

James has been working over school breaks and weekends to bring the new facility to Blacklands.

James said: “I’ve always been a firm believer that children who are disengaged or have behavioural issues can be re-engaged and brought back into the classroom. It’s about giving them clear learning objectives and the tools they need to not only succeed, but also to enjoy and value their education.

Venessa Willms, director of primary at Ark, said: “James’ contribution to Ark Blacklands has been absolutely outstanding.

“Not only has he found an incredibly successful way to make sure that pupils who haven’t felt engaged at school in the past can do so in the future, he has also put an incredible amount of his own time into the project.”