Press releases : Hampshire school scoops top prize in Census 2021 Let’s Count competition

St Alban’s CE Primary School in Hampshire has won new STEM equipment and the chance to announce the Census 2021 results.

The Havant School received the top prize in the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) ‘Let’s Count’ competition, which saw young people from more than 250 primary schools counting things in a 20-minute walk around their school and developing school-centred maps and displays.

Sharon James, Deputy Head of St Alban’s CE Primary School said: “Taking part in the Let’s Count Census 2021 activity has reminded our school that no matter how small the numbers, every ‘ONE’ can and should make a difference. It shows us that our individual actions added together have the power to impact positively on the lives of others. Winning the competition is terrific news for the school community and will inspire us to keep ensuring that ‘data makes a difference!”

The competition was part of a wider schools’ programme being run by the ONS. Developed by iChild, it included 14 cross-curricular resources, teaching students about the importance of the census and how data can benefit their local areas.

British historian, professor David Olusoga OBE, also delivered a live virtual lesson on diversity, inclusion and the census to thousands of school kids.

St Alban’s CE Primary focused its efforts on rebuilding the school community which had been impacted by the global pandemic. While Key Stage 1 counted insects, trees and flowers, Key Stage 2 calculated the number of families in the school, and the number of buildings surrounding the school. This information supported the launch of their ‘Seeds of Hope’ project, where the school produced enough packets of seeds to share with the school community and surrounding area.

“It was great to see so much enthusiasm and creativity from all the Let’s Count entries, with children really bringing the census to life in so many ways,” deputy national statistician Iain Bell said. “We had so many wonderful entries and it was really difficult picking winners.

“Census 2021 has proved a real success and we now look forward to seeing the two winning schools from Hampshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf help us reveal the first results next year.”

St Alban’s CE Primary School has won a series of prizes including £1,000 in STEM equipment vouchers for the school. Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tonyrefail in Rhondda Cynon Taf has received the top runners up prize. Both schools will also play a role in the unveiling of the first Census 2021 results next spring.

Regional winners have been chosen and will also receive £250 worth of equipment from Technology Will Save Us (TWSU). They are:

  • Sir John Sherbrooke Junior School, Nottinghamshire
  • East Tilbury Primary School, Essex
  • St Mary’s C of E Primary School, Willesden
  • St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Stockton on Tees
  • Claremont Primary School, Manchester
  • Calstock Primary School, Cornwall
  • St Matthews C of E Primary School, Birmingham
  • Diamond Wood Community Academy, Dewsbury

Phil Bird, CEO of Family & Education and iChild said: “The standard of entries into the Let’s Count competition was so high and it was very difficult to select the winners. It is clear that children have shown such wonderful imagination in how they have used counting and data to make a difference at school and in their local community. The pupils at both winning schools, St Alban’s CE Primary in Hampshire and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tonyrefail in Porth, demonstrated great creativity in their counting projects and produced inspiring displays and videos. Let’s Count! aimed to help improve maths, geography, history and writing skills, using Census 2021, a significant real-life event, as a stimulus. It is wonderful to see how many schools have really embraced this education programme.”

Census Day took place on Sunday, March 21 and has had a brilliant response. If you haven’t completed your census, time is running out before the online questionnaire closes. Help and paper questionnaires are still available to request until June 11 through the census contact centre on freephone 0800 141 2021 in England and 0800 169 2021 in Wales.

Households who actively refuse to take part face a £1000 fine.

Note to editors

  • Entrants were judged by a panel of experts including Iain Bell; Mathematics in Education and Industry Primary Maths Specialist, Alison Hopper; Lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield, Dr Yinka Olusoga; chair of National Association for the Teaching of English, Peter Thomas; Primary Curriculum Leader at Geographical Association, Jon Cannell; and managing director of Family and Education and iChild, Phil Bird.