In 2005 our daughter Debra told us the headmistress at her son Rory’s primary school had been to Australia and seen some chair storage bags being used in the classrooms, and thought it would be a great asset to have them in schools in the u.k.
When I looked into the various products on the market in Australia, USA & New Zealand (The only countries I could find that used them), I could see they were little more than a denim pillowcase style with just one deep pocket to hold everything in one size fits all. I had previously qualified as an interior designer and was anxious to put my abilities to the test so I set about designing a prototype.
I also set myself some rules:
(1) It must be made of stronger longer-lasting fabric.
(2) It need more than one pocket, One large for the books, Two for stationery and personal items, and essentially One to hold the days drink bottle (Teachers tell me this is a nightmare problem having them all around the class).
(3) I also wanted the pockets to expand to maximize the storage capacity.
(4) And importantly they needed to fit the chairs securely.
I had the first sample run of 500 units by 2006 and conducted tests with Bureau Veritas to ensure the filled weight would not affect the stability of the chairs. The unique design also enabled us to patent the design. We then issued 400 samples to schools for trials over a period of 4-6 weeks to see how they held up, and for feedback, all the results were very encouraging and nearly all the schools bought them back because they had made a difference to Teacher control & discipline, Increased personal storage, Reduced breakages, and created Neat & tidy work tables, all in that short space of time.
The trials made us aware that the size range of chairs in KS1 & KS2 varied to the extent that two sizes in width and length were needed for a secure fit and to increase the storage capacity for the older children.
We have subsequently been supplying the Classroom Chair Storage Pouch to KS1 & KS2 schools throughout the U.K. since 2007 it is making a big impact on the teaching methods and classroom systems currently used, and improving them.
Pupils benefit by having all the days books, stationery and drinks bottle to hand throughout the day, decreasing movement and disruption at lesson times.
It was difficult to know where this was going to take us when a new product is placed on the market that has never been there before. A few of the good surprises are.
Yes! It does fit a standard junior wheelchair, also, improved independence for Disabled & SEN children, these children are no longer segregated because of limited abilities, everything is to hand including personal items under their own control.
All schools that have purchased love them! If they have one negative view it is because school budgets make affordability difficult when buying for the whole class. READ ON!
Our direct to schools classroom chair pouch is always available at approx: £8.00 for Size One & £9.00 for Size Two. Schools that purchased from 2007 are now ordering top up pouches for new intakes, and further full class orders.THEY ARE NOT REPLACING-JUST BUYING MORE.
We feel this is a great endorsement to us that schools can justify the ongoing expenditure because their original purchases are still in use and still making a difference.
On this basis the above cost is just £3.00 per pupil per year and not the major expenditure it first appears.
New for 2010.
We have developed the Chair Storage Satchel incorporating all the features of the classroom pouch in the same two sizes with the addition of a Shoulder Strap, Front Cover all, and provisions to add the pupils Name, Class, and Teacher. This has been requested by parents who want the same facility for the homework chair which also doubles for use on the classroom chair.
Our Home-Field workbook holds three divisional A5 homework books; this is a valuable asset to preserving the homework books and keeping them all in one place. This is our daughter Jenny’s idea. She has two sons Callum & Harvey both in primary education and was fed up with trying to find the books from the depths of their bags, and to see the crumpled shabby state slowly worsening over the term period. No excuses now she proudly announces.
Jenny’s product solution & the Home chair Satchel is now available for parents to purchase from this website.
A footnote from Janet:
| am proud of the products I have produced and moreover the difference to schools and children that are benefiting from the inclusion of them in the classroom.
Thank you to all schools that have purchased to date and trust I can continue to do so.