Hertfordshire-based school Samuel Lucas JMI has successfully opened a new learning space for pupils to enjoy after it received a £1,000 donation from the CALA Homes’ Community Bursary scheme.

Originally opened in 1974, Samuel Lucas JMI is a primary school based in Hitchin for children aged four to 11, and have recently increased capacity from one class per year to two classes per year, doubling the number of pupils from 210 to 420. 

CALA Homes, which is building Century Grove in Hitchin and Comice Meadows in Pirton, launched the CALA Community Bursary in Hertfordshire in February and invited organisations, charities and groups in the area to apply for a share of £12,000 to help fund projects that make a difference in the community. Samuel Lucas JMI School was chosen as a recipient of the bursary, with money used to complete the funding for their new outdoor learning space, ‘The Learning Shed’.

This year, the CALA Group Community Bursary scheme has awarded a total of £109,000 to 117 good causes across the UK. A further 200 causes have previously benefited from the scheme, with over £200,000 awarded to various initiatives since 2017. 

Tracy Thomas, Headteacher at Samuel Lucas JMI School, said: “Samuel Lucas JMI is a community dedicated to excellence where we work together to provide opportunities for successful learning and personal development in an environment where anything is possible. In order for this to be achievable, we always strive to make the school facilities and resources as advanced as we possibly can.

“With this generous amount of funding from CALA, we have been able to complete our new outdoor learning space, ‘The Learning Shed’. Following the increase of pupils in our school, it was important for us to have this extra space to provide additional learning opportunities. A big thank you goes to CALA for making this possible.”

Duncan Jackson, Managing Director at CALA Homes (North Home Counties), said “CALA has always been committed to making a positive and lasting contribution to the local communities in which it builds and the Community Bursary scheme has given us the opportunity to find out exactly what support is required locally. We are delighted to be supporting Samuel Lucas JMI School with the funding to complete their outdoor learning space, and look forward to seeing how the funding helps to make a difference to the learning and education for the children.”

For further information on Samuel Lucas JMI School, visit


For further information on CALA Homes at its Century Grove and Comice Meadows development, visit our North Home Counties page. 

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