One school that I visited before Christmas was a community primary school in a pocket of relative affluence in an otherwise deprived area. They, as most schools, were doing their cooking and nutrition subject in a block before Christmas.
Their Year Four children were making sandwiches, planning, creating and evaluating; nothing unusual there but what I found out was truly inspirational... The school had purposefully made this unit just before Christmas, asking children to work with the title of ‘Christmas sandwiches’, with a clear understanding to include very nutritious food with a high protein count.
Why? Because they were making them to donate to the homeless shelter in the centre of Morecambe! This selfless act alongside other very small adjustments (often just through pre-planning tasks and themes) can help leaders to rethink the way we deliver the curriculum. Undeniably, a fantastic way to encourage our children to think of others and support our community.
Another school, I am happy to share, is my own school where I am a LA Governor. This is a single form entry in a very deprived area, but just before Christmas they ran a drive where they asked parents to bring in new toys, games and puzzles. They then sent out an invitation to all parents who they knew were going to need extra support this Christmas and asked them to come and do their ‘Christmas shopping’ at school, where they were supplied with presents for all of their children.
They were so inundated with gifts from other families that they even had left over to send birthday packages home to the families that need them the most. Rather than strengthening the consumerist side of Christmas that the media pushes, this ‘gift of giving’ attitude was a fantastic way to support our families and spread the community spirit!
What do you think? How would you implement practices to encourage community in schools? Please let us know in the comments below or in our Facebook groups.
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As ever, please leave any thoughts in the comments below and have a great week!
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